AAM&W: Treat "Easter animals" with care even after the holiday

AAM&W: Treat "Easter animals" with care even after the holiday
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - According to the Amarillo Animal Management & Welfare, they see an increase in surrendered rabbits and abandoned chickens every year in the months following Easter.

While adopting these animals may be a trend this time of year, they want to advise the community about the responsibilities they'll be adopting as well.

When it comes to adopting bunnies, Director of AAM&W, Richard Havens wants residents to avoid hopping to a quick decision.

"People get them, they're cute, but then they realize that they're messy, they can bite if they're not properly socialized, they have reproductive hormones which can cause them to act in unwanted manners," he said.

Havens also said to consider that baby chicks won't be chicks forever.

"Are you going to want an adult chick?," he said. "Are you going to consume them? Are you going to find a farm? What are you going to do with them? People really need to be thinking to the future before obtaining these animals."

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Honey's Farm Fresh is a local farm that raises and sells rabbits and chicks year-round.

The owner, Gregory Baker, said they have already sold some eight-week-old bunnies as Easter pets.

"Usually parents or grandparents buying them for their kids as pets," he said. "They're a pretty easy to take care of pet. Like any pet, they need fresh food, fresh water everyday. They need their cage cleaned every week."

The City of Amarillo Department of Public Health recently posted on Facebook warning residents of certain diseases that can be transferred from some farm animals to humans.

Baker said there's no need to worry about most rabbits, but baby chicks do carry diseases.

"Poultry. Almost all poultry has salmonella. They carry it all the time," he said. "Most important thing there is to wash your hands after handling them with warm soap and water or hot soapy water."

For this reason, he said baby chicks should be kept as outdoor pets.

"Rabbits, pretty good house pet, but not a chicken," said Baker. "You can keep it inside until its a couple months old. But there again, you have to keep your hands washed often and when they get old enough, put them out in the coop with plenty of space."

Amarillo Animal Management & Welfare said taking care of these animals is a huge responsibility and only to adopt if you're in it for the long run.

"At the end of the day, when individuals buy these animals and then realize they're not for the long term, the shelter ends up having to intervene and more or less clean up the mess," said Havens.

He also said to take care of these animals just like any other pet by doing research and planning ahead before deciding to adopt.

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