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What to do with unwanted Easter pets in San Diego

Easter has come and gone in San Diego, but that often means the end for many chicks, ducklings, and rabbits that were used in Easter celebrations. Many people abandon Easter pets often because of lack of information as to where they can take them. Or, they think they will do fine on their own. These animals are all prey animals and abandoning them means that they will become food for predators. Most of these animals do not have the instincts to survive either because those instincts were bred out of them or because they were raised by humans.

Easter ducklings
Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Here are some suggestions of where and who to contact in San Diego if you can’t keep your Easter pet:

San Diego Humane Society: Contrary to popular belief, the local San Diego County animal shelters are mostly no-kill. That means that no healthy, adoptable animal will be euthanized. They will take in all domestic animals. The only caveat is that they have specific requirements as to what is adoptable. They will return an animal to its original owner upon request if the animal is considered non-adoptable. You can contact the shelter at 619-299-7012, ext 2241 or 2242 to see if they will take your pet

House Rabbit Society of San Diego: The HRS does NOT take in rabbits, but work with the shelters to adopt and educate rabbit owners. This organization will help rabbit owners learning to care for their pet and make life easier for rabbit and owner. They also have resources on how to promote your rabbit to get it a new home. You can visit their website at for resources and contact information.

Advertising for homes: Many people are able to find new homes through sites like and There are several sites that will advertise domestic animals, especially farm animals, for free or low cost. These include and Adopters should be screened as not all new homes are safe for these animals.

Sadly, many local rescues are full with roosters and waterfowl. Winged Wonders, for example, usually takes in such birds but are too full. Other private rescuers also say that they’re full. Please do not insist on leaving your pet at these places. For any place that accepts your animals, consider making a donation to help them out. Many organizations are beyond capacity.

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