Many parents want to put peeps and bunnies in their children's Easter baskets. And that's fine, as long as they're made of marshmallow and chocolate.
But every year, the Houston SPCA ends up with live animals - chicks, ducks and bunnies - that were purchased as "novelties" for Easter.
In 2012, they had to rehabilitate a bunch of baby chicks, all dyed different colors, says the SPCA's Meera Nandlal.
"These little animals came from a children's party," explained Nandlal, "where they were 'party favors' to the little children as they left and went home."
Living animals are not party favors, Nandlal stresses, and they shouldn't be given as gifts - especially to children.
After all, chicks may be cute. But they soon grow into chickens, which are prohibited in many communities. And bunnies are charming. But they are also extremely fragile creatures.
"They have a very specialized diet," said Hannah Lee. "They can get digestive distress very easily so it's important to take good care of them."
On Friday, Lee was at the SPCA adopting a Dutch rabbit named Chase. But she is looking well beyond Easter. Lee already has one rabbit and she knows how to accommodate their needs.
Nandlal says SPCA workers and volunteers can usually pick up on clues, when approached by someone with a shortsighted view of animal adoption.
"You can tell that they don't really know much about the pet," said Nandlal, "or they're not really interested in that lifetime commitment."