Every year, domesticated ducks and geese are found abandoned in ponds and lakes. All domesticated animals are dependent on humans for food, water, shelter, veterinary care and love.
Most of these ducks and geese are discarded “pets” from Easter or school hatching projects. Most are flightless. They do not join up with wild birds nor can they fly away. They stay where they were abandoned and are killed by predators or starvation or strangle in fishing line. People may toss them bread, but bread is not adequate nourishment — these birds can starve to death on a diet of bread, which often creates external and internal deformities, such as “angel wing,” causing the bones in the wing to develop too quickly.
During our brutal winters when temperatures plummet, pond water freezes and these domesticated ducks and geese die of thirst. Without proper shelter, they freeze.
Dumping domesticated ducks and geese is cruel, illegal and punishable by New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Statute 4:22-20. People can be charged up to a $1,000 fine.
Please, this Easter, get a “pet” in the form of candy or a toy. Please ask your child’s school to not hatch out birds and release them at parks and ponds.