Easter Advisory

Preventing Animal Tragedy at Easter: An Advisory from Los Angeles Rabbit Foundation

Pet owners be aware: cats, dogs, and especially bunnies, chicks and ducklings are at risk every Easter.

· Easter lilies can cause kidney failure in cats; small amounts of the plant are fatal.

· Candy containing chocolate and candy wrappers should be kept safe from dogs and all other pets. Peanut butter candies may contain xylitol, which is also toxic to dogs.

· Giving live animals in the Easter basket is not a good idea! Easter is a killer for bunnies, chicks and ducklings.

Rabbits make poor pets for small children. Most rabbits do not like to be picked up and held, and may scratch or bite in an effort to get free, or be injured when dropped. The typical “Easter bunnies” illegally sold on the streets or in pet stores are usually babies, taken from their mothers before they are properly weaned. They will die soon after purchase—hardly a fun experience for kids!

Baby chicks and ducks also need a proper environment and diet. Ducklings will drown when left in the bathtub with no way to get out. When they grow up, chicks may turn into roosters that disturb neighbors. In an urban environment where owning them violates zoning laws, many adult chickens end up in animal shelters or are set free into environments where they cannot survive.

Dr. Michelle Kelly of Los Angeles Rabbit Foundation emphasizes, “Before adopting any animal, it’s critical to learn about proper care in advance. Buying an animal on impulse is irresponsible and can result in injury or death to the animal and a negative experience for our children.”

Emergency Care for Pets:

Keep your regular veterinary clinic and a local 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic numbers and addresses handy for pet emergencies. ASPCA Poison Control: (888) 426-4435.

Los Angeles Rabbit Foundation would like to make the following recommendations:

*For Easter: **A stuffed toy bunny is a safer option than a real rabbit for snuggling, and chocolate candy rabbits are usually a big hit in the Easter basket.*

*Forever:** It’s important to learn about basic rabbit care before acquiring a bunny. If a rabbit is the right pet for your family, adopt from an organization that neuters, vaccinates and house-trains the rabbits. Please visit www.larabbits.org/rabbit-care for basic information BEFORE you adopt.*