Hop to it: Rescue group holds 'bunny blitz' adoption event
But make sure you’ve done your research before taking Cottontail home, volunteer says
Folks looking for a fluffy new friend will get the chance to meet some adoptable bunnies Sunday afternoon.
The first rescue group in the Maritimes focused on the long-eared lagomorphs — 10,000 Carrots Rabbit Rescue — is holding a "bunny blitz" in Halifax. More than a dozen of the twitchy-nosed animals can be scoped out by potential new owners.
Denise Halliday, a volunteer with the organization, said they decided to hold the event following their first successful blitz in September.
"It's quite the day," she said. "It's really interesting to have people come in and go, 'Oh my gosh, this is how many rabbits you guys have!'"
Halliday said the rabbit rescue was started nine years ago "basically just because there was nowhere for rabbits to go." Since then, she said the volunteer-run group has rescued and found new homes for more than 700 bunnies.
Right now, there's about 17 rabbits up for adoption, but she said the group normally has between 20 and 30 in its care — though it can change suddenly if they take in a pregnant female.
The rescue doesn't have an actual shelter, so its volunteers foster the bunnies in their own homes. People can view available rabbits and apply for adoption through the 10,000 Carrots Rabbit Rescue website.
Know what you're getting into
Halliday stressed that while the group wants to help the rabbits find homes, anyone looking to adopt needs to be aware of what's involved.
"They're living, breathing, sentient creatures, and if you're adopting, it needs to be a well-thought-out family decision that everyone is on board [with] and everyone is part of," she said.
"The life expectancy is 10 to 14 years. So, you know, it's a long-term commitment."
Halliday said the rescue organization isn't just trying to find homes for abandoned bunnies. They're trying to keep bunnies from being abandoned in the first place.
"Finding them homes, it's really a Band-Aid," she said.
She said around 90 per cent of the rabbits they take in are found outside, which means they were likely dumped by someone who got bored or decided they were too much work.
But Halliday noted that rabbits aren't native to Nova Scotia — only hares are — and said domestic rabbits can't fend for themselves or find food in the wild.
"It's the same as dumping a cat or dog. They can't survive outside by themselves," she said.
She also said it's a bad idea for parents to get their child a pet rabbit because kids don't have the capacity to care for them properly.
Halliday said bunnies are social creatures that like to be kept in pairs and that they shouldn't be cooped up in a cage all day.
"Having them in your kid's bedroom in a cage on top of the dresser, they're not going to be happy, they're going to miss that social aspect of being part of the main area, part of the family," she said.
In fact, the rescue also discourages giving rabbits as gifts in general, so it closes down around Christmas and Easter.
But she did say bunnies can make "amazing" family pets if the parents know the responsibility falls on them.
The 10,000 Carrots Rabbit Rescue bunny blitz is taking place at the Citadel Community Centre on Trollope Street Sunday afternoon from 3-7 p.m.
Halliday said anyone is welcome, even those who aren't in the market for a new pet. She said people can come and find out more about what the rescue does and how to care for a bunny.
"Or if you just want to come snuggle," she said.
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