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Not Just 4 Easter,animal advocates urge against purchasing bunnies or chicks as gifts

The "Not Just For Easter" organization utilizes marketing like this graphic to help spread their message.

With Easter just a few days away advocates across the nation and local rescues are ramping up efforts to protect critters like bunnies and chicks.

A national campaign and organization called “Not just 4 Easter” has been protesting, and spreading the message that these particular animals are not just toys, for weeks ahead of the annual spring holiday.

The group is based out of Florida and aiding other animal advocates with marketing and outreach. They’re active in their surrounding area with community engagement, education, fundraising, petitions and protest.

The organization described online as "A global movement by Space Coast Animal Rights that began in 2015 with the goal to end the giving of live animals as Easter gifts."

Other advocates and local groups and rescues sharing the same message and concerns with the annual Spring holiday in the borderland.

Stick House Sanctuary, a wildlife rescue and rehabilitator, told KFOX14 every year they receive several chicks and bunnies who were purchased as Easter gifts and no longer wanted or abandoned at parks and other areas around the city.

Julie Morales, director of the sanctuary, said they’ve already received calls about abandoned critters ahead of the holiday and yearly take in over 50 chicks and bunnies. To help remind people these animals aren’t toys, Morales applied for a grant through Not Just 4 Easter to help market the message with a billboard. The sanctuary was awarded the grant and a digital billboard can be seen on I-10 eastbound near the downtown area.

Advocates stress anyone interested in adopting or purchasing a bunny or chick consider the commitment and needs of the animals and highly encourage they are not purchased as holiday gifts.

These critters have special needs and on average can live up to 10 years.

If you are interested in adopting or would like more information, contact Stick House Sanctuary.

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