Stamford pet stores are hopping mad because the city has nixed their ability to sell Easter classics. Yep, stores can’t sell chicks, ducklings, and baby bunnies.
And shop owners ain’t happy. It’s not because they’re losing out on cash, but that it’s a gross overstep of authority. Fish Bowl Pets owner Tony Aversano told the Stamford Advocate,
“It’s unfortunate, because these days retail is hard enough without someone saying you can’t sell x, y or z for a period of time. […] I feel like for the most part people are looking for less government in their lives and not more.”
Aversano added that most purchases of rabbits and chicks come from responsible families.
However, the city is worried about the fraction of families that buy pets on a whim. Or on impulse. Like buying a baby bunny because it’ll look cute in their kids’ Easter baskets.
And I completely understand. I owned two rabbits: Ashley and Eleanor. And while those two mini-lops were adorable when they were babies… when they got older? They got MEAN. But, Elementary school me signed up for this. I continued caring for them despite that they loathed cuddle and brushing time.
It was my parents’ way of teaching me responsibility. And, boy, did I learn that in abundance.
Because on top of my rabbits, I helped look after a flock of 16 guinea hens.
But some families don’t stick it out for a myriad of reasons. Some families surrender animals because they know, deep down, they aren’t able to meet their pet’s needs anymore. Like, the owner is going into a nursing home. In the end, they’re doing what’s best for the pet.
Meanwhile, others give kinda crappy excuses. Because they see the pet as a burden.
My favorite excuse is “it’s too big!” It’s like people actually bought a baby animal expecting it to stay small and cute.
Like remember that teacup pig craze a few years back? The one that turned out to be a scam when all the piglets grew into big pigs? And adult pigs were surrendered to shelters in droves?
And these people are the reason why we can’t have nice things.
Stamford’s animal control officer, Tilford Cobb, weighed in on the matter:
“A lot of these people are unaware of what they are getting into. […] They don’t stay bunnies and chicks very long. These are in some cases animals that can live up to 20 years. […] In many cases, the animals end up dying or in a shelter when people realize it is more work.”
Cobb says in the months after Easter, shelters will become overwhelmed by discarded Easter pets. To him, the ban is a solid way to take the pressure off the rescue groups.
However, Aversano believes the blanket-ban won’t do any good. He thinks its unfortunate for regulated stores to be punished for the bad decisions their customers make.
And, let’s be real, if a family is so gung-ho about getting their kid a rabbit for Easter, they’ll just get one in the next town over. Putting a ban on one city out of all of Connecticut probably won’t do any good.
If anything, it’ll inconvenience the customer by punishing local stores.
So, unless the city thinks of a way to reduce impulse-buying in its residents, I don’t think much will change. The animal shelters, without fail, will see yet another swarm of abandoned Easter pets this year.
So, this is for the people itching to get a bunny or chicks for Easter because they’re a cute: Just don’t. Unless you do your research and know what you’re getting yourself into – buy a stuffed animal instead.