Potentially dangerous Easter pets

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | e-mail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Easter Bunny will hop around the corner in just a few days, and a lot of parents are out shopping for gifts and candy to fill their child's basket. Some kids want a bunny or chick for the holiday, but as News Leader Nine found out, these baby animals as an Easter pet may not be such a great idea.

Every April, pet stores see more and more customers looking for ducks, chicks and Easter bunnies.

One Stop Pet Shop owner, Jonathan Lee said, "We'll sell 55-60 in the next 2 weeks when its normally three or four a month so there's influence from the holiday."

Getting a cuddly pet may seem like a good idea, but once your child outgrows it, they may end up in a shelter.

"People have a tendency to buy their kid an Easter bunny or ducks and then when the child loses interest in the duck or the rabbit becomes a certain size, they no longer want it and a lot of the time we get those animals," explained the Chief Special Enforcement at Animal Control, Drale Short.

Short said buying a farm bird could bring dangers into your home, "You don't know if they're healthy, if they carry disease, if there's something that will break out later. There's a lot of factors with taking in a pet."

And Lee says the care for the animal could cost more time and money than you bargained for, "Chicks or ducks outgrow anything indoors. In the city limits, you can't have them because they are considered livestock. The overall care is often times more than people can provide."

Pet store owners say rabbits can be good pets, but for people who are responsible.

"Most people do take care of them but there's always a handful that use it as an impulse or spontaneous buy and realize its more than they want and we will buy it back and find it a good home," added Lee.

We're not saying it's a bad idea to buy chicks, ducks or bunnies, it's just important that you're prepared to be a pet owner. And of the people News Leader Nine talked to, they all agree that if you're just buying the animal for the holiday, it's probably not the best time to buy.