MSB: Do Your Research Before Buying Cute Pets for Easter Gifts
ST. CLOUD -- The Minnesota School of Business is reminding you that while ducklings and bunnies may be a cute Easter gift, they're not always the best idea.
Jessica Ostendorf, the Veterinary Program Chair at MSB, says this is the most popular time to adopt ducklings, and rabbits, as 80% of all rabbits bought for the year are as Easter presents.
"When we think of Easter, we always think about rabbits and chickens and ducks," Ostendforf says. "[But] it's not always the best idea for most people -- a majority of these animals that are given as Easter gifts either don't live past the first year or, if they do survive the first year, the vast majority end up in animal shelters."
Ostendorf says it's due to a lack of research into what the animals need for a diet and housing and says it's especially true for rabbits, as they tend to see an influx of rabbits at animal shelters three to four weeks after Easter.
"They're fun and cute at first, and then people get bored with them or realize it's too much work," Ostendorf says. "A lot of people don't realize that rabbits can live to be 8-12 years old, so it is very similar to having a dog or a cat -- it is a longer term commitment to have them as a pet."
If you do receive a rabbit or duckling for an Easter gift and you realize it's not the right fit, Ostendorf says the best route is to contact your local animal shelter -- not releasing them into the wild.
"They can help you either by taking them in and helping to find them the right home, or by helping connect you with someone who can take them if their shelters are full," Ostendorf says.
"Easter is a fun time for everybody, but we just want to make sure we're doing what's best for those animals."