Every spring, pet stores stock their windows with chicks, ducklings and bunnies. Rather than candy and stuffed toys, many children receive these live baby animals in their Easter baskets. But once the holiday and all its festivities have passed, these animals often find that the future holds more suffering than joy.
It’s true: baby animals are adorable! But once the novelty of a tiny chick, bunny or duckling wears off, many people who have purchased them are unable or unwilling to care for them. As they grow larger, countless animals are abandoned or confined in cramped quarters and forgotten by people who no longer find them cute.
This time of year we’re always flooded with calls to find homes for the victims of this holiday tradition. We've taken in many of these babies over the years, including 49 dyed chicks from a New York City pet store who came to live at Farm Sanctuary in 2007. As these careless practices continue every year, it’s important to remind others that animals, no matter what their age, are not toys – they’re living beings. These are intelligent, social individuals who have their own unique quirks and personalities, and purchasing them as holiday gifts only supports an industry that views them as disposable commodities.
Love animals and want to inspire compassion in others? Embrace the spirit of the season by sponsoring a farm animal for yourself or a loved one. The animal residents here at Farm Sanctuary depend on their sponsors to provide them with food, shelter and veterinary care. Your contributions will help give a new beginning to animals rescued from abuse and neglect. And, when the weather warms up and tour season begins, you can also come visit your new friends and see that they’re happy, healthy and well-loved. I dare you to think of a better gift than that!