Last year several of us looked with dread upon the upcoming dump-a-thon that we knew would be following Easter. So we encouraged each other to write letters to the editor and otherwise publish information explaining how cruel it is to dump animals. I'd like to bring this up again, along with the same confession I made last year - I have made impulse purchases. I have made many mistakes in my life. So I am not pretending to be on higher moral ground than anyone. At the same time, it rips my heart to see so many abandoned former pets unable to fend for themselves, injured, sick, dying, fearful. I don't want this thought lost: those of you who want to add to your flock or start one, might seriously consider rescues. Have a quarantine pen if you are adding, and get them checked for parasites and disease before incorporating them. But I doubt many will have anything that cannot be treated fairly easily. So. Here is the text of a letter to the editor I intend to send out this week. Feel free to use it, edit it to make it your own, improve it and send it out. Spring is coming! Chicks, kits (baby rabbits), and ducklings may be a tempting purchase. Please do not get any of these little animals if you plan to release them to fields, ponds or forests when you feel they are too big or too messy or too much trouble or no longer cute and cuddly. To leave a pet in a pond, woods, or by the side of the road is cruel. Domestic animals cannot protect or feed themselves. They may die quickly, eaten by predators, or they may starve or freeze to death. Some die in agony from infections or disease or torture. It is awful. If you will not abandon these small animals, do thorough homework before you take them home. Use information available online, in print, and from qualified local individuals and organizations. They have specific needs. If you are good with animals and have the appropriate safe space, adopt rescued animals. Many were raised as pets and then dumped. They need a decent home where they are well cared for and protected. Please don’t bring home young animals only to abandon them to a cruel fate. That’s not what this season is about.