PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – It may be tempting to give a child a bunny or dyed chick for Easter, but that may not be the best idea.

Shannon Tremblay with Animal Friends in the North Hills tells KDKA Radio, people don’t give dyed chicks much anymore. However, there’s still a problem with bunnies.

People don’t realize that rabbits need as much care and attention as dogs or cats and they aren’t good pets for young children.

“They do like to nibble, so you need to rabbit-proof your house pretty thoroughly, because wires and cords and bottom legs of furniture and even your shoes, you have to take that all into consideration,” said Tremblay.

Tremblay says bunnies are too fragile to make good pets for young children.

“We know that bunnies are cute and cuddly and provide unconditional love, but sometimes it seems people get swept up in the spirit of things and you don’t really think about the impact you will make not only on your family, but on the life of the pet,” said Tremblay.

Most people don’t realize a bunny you get at a shelter is totally different than the ones you see hopping around your backyard and will not survive if released into the wild.

“They are a totally different species that will not survive in the wild. They are a prey animal and all they’ve known their entire life is being cared for and if they are released into the wild, they have a chance of being hit by cars, picked off by other wildlife, or they would just die because of the elements. So, it’s not just something you can open your door, let them out and think that they are going to survive. Just like it would be for a dog or a cat, you can’t to that,” said Tremblay.

Tremblay adds,  if you do decide to go the route of a dyed baby chick, remember that chick will quickly grow and could become an issue for most families.

“In a few months, your gonna have a chicken on your hands, and if you don’t have the means to house that chicken properly, then your going to be wondering, ‘What do I do now?’ Because, you have to think past that cute and cuddly little fuzzy thing right in front of you and remember that it is going to grow into an adult animal,” said Tremblay.

She adds if you don’t know what to expect with a bunny or chick, many families are unpleasantly surprised, so do your research first.

Folks interested in Rabbits are encouraged to come to one of Animal Friends weekly BunRuns, where they can interact with the rabbits and become more educated before deciding to adopt.

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