We’re back in our old headquarters for this year’s event! Thanks to the OpenRoad Auto Group for letting us use their awesome garage again!
We are entering 2016 with a newly expanded sanctuary in South Surrey, a big new shed, and a rescue project about to wrap!
We now have space for all the rabbits at our Richmond shelter who don’t get adopted, and thankfully there are hardly any more loose outside. We also have space for storage. HUGE thanks (as always) to Joe Stefanich for his construction assistance and to Kathy Lucier for so ably managing all the volunteers and rabbit care.
We’re extremely happy with the sanctuary template implemented at the South Surrey location. The sanctuary set-up is proving to be as low maintenance as we hoped, and it was built within our very tight budget.
Roughly 100 rabbits will ultimately reside there living a happy, stress-free life in a safe, natural environment. At the moment we have 80 rabbits and more to come in the spring. The space includes one barn area and a large, now-covered outside area divided into temporary sections until the rest of the Richmond rabbits are added in the spring.
Altogether Rabbitats has taken in and rehomed over 200 rescued rabbits over the last two years, some in the main sanctuary, some in smaller, self-sustaining colonies elsewhere, and yet others in private homes.
Thank you to all who helped in 2015, we couldn’t have done this without you!
We have a number of options for the future based on the success of this project, so please stay with us!
We need a roll of special wire to finish the South Surrey sanctuary expansion. It’s going to cost close to $300 CDN, but we can use it for other rabbitats or the next sanctuary as well. The Richmond Auto Mall will order it for us if we can raise the funds, so PLEASE if you can make a donation to the Richmond Auto Mall Cares Fund, we’ll put it to good use! Just use the ‘Donate’ button on the left side of the page if you can help!
This is the stuff we use on the ground, and we wouldn’t recommend anything else for rabbit enclosures. https://www.wireclothman.com/shop.php?cPath=31
Vira, the dutch-marked Flemish Giant we found dumped near the Richmond Auto Mall a year and a half ago, has had a reoccurring persistent infection in her foot for the past year leaving our vet no recourse but to do a partial amputation October 19. In spite of her unknown age, mild heart murmur and other problems, she came through the surgery just fine. Huge thanks to Dr. Joseph Martinez at the Little Paws Animal Hospital in Richmond, BC!
Rabbitats volunteers have been busy this past summer putting a roof on our outdoor South Surrey sanctuary. The rabbits had their warm and dry houses (courtesy of ‘Uncle Joe’ Stefanich) but now the volunteers will be more comfortable, too. Thanks so much to Dawn Hurwitz for buying us the roofing sheets, Uncle Joe and Robb for heading up the project, and Kathy and Ed Lucier, Hans, Dave and Jeremy for lending a hand!
Rabbitats and the Semiahmoo Animal League Inc, an organization that marries at-risk animals and at-risk kids, joined forces to build an indoor/outdoor ‘rabbitat’ at SALI’s Farm in south Surrey, and on April 11th we brought our beloved ‘meat’ colony to the facility and introduced them to their new home.
The colony consists of the rest of our rabbits rescued from a breeder who was shutting down a terribly abusive operation — Mopsy (aka Grandma), Luna, Nippers and Houdini – as well as three of Richmond Auto Mall bunny Joan Jett’s grown up babies – Roo, Rolo and Buzz Buzz — and West, an owner-surrender who bonded with this group. We were both happy and sad to say goodbye to our awesome shelter colony who entertained us so beautifully for much of the past year. It was hard letting go, but they have gone to the most awesome home ever.
This was exactly the kind of project Rabbitats was set up to do. We have to thank Keryn, Chris and especially Jane for not only letting us build a ‘rabbitat’ there, but also for doing almost all of the work!!! (It wasn’t planned that way but their volunteers are amazing!) We will miss our bunnies terribly, although they’re not far from our Surrey shelter, so we can still visit, and of course we’ll be helping out when we can. (We’re still working on building the outside run for the guys, so we’d love to see some more Rabbitats volunteers involved, hint hint!)
Here’s a video of the bunnies arrival. They settled right in!
Rabbitville at the Richmond Auto Mall is being dismantled as the rescued rabbits prepare to move to their new homes.
April 17th, 2014 — This weekend’s Easter Bunny Fest at the Richmond Auto Mall will be the public’s last chance to see the dozens of Richmond Auto Mall rabbits at home in scenic ‘Rabbitville’.
Families are invited to interact with the rabbits in their little villages and learn about their needs in our indoor/outdoor areas from 11 AM to 3 PM on Saturday and Sunday.
Rabbitats is also staging its final garage sale at the Auto Mall location and offering a myriad of items, many of them free or by gratefully-accepted donations, including pet supplies, furniture, housewares, knickknacks, jewellery and more.
Easter baskets, treats, cards and other Easter-themed items will be on hand as well.
Rabbitville is a rescue prototype designed for easy maintenance and the rabbits’ comfort and security and to allow gentle interaction between the rabbits and humans. We hope to share these designs with city shelters, schools, hobby farms, petting zoos and other venues housing rabbits in traditional hutches and cages.
The rabbit rescue at the Richmond Auto Mall has been a resounding success. We received overwhelming support from volunteers, sponsors and of course the Richmond Auto Mall itself.
Only a small handful of rabbits remain on the Auto Mall property.
The dozens of rabbits (just under 100) who have been housed at the current ‘Rabbitville’ location — an unused Auto Mall garage — are a mix of abandoned bunnies trapped at the Auto Mall and others brought in by the general public. They are being transported to new homes before the end of the month along with the components of their villages.
A small colony will remain at the Auto Mall until we receive permission from the government to move them (and the remaining loose rabbits), but they will not be accessible to the public. The rescue has been hampered by the provincial government’s laws and policies that designate domestic rabbits ‘wildlife’ as soon as they’re abandoned and not contained. People are allowed to trap and kill the rabbits but they are not allowed to trap and possess them without a permit.
To date they have only issued a permit to rehome the rabbits to a sanctuary in the US, something that is proving difficult. Most of the rabbits are too small for the sanctuary — the Auto Mall rabbits are mostly dwarf breed mixes — and the American rabbit rescuers are resenting the importation of more homeless rabbits when they have enough of their own to fill the spaces.
Although Rabbitats has had numerous offers from acreages, hobby farms, businesses, institutions and other destinations willing to take 10 rabbits or more along with their housing — the optimum rescue solution because it will keep the family groups together in a familiar setting — the current government policy does not allow this but we still hope to see a policy change in the near future.
We anticipate government permission to rehome some of the 45 “government bunnies,” but the status of others is still up in the air. Our domestic charges not caught up in the government red tape are being relocated to private homes and to new rescue centres in Abbotsford and South Surrey.