Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Homeless Rabbits Need Your Help!

There are dozens of homeless rabbits in Oakland, and they need your help! Oakland Animal Services, the shelter where I volunteer, has been inundated with abandoned bunnies like Thelma and Louise pictured here. The San Francisco Chronicle recently ran an article with more info...

Oakland Animal Services takes in any animal that comes through its doors, but staff members are short-handed after a sudden wave of rabbits filled the shelter with long ears and twitching noses.

The city-run shelter has received more than a dozen bunnies in the last two weeks, including 10 from one family, said Amy Jones, the shelter’s volunteer program manager.

The Oakland family had started to breed the bunnies but the situation “got out of control,” Jones said.

“People don’t realize that rabbits have a gestation period of only 30 days,” she said. Rabbits are also ready to breed at six months and can have a dozen babies per litter.

The most recent arrivals pushed the shelter’s total up to around 50 rabbits, which is “far, far more” than the shelter is equipped to handle, Jones said.

Local groups like Save a Bunny and House Rabbit Society took some of the rabbits off the shelter’s hands, but the shelter still has 31, one more than its maximum capacity, Jones said. The shelter prefers to keep its rabbit numbers around 15 or 20.

About six rabbits have been adopted in the past couple weeks, but an upcoming holiday will only add to the shelter’s problems.

“We need to get our numbers down before Easter comes around,” Jones said. “People think it’s cute to buy a baby rabbit for their kids for Easter, but they don’t realize rabbits are sensitive and are prey animals. Kids can often scare them.”

The shelter usually gets another wave of rabbit drop-offs a few weeks after Easter.

People interested in adopting a rabbit for an indoor pet can visit the shelter and pay a $35 adoption fee, Jones said. All the shelter’s rabbits are spayed and neutered before adoption.

www.oaklandanimalservices.org

1 comment:

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