Ducklings Found Dumped Just Weeks After Easter

Ducklings Found Dumped Just Weeks After Easter

Upstate New York Rescue Underscores Problem of Buying Live Animals as Gifts

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – May 24, 2011 – Just one month after Farm Sanctuary ( issued an appeal urging families not to buy live bunnies, ducklings, or chicks as Easter gifts for their children, a woman in Elmira, New York has found a belated Easter surprise: six adorable ducklings huddled together in her backyard. Their discovery is actually “right on time,” says Susie Coston, national shelter director for the farm animal protection organization whose New York and California shelters see a surge in the number of people looking to find homes for unwanted animals immediately following Easter.

“This happens every year,” says Coston. “Living, breathing animals are bought impulsively as Easter gifts and then dumped into the wild or left at shelters when the reality of their ongoing care settles in. It is a very sad and entirely preventable situation, which is why we work so hard to discourage people from purchasing these animals in the first place.”

Every year, hundreds of baby chickens, ducks, and rabbits find their way into Easter baskets, but they grow quickly, and interest in them is often lost as the novelty wears off. As a result, animals unequipped to fend for themselves in the wild end up starving to death or being killed by predators, as likely would have been the fate of the six Pekin ducklings found in Upstate New York had Farm Sanctuary not immediately come to their rescue. “We urge parents to show their children that animals deserve love when they’re all grown up just as much as when they were babies,” says Coston. “They can do that by sponsoring an animal in need for their children rather than buying one.”

Farm Sanctuary sponsorships provide year-round care for rescued animals in a setting where they can enjoy freedoms difficult to provide in households, such as the space necessary to exercise their natural behaviors and the ability to socialize with others of the same species.

“These ducklings are the lucky ones,” says Coston. “Most animals bought for Easter do not get a happy ending.”

To sponsor an animal in need or make a donation to the EMERGENCY RESCUE FUND, which makes rescues such as this one possible, please visit, call 607-583-2225 ext. 221, or mail payment to: Farm Sanctuary, P.O. Box 150, Watkins Glen, NY 14891.

Note to media: If you would like to receive images of the adorable rescued ducklings or speak with Farm Sanctuary’s National Shelter Director, Susie Coston, please contact Meredith Turner at or 646-369-6212.

About Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the “food animal” industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at or by calling 607-583-2225.