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Just Sayin’: Chicks, rabbits require lots of care

Chicks require commitment, but many are illegally discarded

Chicks require commitment, but many are illegally discarded after Easter. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto / alptraum

Sadly, thousands of rabbits, chicks and ducklings are purchased every year and given as whimsical Easter gifts, only to be dumped after their owners realize the commitment of taking care of them or their children lose interest.

After cats and dogs, rabbits are the species most often surrendered to shelters, and 80 percent of shelter rabbits are abandoned Easter gifts. Many are euthanized. To release a domestic rabbit outdoors is a sure death sentence and inhumane. The same goes for chicks and ducks. Fowl abandonment is a crime in New York.

Rabbits need as much care as a dog or a cat. Litter boxes need to be changed, cages cleaned, and rabbits fed, watered and exercised. They are highly social and require time and attention from their owners. They should live indoors as members of the family. And since their life expectancy is 10 to 12 years, they are a long-term commitment. Ducks can live up to 10 years and chickens eight to 10 years.

In the right circumstances, rabbits make amazing pets, but not for very young children.

JoAnn Winkhart, Nesconset

Editor’s note: The writer is a volunteer with The Humane Society of the United States.

Be aware of NY’s $600 tax threshold for slots

Empire Resorts Inc. has finally opened Resorts World Catskills in Monticello. It’s been predicted that many New Yorkers who previously went to the Foxwoods Resort Casino or Mohegan Sun in Connecticut will now head to the Catskills.

However, before they change directions, New Yorkers should be reminded that casinos regulated by the New York Lottery require individuals to pay taxes on winnings exceeding $600. In Connecticut, federal law applies, and $1,200 is the reportable threshold for slot-machine winnings.

For a long time, many New Yorkers went to Connecticut to play slots. Then when I and many others began to try casinos in New York State, we had the unpleasant surprise of being handed tax forms for slot winnings of more than $600. This applies to casinos regulated by the New York Lottery, such as the new casino in the Catskills.

New Yorkers and people from other states should know that there is a big tax difference.

Richard T. DeVito, Long Beach