With Easter right around the corner, many observers are looking forward to getting a basket full of bunnies and chicks - but hopefully only those of the chocolate and marshmallow variety.
This year, the U.S. Humane Society and other animal rights advocates are urging those celebrating Easter to stick with peeps and chocolate rabbits, rather than giving out live animals as gifts, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Essentially, the advocates warn that these animals demand a level of pet care that most people are unaware of, and unable to provide, causing them to abandon the new pets shortly after the holiday.
"People often don't realize the level of commitment that these animals require," Adam Goldfarb, director of the Pets at Risk program for the Human Society, told the news source.
He added, "The animals that people associate with Easter, like chicks and baby rabbits, have very specific social and nutritional needs."
In fact, about 85 percent of rabbits given to children on Easter are sent to shelters, turned loose in the wild or neglected, says the San Francisco Chronicle.
Typical care for rabbits requires open spaces, access to Timothy hay or hay pellets, chew toys, water bowls, fruits, vegetables and a large time commitment, according to the Humane Society.