By Ryan B Chan
Rabbits at the Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth are looking for new homes after several bunnies were dropped off at the Kitchener Waterloo Animal Centre overnight Sunday, April 3.
One of the rabbits was found inside a truck engine on Wednesday evening but was removed and taken to the Humane Society.
This adds to the additional surge of rabbits the Humane Society has received or placed in foster homes. Numbers are up more than double by this time of year.
The Humane Society currently has 18 rabbits under their care, spread amongst facilities and foster homes, with 34 more on the waiting list.
Despite claims that the “puppy pandemic” has increased the number of adoptions and subsequent surrenders for dogs and cats, the Humane Society reports that numbers are relatively normal if not a slight uptick for this time of year, with the exception being the rabbits that have been abandoned.
“What we would normally see in a 12-month period, we’re already seeing in the first three months of the year, in terms of stray rabbits,” said Calla James, Director of Community Engagement and Outreach.
For those looking to adopt, it’s important to know that commitment-wise, rabbits are similar to dogs and cats.
“A rabbit is really no different from a cat or dog in terms of time and commitment. They can live between eight to 12 years of age. They need a lot of attention in terms of whether to clean a litter box if they’re litter-trained or clean their x-pen area,” said James.
“They need that time to socialize with you. Where you might be taking your dog out for a walk, you can be spending time at home socializing with your rabbit.”
James estimated that the yearly cost to take care of a rabbit outside of emergency medical funds is around $1,200-$1,500.
All the rabbits that have been abandoned at the Humane Society have had wellness exams, and the Humane Society is hoping to have them in foster homes shortly.
“Abandoning an animal is not only extremely dangerous for their health and well-being but can also be deemed an offence under provincial legislation. We are here to support our communities and are trying to bring rabbits in as fast as we have space and foster homes to assist us,” said Amanda Hawkins, Senior Manager of Animal Care, in a press release.
Abandoning an animal is an offence under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act. If you see any abandoned animals in your area, call the Provincial Animal Welfare Services team at 1-833-9ANIMAL.
If you wish to help these rabbits, you can donate items like fresh greens, alfalfa hay, rabbit chew toys, and pet store gift cards for other essentials. You can also provide foster homes and monetary donations. All donations can be made at the KWSP Humane Society.
If you wish to adopt, this is the page for more information.