A Look Back at 2022…
The Rabbitats Rescue Society facilitated taking 203 rabbits in 2022, including rabbits taken directly out of the environment (trap, neuter and contain), their offspring born in our shelters and unwanted rabbits surrendered to the rescue. 141 came directly into our care.
Rabbits were removed from 63 unique locations in and around Richmond, Vancouver, Langley, Mission, Abbotsford, Burnaby, Surrey, Delta, Coquitlam, North Vancouver and Whistler with several seeing multiple visits.
We sterilized 205 rabbits in 2022 between three spay/neuter clinics supported by the BC SPCA who donated their hospital facilities for several weekends, and our regular vet appointments.
We successfully solicited multiple volunteer vets and techs to run the clinics. We tasked our rabbit-experienced veterinary professionals with teaching those less experienced, in order to expand the currently lacking pool of rabbit-knowledgeable vets and techs.
Rabbitats maintained its shelter in Richmond as well as a small network of sanctuaries and micro-sanctuaries around the Lower Mainland. In 2022 an estimated 500 rabbits were in our care. Even though we spent most of the year without a Volunteer Coordinator, we had 470 people fill in volunteer questionnaires with roughly 100 of those retained..
The Bunny Cafe, opened as an adoption center in mid-2021, has facilitated a total of over 120 adoptions, an estimated 300% increase from pre-Bunny Cafe numbers. Another half-dozen or more were adopted directly from our shelter. Two small colonies were also adopted out to farm sanctuaries.
We staged numerous awareness events. We represented the rabbits nationally at the virtual 2022 Humane Canada Summit for the Animals. We hosted 104 small Meet n Treats and four large two-day events including our Easter Bunny Fest and a special educational Moon Rabbit Festival. We also participated in the London Farm Family Day and the giant Pet Lovers Show at the PNE in Vancouver.
We published the 50-page Rabbitats Guide to Sanctuary Rescue to teach and encourage others to trap, neuter and contain loose domestic rabbits.
The society continued to operate www.abandonedrabbits.com for identification and mapping with over 700 reports made to the website. Of those, 80% were from the Lower Mainland, 15% from BC, and 5% elsewhere in North America.
Occurrences of the Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus were also tracked on the map, and our Facebook-based Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease News Network group provided further information and awareness.
Our team of volunteers put together seven vaccine clinics or sanctuary visits in 2022 to prevent the illness in 1050 rabbits. We donated 450 vaccine doses to four other rescues in Alberta, Abbotsford, the Okanagan and Vancouver Island.
Rabbitats raised $175,286.57 in donations and grants, $72,019.66 in fundraisers, $41,821.07 in sales and $15,000 from the Bunny Cafe.
We continued with no paid staff other than minimal honorariums and project coordination fees most often covered by grants.
Our major costs included $54,036.49 on vet fees, $73,856.13 on rabbit food, $41,969.61 on rent. Other expenses included software, construction supplies, and administration.
Recovery from the Covid problems has been slow but much progress was made in 2022. The labour market improved as did volunteer interest. Our intake was under control (141 rabbits vs 412 in 2020). Our old bunnies continue to live longer than expected, but attrition and adoptions saw decreases in rabbit numbers and construction and additional fosters saw slight increases in capacities. Our funding also increased.
Year of the Rabbit, here we come!