A former rescue buddy of mine called up my house today to say that she'd driven past her local shelter this morning (at this time of year is so hot and dangerous for animals just abandoned outside shelters). What did she find? 3 chickens in a cage! This rescue friend took them to work with her in a make-shift covered pen in her truck bed. In calling me for info (we're both more of cat rescuers, but I have a farm so she hoped I had contacts), she got a hold of my mom who said we'd take the chickens. So, chickens are on the way. More animals ...
My family just got ducks as well - baby ducks. A local kindergarten class hatched and raised them and then just started giving them away as they started to get their feathers. Since we have a lake, my dad got in touch with them and we got 2 of the 8 (I don't even know where the other 6 went). It aggravates me that the education system still takes in eggs to hatch and raise ducklings/chicks with no idea what they'll be doing with these babies when they're too big to be any more "fun".
I remember being younger and thinking that whole deal was awesome, but now that I'm older, the lack of forethought of what to do with these animals is really aggravating. These animals shouldn't just be abandoned or given up after a period of time ... what kind of message is that?! I have no objection to classroom pets, but they should be taken care of by the teacher throughout the pet's lifetime and during the school year, whether in the class or taken home by students over the weekends to be cared for. I know not everyone will agree with me, but that's my opinion. I think animals in the classroom can be a wonderful experience and great way to teach responsibility, but only when that responsibility is actually honored!
“I hope to make people realize how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must that we will be kind and take care of their needs... [They] are an obligation put on us, a responsibility we have no right to neglect, nor to violate by cruelty.” –James Herriot