The Rabbit Resource is facing a capacity challenge to our mission to rescue and re-home vulnerable house rabbits in Upstate New York. We are trying to save about 20 recently dumped domestic rabbits in the Rome, NY area. We've caught three so far, one of whom is likely pregnant. One has already been hit by a car and died. We are appealing for funds to catch and care for them as effectively as possible.
Havahart Trap (best way to catch a skittish domestic rabbit): $40
Exercise pen/crate/cage for housing: $50
Food for 1 bunny for 1 month: $20
Emergency vet services: $500
You can see how the costs can add up quickly, especially when bunnies are making more bunnies not to mention getting sick and injured running around outside!
Why are the bunnies outside and why don't they belong there?
Folks often dump domestic rabbits outdoors when they no longer feel able to care for them. However, this is dangerous for both the rabbits and the community they are dumped into. Domestic rabbits aren't built to be wilderness-savvy, and they rarely survive outdoors for very long. However, unlike cottontails, domestic rabbits are enthusiastic burrowers, so they can cause structural issues for people's homes and yards. They spread diseases to pets and wildlife, present traffic hazards, and multiply rapidly. It's not a good situation for anybody, and the sooner we can remove these rabbits from the streets, the better it will be for everyone!
Why does the Rabbit Resource need help with this case?
Once stray bunnies are caught they often present medical conditions that need urgent attention. Getting vet care and medications costs a lot of money.
It's been a rough few years for rabbit rescue and we're now stretched thin. People adopted pandemic pets or took up rabbit breeding as a pandemic hobby, then started dumping the bunnies as they went back to the office. Over the past few years there have been several high-profile seizures of hundreds of bunnies at a time in hoarding and animal abuse cases in New York and surrounding states, and the Rabbit Resource has worked to take some of the load of housing and caring for so many vulnerable animals. There have also been several large local projects. Volunteers have been hit hard by the pandemic along with everyone else. Finances are now a major barrier to many of our volunteers when it comes to foster capacity - and we're going to need a lot of capacity for this case. Funds allow us to pay vet bills and assist fosters with costs.
Is the Rabbit Resource the right group to help the Rome rabbits?
I tend to think so. Fosters are geographically distributed, which will help us isolate rabbits that need to be quarantined. We have strong relationships with vets across the state, helping us get bunnies the care they need fast. We have a lot of experience catching and caring for stray rabbits.
Here are some recent rescued strays whose lives the Rabbit Resource has changed:
- A rabbit caught being chased by a dog in a public park who had wounds infested with maggots; she needed emergency medical care to save her from a very unpleasant death and she is now happy and healthy.
- A rabbit caught loose in a field who had a very dangerous and contagious intestinal parasite (coccidia). She needed around the clock monitoring and careful medical care because she was severely underweight from this parasite. She is now happy and healthy and adopted.
- Three rabbits caught loose in a park, two of whom were pregnant. This operation required staking out the park at dawn and dusk for a month and a half as the rabbits were extremely skittish. All were successfully caught and they had nine offspring. Of this group of twelve, three are adopted and four are in the process of being adopted. You can read about this operation here: https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Volunteers-rush-to-save-bunny-trio-ahead-of-17669931.php
Other rescues in the area are stretched thin as well. And local SPCAs usually don't have the capacity to catch and house this many rabbits. We actively work with other animal rescues, local animal control and humane officers, and other relevant groups - but when time is of the essence like it is for the Rome bunnies, we need to have the funds to pay for veterinary needs that will arise as soon as bunnies are caught.
Thank you for considering donating to help the bunnies.