SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - If you plan to go out and buy bunnies or other little animals for your family this Easter weekend, you may want to weigh all of your options before adding them to your family.
WTOC spoke with an exotic animal hospital Friday, and workers there say having these types of animals seems cute for a holiday weekend, but in reality, it's at least a 10-year commitment.
It's important to know that bunnies and other animals that are purchased during Easter need proper care after Easter as well.
It's always fun and an exciting thing to get a new animal especially for children. However, when animals like rabbits and chicks are purchased, there is also a long-term commitment that goes along with caring for those animals.
Stacey Wilkinson of Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital says one of the biggest issues they see around this time are medical problems relating to people not knowing how to care for those animals.
According to The Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital of Georgia, one in 10 of the baby rabbits, chicks, and ducklings purchased for Easter make it to their first birthday.
"Every year, there are people who decide that they can't keep their rabbit or don't want to keep their rabbit and instead of maybe doing the responsible thing and finding a home for it, people let them go in the wild, and domestic rabbits are not the same as wild cottontails," Wilkinson said.
Normally, when the animal hospitals finally get the animals from the wild, they see things like fleas, ticks, internal parasites, or even bodily harm from predators.
While most stores around the area are already sold out of bunnies, veterinarians want to stress that they are more than just temporary pets.
"We really want you to know what you are getting yourself into before you buy a rabbit. Don't buy one just because it's cute. We want you to get it because we want it to be a lifelong companion for you and your family," Wilkinson said.
So, make sure you think long-term before buying bunnies or chicks as pets this Easter.