Live Easter basket goodies can pose a problem

April 18, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 8 a.m. April 18, 2011

Easter baskets full of goodies make for a time-honored tradition, but bunnies, chicks and ducklings do not always belong.

Regional Animal Services of King County is asking residents to think before including live animals in Easter baskets.

“Young animals are often given as pets this time of year,” Ken Nakatsu, Regional Animal Services manager, said in a release. “While they are cute and cuddly as babies, they eventually grow up. Pets require a long-term commitment to proper care and feeding. Too often those adult rabbits, chickens and ducks end up in shelters or worse.”

Instead of buying a live chick or bunny for a child, consider giving a stuffed animal for Easter. Or parents could also set up a trip a petting zoo or farm to see animals in a more natural setting.

People should also be aware of the salmonella risk in birds.

“Many birds, like chickens and ducks, carry salmonella,” he added. “These bacteria can make people very sick,” Nakatsu said. “Every spring, there are a number of children who catch salmonella after receiving a chick or duckling for Easter.”

Check out the Regional Animal Services shelter in Kent if considering pet adoption. The shelter is open from 3-6 p.m. Monday, noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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