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Advocacy

Bunny Emergency

By | Advocacy, Donate, Rescue, Sick Bunny | No Comments

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 (rabbitats@gmail.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.

Richmond News Front Page!

By | Advocacy | No Comments

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.

Richmond News Article (Page 30-31)

 

Community Meeting

By | Advocacy, Events | No Comments

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/

Las Vegas Ferals

By | Advocacy, Rescue | One Comment

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.
https://www.atlasobscura.com/…/feral-bunnies-are-taking-ove…

Vaccine update

By | Advocacy | No Comments

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 rabbitats1@gmail.com 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.
http://vancouversun.com/…/first-batch-of-vaccine-for-deadly…

Our hearts go out to our comrades at RAPS

By | Advocacy | No Comments

Our hearts go out to our comrades at RAPS. And so does our gratitude for taking this horrendous but ultimately very necessary step. No one can and should underestimate this horrible virus. Rabbitats has been trying to take steps to help limit the exposure to all rabbits in Richmond and came to the realization that the RAPS shelter was one of the most problematic destinations. It’s a very old building, it’s very busy, they take in all kinds of animals and they had more rabbits than would fit in a secure room. And the ferals liked to visit. They really did do their best but quarantine was pretty much impossible. Taking this tragic but brave step really was the right thing to do. Any surviving rabbits would have been carriers. We sincerely hope Rabbitats is never put in this same situation. The message that needs to get out there now is, again, to STAY AWAY FROM THE FERAL RABBITS. And vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. 

RHD Update

By | Advocacy | No Comments

As I’m sure many are hearing, there have been suspicious deaths at RAPS in Richmond (inside and out) and Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease is suspected but not confirmed.
Rabbitats had already pulled most of the rabbits out of Richmond when we lost our office space and garage at the Richmond Auto Mall, we only had a few house bunnies and special needs guys in a trailer behind the old office, and they have been moved to our temporary Granville location and quarantined.
We also have colonies in Delta and our Surrey sanctuary rabbits, and no visitors have been allowed since the outbreak on Vancouver Island was confirmed over a month ago.
We’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of the vaccine for the several hundred rabbit under our wing, but if this is RHDV-2, the outlook is pretty grim for all the Richmond ferals. Its a horribly helpless feeling. The best line of attack is to continue fundraising to bring in as much of the vaccine as possible, and to warn people to STAY AWAY FROM THE FERAL RABBITS! We can’t stress this enough. The potential of spreading the virus, if it is indeed in Richmond, far outweighs any benefits. https://www.youcaring.com/rabbitatsrescuesociety-1127839

Please keep your distance!

By | Advocacy | No Comments

Attention well meaning people wanting to check on and feed the feral rabbits in Richmond and elsewhere: PLEASE KEEP YOUR DISTANCE! The Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease virus was spread in Nanaimo by people approaching and feeding the feral rabbits and spreading it to other rabbits in the area. Being in the direct vicinity of loose rabbits is an EXTREMELY DANGEROUS PRACTICE AT THIS TIME! The virus is spread on shoes, tires, clothing, etc.. The rabbits are enjoying their spring grass, it’s rich in protein and it’s sweet, they honestly don’t need to be fed anything else and they’re not going to be overly interested in treats, anyway. Please stay away from them! Thank you!