April 18, 2019

Animals and Easter

Easter is a great time of year. In theory, at least, winter is over and the weather is finally warming up. Sometimes we start to see some green on the ground. And with all of this, people start to get into a better mood, me included. It’s a great time of year for me, but is it for animals?


Wildlife are the most likely to suffer at Easter.  Hungry animals are more likely to have conflicts with humans, and as always with human/wildlife conflict, animals almost always lose. If it gets warm enough, early enough, birthing season will begin. Well-meaning people will needlessly remove newborns and juveniles from their nests when parents are actually quite near, and many of these young animals will not survive. 


Like for humans, Easter can be a great time for pets.  Time off and the advent of warmer weather means your dog is likely getting a longer walk and more outdoor fun than he was when it was 40 below in January. If you have built a safe outdoor structure for your cat, this may be the opening weekend. My always-safe-indoors cat certainly enjoys the wildlife from the window in spring.

But the holiday itself can present some additional dangers for pets. Chocolate, some artificial sweeteners, holiday decorations, and many flowers and plants are on the list of hazards that may be more likely to be a temptation to pets at Easter.


There is a pervasive view that thousands of people buy live bunnies for their children at Easter and abandon them several months later. This may have been the case, but thankfully it appears, at the OHS at least, this phenomenon has largely ended. When I look at the OHS intake statistics, yes, there is a small uptick in bunny admissions in the summer months, but there is an even bigger uptick in admissions of all animals, especially dogs and cats in the same period.

Please don’t revive the trend of bunnies as Easter gifts. Like at any time of the year, only adopt a pet once you have considered her needs for her lifetime. And always adopt from a reputable source — a humane society or a group such as Rabbit Rescue. Otherwise, stick to a chocolate bunny. 

We can all have a happy Easter, animals and humans. And that is what I wish for you and for them.

Bruce Roney

President and CEO