Adoption Event

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We had an amazing rabbit adoption event Saturday night, thanks so much to our volunteers (new and old!) and our co-presenters, the VRRA and RAPS. Our pretty Pie was one of the stars of the show, as of course were the babies (although some people said it was the awesome baking, the samosas and the chilli!).

We had two sets of babies at Saturday’s adoption event. These little five-week old cuties were super sweet and so calm. Our eight-week old guys, though, hit the ground running and chasing all the big guys, lol! They were an early-blooming gang of juvenile delinquents! (We’re looking to put them into foster care individually for a few weeks if anybody wants to take some on).

Adoption Event

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For everybody interested in adopting rabbits, this is the place to be! Rabbitats, RAPS and the VRRA are staging a joint adoption event the evening of Saturday March 25th from 6 pm to 8 pm! You can learn all about them and watch them do rabbit agility for a little added fun. Please spread the word!

Last Chance to See Rabbitville This Weekend!

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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.

 

RABBITATS GOVERNMENT UPDATE:

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rabbitats advocacy poster 1

We are seeing some movement on the government front. Thank you to Richmond East MLA Linda Reid and Richmond mayor Malcolm Brodie for stepping in on our behalf, and as always, huge kudos to Gail Terry of the Richmond Auto Mall for standing up for the abandoned bunnies (and their offspring) dumped on their property!  (The rabbits are considered invasive ‘wildlife’ by the provincial government, they want them dead).

Our gov’t reps have received directives or at least queries from the Minister in charge.  We’ve prepared a response and collected letters of support from veterinarians and the permitted sanctuary and expect some answers soon. The gist remains that:

1) many of the rabbits are too small and fragile to adhere to the provincial government’s ‘export only’ policy that dictates that all of our rescued rabbits must be sent to a sanctuary in Washington State as part of their ‘export only’ policy.
2) They are willing to look at allowing us to ‘adopt’ out rabbits rather than ‘export’ them.
3) The government still needs to look at the definitions of their own policy regarding ‘adoptions’.


A separate meeting with another arm of Fish & Wildlife (the responsible dept) was also enlightening. They seemed to also be more receptive to our small colony and rural adoption initiatives, but we still need to be allowed to do so.
That meeting also yielded a strong plea from the department for the rabbit rescue community to organize itself into a more cohesive group with a more unified voice. Rescue dissension, conflicting information, opposing goals, ‘alarmist’ media and other problems are greatly affecting the government’s ability and desire to properly tackle the issue.