Buying a tiny bunny or a newborn chick might be tempting to complete the perfect Easter basket but local animal agencies have placed a freeze on adopting the animals in an attempt curb, what they call, "impulse buying".
Albuquerque's Animal Welfare officials say they see an influx of rabbits handed over to shelters this time of year. Rabbits are commonly purchased by people as gifts during Easter, only to find out they require more time and money than they had originally anticipated.
Bill Velasquez, an advocate with the New Mexico Rabbit Society, says his organization has sponsored a billboard this month to remind people that companion animals aren’t a good idea for Easter baskets. “We’re trying to encourage people to research the pet and see if it’s the right pet for their home before they run out and buy one on the weekend. That’s when we see the shelters get overcrowded after Easter.”
The city of Albuquerque enforces a penalty for returning an animal after an adoption, and officials there say the temporary freeze on rabbit adoption is necessary to avoid people leaving the animals in their backyards to fend for themselves.
Rabbit adoptions will resume in April.