The vast majority of the baby bunnies, chicks and ducks who are given as Easter gifts die within a few weeks. They are frequently the victims of unintentional neglect and cruelty. Requiring special feeding, care and constant temperatures, these extremely vulnerable little animals are poorly suited as pets.

Small children often break their fragile bones, and cause other fatal injuries. Many baby bunnies, chicks and ducks are killed or maimed by neighborhood dogs and cats. And, those animals who do survive the first few weeks are often released to animal care and control agencies, where many must be euthanized because no permanent homes can be found.

Additionally, people may contract salmonella (which causes severe inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract) from these chicks and ducks. 


This Easter, you can help prevent cruelty by giving your little ones stuffed animals. And, after the holiday, if your family is ready for a new pet, consider an adorable, adoptable dog or cat from your local animal shelter.

This information is quoted from Pets In Need, Inc.


Remember, an animal is a lifetime commitment, not a holiday toy to be bought as a gift and momentarily enjoyed. When you are tempted to make a present of a living Easter bunny, duckling, or chick, remember these facts:
  • Baby animals grow up to be adults who may not be so appealing to a child.
  • All animals require a commitment of time and energy—they need food, water, exercise, attention, and regular veterinary care.
  • Chickens, ducks, and rabbits need special care.
  • Chickens, ducks, and rabbits are among the species that can transmit salmonella.
  • Baby animals can be accidentally killed or injured if children handle them roughly.

Easter Bunny
by Mary Brandolino

In memory of all the bunnies we couldn't save.

I remember Easter Sunday
It was colorful and fun
The new life that I'd begun
In my new cage.

I was just a little thing
When they brought me from the store
And they put me on the floor
In my cage.

They would take me out to play
Love and pet me all the time
Then at day's end I would climb
In my cage.

But as days and weeks went by
I saw less of them it seemed
Of their loving touch I dreamed
In my cage.

In the night outside their house
I felt sad and so neglected
Often scared and unprotected
In my cage.

In the dry or rainy weather
Sometimes hotter sometimes colder
I just sat there growing older
In my cage.

The cat and dog raced by me
Playing with each other only
While I sat there feeling lonely
In my cage.

Upon the fresh green grass
Children skipped and laughed all day
I could only watch them play
From my cage.

They used to take me out
And let me scamper in the sun
I no longer get to run
In my cage.

Once a cute and cuddly bunny
Like a little ball of cotton
Now I'm grown up and forgotten
In my cage.

I don't know what went wrong
At the home I did inhabit
I just grew to be a rabbit
In my cage.

But they've brought me to the pound
I was once loved and enjoyed
Now I wait to be destroyed
In my cage.



The American Humane Association says most chicks, ducks, and bunnies given as Easter gifts die within a few weeks of the holiday. Most purchasers are not informed of the special feeding, care, and handling their new pets require. As a result, these animals endure cruelty and neglect. Young children may squeeze and cuddle them, resulting in broken bones, internal injuries, and death. For those that survive, once the novelty wears off, many are neglected in backyard pens while others are dumped outside to return to the wild.


We need your help for the animals.
United Way did not list Animal Welfare as a donation category.

If you would like to voice your concern that United Way excluded our furry family members by not listing Animal Welfare in their focus areas, you can call The United Way of the Bay Area at (415) 772-4300 or e-mail the Workplace Campaign at
For more information:

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