Thank you so much to our volunteers and supporters for such a productive 2021… against all odds!
Rabbitats is making a difference, thanks to you!
We must say, 2021 was exhausting!
By the end of April we had already been called out to rescue 121 rabbits, the majority of them injured adults and newborn babies. Many sadly could not be saved but we still ended the year with 200+ survivors.
With support from the City of Richmond, the BCSPCA, RAPS and a wonderfully large group of volunteer vets and assistants we got them sterilized, microchipped and vaccinated.
Weather obstacles were huge with the extended heat wave making some spaces unusable, and the storms taking out two other spaces while delaying construction on others but the rabbits all stayed safe.
We said goodbye to some of our aging bunnies, including Olaf, our longtime event star.
On the good news side, we completed our comprehensive Guide to Sanctuary Rescue, funded by the Animal Welfare Foundation Canada, and Vancouver Foundation allowed Rabbitats to explore a detailed path for systemic change to the rabbit education, rescue and control landscape.
COVID has us behind on a Richmond Community Fund educational initiative as it was focused on community meetings, but we will be moving forward, likely with programming changes, in the new year.
A small Community Gaming Grant is allowing us to promote and expand all these initiatives.
The Bunny Café, in partnership with Rabbitats and Catfe, finally opened in June but with reduced capacity and without the coffee bar, which should be added early this year.
We found a great deal on a 12’ x 40’ mobile trailer, we’ve been renovating and adding rabbits as we go. It will also house an infirmary.
And we received a generous donation of a large new shed and run and assistance with the construction of several portable enclosures. (They’re almost finished!)
The new year is seeing great new people joining Rabbitats. Some key supporters, including two board members, found 2021 to be a challenge with jobs, school and life and are stepping back, but many new coordinators and other volunteers are stepping up. Our 2021 AGM has been pushed back to late January, 2022, to acclimatize the new personnel.
We have some very exciting new projects confirmed for this year. A grant from the CanFel Foundation will support spay/neuter initiatives for owned rabbits to help prevent accidental litters.
A sizable grant from Pet-Valu will help convert our tour bus into a proper mobile shelter and education centre. This will also allow us to set up a mobile headquarters when we conduct large rescues.
The Vancouver International Airport had been quietly culling their abandoned domestic rabbit population before a public outcry ground that to a halt. We are negotiating to save their remaining rabbits, a project expected to be underway by mid-January if all goes well.
We’re hoping to step-up our mapping project with a citizen science initiative, and we’re really hoping for grants that support operational costs.
Rabbitats will be focusing on a space hunt in 2022. We do not have a long-term lease for our current Richmond property, making it difficult to expand the rabbit housing so we’re on the lookout for a suitable farm property to lease.
We are currently finalizing space for several satellite sanctuaries and outreach for more will be prioritized.
Fundraising for vet care will be critical — even with our low-cost clinics sterilizing over 40 rabbits in December, our vet bills still totalled $8,500 for the month.
We are expecting to lose more of our South Surrey sanctuary rabbits, as most were trapped between 2012 and 2014, so they’re getting pretty old.
We also need to prioritize vaccinations as the deadly rabbit virus, RHDV2, is spreading throughout North America and is expected to hit BC anytime.
Rabbit advocacy highlighting the plight of the rabbits, negotiating with governments and planting seeds for new laws is sorely needed in 2022. Rabbitats was conceived in the Year of the Rabbit 2011 with a goal of major strides for rabbit rescue by Year of the Rabbit, 2023. We can accomplish this with your continuing support.
Your support so far has been stellar! The bunnies can’t thank you enough!
Founder & President