With Easter just around the corner, animal advocates have the worry of people buying baby animals, like rabbits and chicks, for holiday gifts. After the novelty wears off and the reality of caring for an animal sets in, these animals are typically abandoned. Steve’s Wonderful World of Pets, a pet store in Buffalo, New York, states that in an effort to reduce the number of “disposable pets” after Easter, they have a “Rent-A-Chick” program where customers can “rent out” baby chicks for a few weeks and return them after Easter. However, there are some significant problems with this program.
The “Rent-A-Chick” program is particularly aimed at children. Not only does the program ingrain the idea that animal companions can be just temporary, but it also poses risks to people and animals alike.
A petition on Care2 points out that The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises against the handling of chicks by children because of Salmonella risks. The CDC states, “Don’t let children younger than five years, adults older than 65, or people with weakened immune systems from conditions such as cancer treatment, HIV/AIDS or organ transplants, handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry.”
Additionally, anyone is allowed to rent out these chicks, who require special care due to their fragile, delicate nature. Although the pet store provides a basic care package with food and a heat lamp for the chicks, excited children hopped up on Easter candy could likely spell out disaster for these baby chicks. Steve’s Wonderful World of Pets also dyed baby chicks, but, thanks to the SPCA, they were forced to stop since the practice is illegal under New York law.
If you agree that this “Rent-A-Chick” program should end, you can sign the petition here.
And remember to share this with your family and friends as a reminder that animals should not be acquired for holiday novelty!
Image Source: Pixabay