Rabbitats will be staging a RHD vaccine clinic for all Rabbitats fosters, adopters and volunteers on Friday (Oct. 19) from 5 pm to 6:30 pm at the Little Paws Animal Clinic in Steveston. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or join our group if you have an unvaccinated rabbit. We will be able to do at least 40 rabbits, once we have our own rabbits taken care of (we have less than 40) we can open it up to other rabbits, however the costs at this time are unknown, we have to consult with Little Paws. (The charges at previous clinics have been around $40). Keep in touch via our group! While the RHDV2 virus has been inactive since the summer, history dictates it can reoccur at any time in any location, we STRONGLY recommend vaccinations for all rabbits.
Welcome to our world. Although we have the province of BC claiming the rabbits ARE wildlife so we’re trying to convince them their claim comes with responsibility. But it’s been tough. The ongoing game called ‘Punt the Bunnies’. https://www.seattletimes.com/…/cannon-beach-no-one-has-res…/
Thanks so much to SARC (Surrey Animal Resource Centre) for taking in what appeared to be a single cute bunny only to be hit with a whole family! This girl was spotted and caught in Surrey by a volunteer who took her into to SARC. We just heard she gave birth the next day. And now the (presumed) daddy has been caught. If anybody has ever entertained the idea of hosting a colony of cuties, now’s your chance. Bunnies are so enjoyable when they come in a ‘fluffle’. Give SARC a call!
More latter, just wanted to let everybody know Tigger is doing well. He’s still at the Little Paws Animal Clinic being well taken care of by Dr. Adam and Diana. Thanks to all who donated. (More on that later too!)
We have a bunny emergency. Somebody found an abandoned rabbit with a broken leg, they couldn’t find anywhere to take the poor thing (the agencies supposedly mandated to do this apparently can’t or won’t), so they called us and we couldn’t say no. The rabbit is at the Little Paws Animal Clinic in Richmond (Steveston) and will be having surgery when we get everything in place. Dr. Avitan will be giving us an awesome deal but we still need to fundraise to cover the costs and we’ll need a special needs foster home for this rabbit.
Our YouCaring fundraising account has been deleted (!) as they transition to GoFundMe (which doesn’t take Paypal) so funds can go through Rabbitats’ email address (email@example.com) for both Paypal and e-transfers, or contact Little Paws to put a payment on our account (604-241-7387). The Donate button on our Facebook page links to our website (rabbitats.org) donate page which also takes credit cards.
Please donate if you can. We’re already stretched to the max.
We’re on the front page of the Richmond News today. There’s an editorial on Page 3 and a story on Pages 30 and 31. It’s very accurate.
Note 1: We’re not asking for a city-run sanctuary, we’re only looking for enough support to allow us to help the rabbits, however, under the current provincial government rules, if the City (or RAPS) took in rabbits, they would have to run a sanctuary. The rabbits are still considered wildlife and while we are all allowed to trap and possess them, the rules prohibit any of us from transferring them elsewhere. The rabbit issues in BC directly relate to the failure of governments to control them in the first place, and the governments are still making the problem worse.
Note 2: Rabbitats does not support a lethal cull, but the rabbits need to be controlled, and getting the governments on board with that is the first step. Redirecting the funds from lethal to rescue is the next step. The budgets exist be they from redirecting the funds currently spent on repairing the damage to landscaping or redirecting the funds proposed to pay to staff or wildlife control companies.
Rabbits in Richmond and Beyond
Wednesday, May 23 at 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Cambie Community Centre
2800 Cambie Road, Richmond, British Columbia V6V 0A9
Rabbitats will be hosting a free community meeting to address the hundreds (if not thousands) of abandoned pet rabbits and their feral offspring populating almost every neighbourhood in Richmond and moving into new areas every day. They are gaining strong footholds in Burnaby, Surrey, Delta, Langley, Mission, Chilliwack and other areas as well.
The meeting will address the reasons for the rabbit population, the laws and responsibilities and the difficulties people face when they have or find unwanted pet rabbits and suggest solutions.
We will also provide information on ‘habits of the rabbits’, tips on rabbit-proofing gardens and flower beds, and an update on the current status of the Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus and how it affects the feral, pet and farm populations among other topics.
RSVP here –> https://www.facebook.com/events/1899533683400394/
Rabbitats has been trying to address the Vegas issue and help them out for awhile, but we didn’t have a lot of information and we’ve been time challenged with some of our own issues. Now I see there were some important things we could have advised on, so sorry we dropped that ball.
When the Rabbitats founder (Sorelle) worked on the UVic rescue (903 rescued and relocated) and the Richmond Auto Mall rescue (300+ rescued and relocated) we learned it was imperative to clear the areas in a grid so that ALL the rabbits in any given area were removed. Any rabbits wandering into that area were then easy to spot and catch before they started families. Picking up numbers of random rabbits did not work. I’m sure the rescuers are now realizing this, given how the poisoning issue spurred the successful removal of most of that dump site’s rabbits.
We also operated on the premise that it was the property’s responsibility to cover the costs they would have spent regardless to remove the rabbits. The same issue happened at UVic with the University trying to send a budget to a rescue who was unsuccessful at making a dent, and people only stepped forward to donate when there was a lethal cull.
We approached the landowners with proposals that quoted the costs of lethal removal by pest control companies and the costs of landscaping repairs. We asked for these budgets to be re-allocated to rescue and they complied. Fundraising made up the difference.
The other failings were based in the rescuers trying to rehome the rabbits as house bunnies. While we did rehome the recently dumped rabbits to pet homes, the rest were rounded up, sterilized and placed in secure, predator proof and escape proof colonies in rural locations. With this method we were able to house dozens to hundreds at once, the enclosures were cheap to build and our designs made for very low maintenance. The rabbits can be very cheap to feed considering they were well able to survive on the natural foods in their environment before. Grass, hay, tree branches, bushes, etc, provide very low cost feed.
It is very possible to control these rabbits when it’s done correctly. It’s just been a learning curve.
Once the existing colonies are rounded up and new arrivals controlled, the pet rabbit world needs to address how to close off the supply with the municipalities including rabbits in their animal control programs (the same as cats and dogs), strict rules and regulations about breeding, spays/neuters, pet shop sales, etcetera. This is really not the overwhelming problem it appears to be.
Thanks to a very generous donation that surprised us yesterday, we now have enough to pay for all our rabbits. (And thanks SO much not only to our anonymous donor, but to all of you who helped!) If you’re part of our foster, volunteer or colony adoption program, we’re putting together the lists and locations. It’s going to be a huge coordination task, so please be patient! Our most at-risk rabbits will be done first, and that will be the colony rabbits in high traffic areas and those outdoors. House rabbits are not at much of a risk at this time especially those far away from Richmond. We will be helping out our active volunteers caring for our colonies sooner than later, but others will depend on logistics. We need to vaccinate in groups of 45 to 50. Another shipment will be in by the end of May, we will be ordering as much as will be affordable. If you haven’t already been in contact with Deanna, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or post a message on the Rabbitats page. People with small numbers of rabbits will need top opening carriers or other containers, we will not be taking the rabbits out of their carrying cases. If you don’t have one, please borrow one if you can. Also, please keep your eye on thrift stores, etcetera. We won’t want hay, food or bowls with the bunnies, just a towel in the bottom of the case will suffice. More info as we get this organized.
Kudos to the East Coast Rabbit Rescue for rounding up these rabbits. The ferals really need to be controlled. Aside from the other dangers out there they can catch and spread the RHD virus if it comes to the States. (Which is looking more likely given the outbreak here in Canada).