Local expert warns about specific Easter gifts - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Local expert warns about specific Easter gifts

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

As Easter weekend is officially underway there are plenty of children across the South Plains that will soon receive Easter gifts.

Often those gifts include animals like rabbits, chicks and ducklings. At the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, officials say, every year they see plenty of people try to surrender those gifts to the center, shortly after the Easter season.

So, their goal is to prevent those animals from going to a house that will not be there home forever.

"It's a labor of love out here, everybody loves what they're doing…we love taking care of all the animals," Gail Barnes, the executive director of the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, said.

However, Barnes said there is a concern that surrounds those little Easter gifts. 

"Every year people go to farm stores and they see the little ducklings, or baby chickens, or baby rabbits, and the kids think they're really cute….they're small, and they buy them and they take them home, but if you haven't done your homework, or your research, these ducks, chickens, or rabbits…they grow up," Barnes said. 

After cats and dogs, rabbits are the animals most commonly surrendered to shelters according to the Humane Society of the United States. And after adoption, many people are surprised to learn that each of these animals has specific needs in order for it to grow and mature properly, Barnes said. 

For example, she said, ducklings aren't born with what many may consider an instinct.

"When they're born, they don't know how to swim, if they're not raised by their mothers, so you have to teach them how to swim."

Meanwhile, the Humane Society says rabbits can often live past 10 years of age, meaning it could be around as long as a family dog.

And when it comes to chickens, the Humane Society reports they are sensitive to temperature extremes and unless they are provided with shelter that is properly ventilated they can become very sick.

In order to keep these animals healthy and in a stable environment, Barnes said she has one specific message.

"We just want people to do their homework. If you're interested in buying an Easter pet, do your research, it is a commitment, and it's a commitment for your children to learn the responsibility of taking care of a pet," Barnes said.

To learn more about the SPWRC, you can visit their website.

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