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Home / Easter tips

LAAS gives advice for pet safety during Easter holiday

On the eve of Easter Sunday, the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services reminded pet owners Saturday about the hazards of holiday decorations, including baskets of candy, chocolate and toys that may be harmful to furry family members.

LAAS offered the following tips:

— The Easter basket. Pets often see this festive decor as something to eat or play with. Colorful eggs, plastic grass, chocolate and candy can be toxic to pets if they are eaten. To keep pets safe, place baskets filled with goodies out of reach. If you plan on doing an egg hunt with children, keep pets indoors and away from the plastic eggs.

— Beware of festive flowers and plants. Easter lilies are one of the most dangerous plants for pets, especially cats. Call your veterinarian immediately if you see your cat licking the flower.

— Keep alcohol and people’s food away from pets. Dogs, cats and smaller pets can suffer very serious and sometimes fatal consequences from consuming too much rich and fatty foods, yeast dough, chocolate, grapes, raisins and from just plain overeating. Instead of giving your companion animal leftovers, stop by a pet store and purchase a special treat, made especially for them.

— Don’t buy animals as impulsive gifts for the holiday. Although bunnies and baby chicks are cute, they should not be given as Easter gifts. Bunnies and chicks require special feedings and care, and their needs should be fully researched before bringing one home. Before adopting a rabbit, please view the department’s rabbit care resource guide at laanimalservices.com/all-about-rabbits.

That last message is also stressed each year by domestic rabbit rescue groups, who see an increase in abandoned animals after Easter when the novelty wears off and families realize they’re not equipped to properly care for the pets.

“Every year, we scream from the top of our lungs that bunnies don’t make good Easter gifts, and still, those reminders go unheeded,” Lejla Hadzimuratovic, founder and president of Bunny World Foundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that has rescued thousands of unwanted rabbits from shelters and owner surrenders since its founding in 2008, told City News Service in 2022.

“Typically bought on a whim as a toy for a child, (bunnies) often live a desolate life in the corner of a filthy cage without enrichment until they are abandoned to a shelter or die of neglect,” Hadzimuratovic added.

“Every year, we receive numerous reports of bunnies who were bought for Easter and then discarded once their cuteness or novelty wore off, which is why we adamantly advocate against buying live animals as Easter gifts,” PETA’s Catie Cryar told CNS.

Instead, rescue groups and animal control officials recommend buying a stuffed toy bunny or chocolate candy rabbit for kids’ Easter baskets.

More information can be found at info@bunnyworldfoundation.org, or www.peta.org/features/reasons-never-buy-bunny/.

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