BANGOR – Bunnies and baby chicks may be symbols of spring, but local animal lovers want to make sure anyone getting a pet in time for Easter knows how to take care of it – especially after the Bangor Humane Society said they’ve seen an influx in surrendered rabbits.
Folks at Blue Seal in Bangor take an extra peep at those interested in buying chicks this time of year.
“We want to make sure people want them for the right reasons and not just for Easter,” said Bill Kienia, a warehouse supervisor for the Bangor location.
They discourage customers from getting a chick or a bunny as a cute gift, without thinking about what it means to take care of the animal.
“It’s always been a stigma. That’s why they originally made a law, like you had to buy six chicks,” said Kienia.
While this is a busy time of year for chick sales, Blue Seal staff said their customers know how to take care of the chicks.
At the Bangor Humane Society though, volunteers said the number of rabbits surrendered to the shelter has tripled in the past couple years.
When our news team stopped by Easter weekend, it was one of the rare times the humane society didn’t have rabbits ready for adoption.
“It doesn’t really seem Easter specific as much as it is all year,” said Catelyn Stoddard, a volunteer and community outreach director for the Bangor Humane Society.
Volunteers said they screen potential bunny buyers more around Easter, but in general, they find people underestimate the care rabbits need.
“I do think that the misconception is that small animals are easier to work with than a dog or a cat…but rabbits especially really require a lot of handling to really be comfortable with people,” said Stoddard.
The experts said rabbits are social creatures, and don’t like being left in a cage or hutch all day.
They also require daily grooming and cleaning, and can have certain health issues that adopters might not think of.
“One thing with rabbits is they can give themselves their own heart attack when they get startled very easily…they can also break their own backs really easily too,” said Alicia Roussin, an adoption counselor and the human society’s small animal coordinator.
Volunteers feel rabbits make great pets, but in the spring and all year round, they want adopters to know what’s needed to give their furry friend a comfortable home.
And they said if any animal owner needs some help, they’re welcome to call the Bangor Humane Society.
“We always tell people before you get to that point, if you just want advice, that’s what we’re here for. Call us any time,” said Stoddard.
For any animal lovers out there, Blue Seal staff said their Bangor location will be hosting a farm day on May 4th, where local farmers bring their animals to the store’s outdoor lot.