• By Beth Oleson, Marketing Director

This Easter, just stick with candy

Every year around Easter, countless parents come home from pet or farm stores with that “perfect” Easter gift for the little ones - a chick, a duckling, a bunny, or even a kitten or puppy. They’re awfully cute. But before you buy an Easter pet this year, consider this: a few weeks after Easter, most of those pets are abandoned, surrendered to humane societies, or worst of all, have died. Many pets purchased as gifts don’t get the care they need before or after purchase and are far more of a commitment than the buyer realizes. Do you, for example, know off the top of your head how to raise a tame, healthy duck? I certainly don’t. If you’re considering bringing home a pet for Easter (or any other day), don’t just think about the present; think about the future, too. Do you know the nutritional, grooming, and attention requirements of a rabbit? Do you have the set-up to house a full-grown chicken? How about the cost involved? The ASPCA estimates an annual cost of $700 to $875 to provide very basic care for a dog or cat. And, if you bring home something like a duckling that grows up into a wild animal… what the heck do you do with it? Humane societies aren’t typically able to take on wildlife, and a hand-raised animal will struggle in the wild. If you’re not prepared to make the full commitment to a pet, it’s best not to bring one home at all. Visit a local rescue instead and share your love with some pets in need! You can enjoy all of the fun aspects of spending time with a pet without taking on all the responsibility, and you’ll make a homeless pet’s day a little brighter, too. If you’re really ready to become a pet owner this Easter, adopt from a humane society or shelter instead of purchasing a pet from a pet store. When you adopt you’re getting a pet that has already had basic veterinary care and is in good health; you get no such guarantee from a pet store. Secondly, you’re saving a pet that needs a home without encouraging irresponsible breeders or puppy mills to keep doing business at the expense of the animals. Puppies and kittens start showing up in big numbers at most adoption facilities in the spring, so there are usually plenty to choose from. And finally, when you adopt, the minimal adoption fee covers some big expenses: most rescues provide vaccines, spay or neuter surgeries, microchips, and other essential veterinary care. Adoption is the economical option! Whether you decide to spend your Easter with candy or a new four-legged friend this year, think it through and make the best decision for you, and for the pet. If you’re not ready for a pet this spring, well, there’s always next year! Until then, enjoy an abundance of chocolate and jelly beans, and we hope you’ll come visit the homeless pets of Woodford Humane to make their holiday weekend special. Call 859-873-5491 to find out more about adopting, fostering, and volunteering.

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