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Don’t buy rabbits, chicks for children at Easter: Montreal SPCA

WATCH: The Montreal SPCA is urging families to think long and hard before buying pets for their children this Easter. Global's Navneet Pall reports.

The Montreal SPCA is urging families to think long and hard before buying pets for their children this Easter.

It’s a problem the animal advocacy group says it faces every spring.

“Many of these rabbits end up abandoned in shelters,” explained Anita Kapuscinska, a spokesperson with the SPCA.

“Either because they were impulse buys or because their purchasers were unaware of the level of care these animals require.”

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Every year, about 250 rabbits are brought to the SPCA after the Easter weekend.

Though they’re small, these animals often require a lot of attention – and their habitats have to be frequently maintained.

“Adopting a pet is a big decision and represents a long-term commitment,” said Kapuscinska.

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“A small companion, like any animal, is not a toy; an animal is a living being who has physiological and psychological needs that must be catered to.”

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She added that families should take the time to discuss the topic of getting a pet – and should never consider renting one over Easter, as many of them will end up abandoned or in shelters.

“The Montreal SPCA condemns the sale and rental of animals for Easter. Ducklings and chicks do not make suitable pets,” said Kapuscinska.

“They are very delicate, are easily injured and should not be handled, especially by children.”

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Thinking of getting a rabbit? Here are a few things you should know:

  • Rabbits require a minimum of four hours a day of free time in a rabbit-proof area.
  • A rabbit’s life expectancy exceeds 10 years.
  • Carrots can be dangerous for rabbits if given in excessive quantities.
  • Sterilized rabbits can be litter trained.
  • Larger rabbits are usually calmer.