About the Rabbits
I.Our therapy rabbits are super sweet and we are so blessed to be able to help with their care and to help protect the environment through our island projects.
We will not be able to answer all your questions, but we hope this helps to clarify some messages we think are important.
1) We encourage people looking for pets to always foster first and to buy rescues. A huge percentage of our rabbits that now have a FUREVER home with us were surrendered or abandoned. Please do not buy any animal as a gift for someone or buy on impulse. Rabbits can live 10 years, so we hope to encourage people to make informed decisions. The House Rabbit Society is a great resource for meeting people committed to raising pet rabbits indoors and we hope pet owners will check our their materials. Please spay/neuter to prevent accidental breeding. Many of our rescues are young rabbits from unexpected pregnancies. Let's all do better.
2) Our consistent message the past 5 years: Please don't give pets as presents. I know it's unfair that they are so cute! But set yourself up for success by buying a stuffed animal, volunteer with an animal nonprofit, choose to pet sit or foster. There are plenty of ways to get involved with reputable rescues. Caleb found 362 rabbits on Craigslist alone when he was 9 years old - He wants to stop the pet abandonment cycle before people get them. This project grew out of this motivation.
3) We do not breed our rabbits to sell to people. We do very limited breeding with purebred pedigreed rabbit breeds listed with the Livestock Conservancy and the rarest breeds listed with ARBA including: American, Beveren, American Chinchilla, Blanc de Hotot and Silver Fox. We have representatives of many breeds but just because we have them doesn't mean we breed them. It's important to us that we also do not pass down genetic problems or traits that do not align with the "Standard of Perfection." If we have babies that aren't showable/competitive, or if rabbits choose not to serve as a therapy animals, they will still have a home with us.
4) We believe that the key to stopping the pet abandonment cycle is respectful education. There's nothing like engaging with a rabbit to being to appreciate how much you don't know about rabbits. We are pleased to share his therapy rabbits when they want to engaged with others and respect when they don't want to go or want to stop interacting. The youth volunteers are very effective in sharing with their peers about how special the rabbits are as a species , as individuals, and as representatives of different breeds. It feels really great to know that we have helped prevent impulse rabbit buying and helped other families keep the rabbits they already have in their home. Some groups have different stats, different focus or methods, but together we can reach more people with the key messages that are very similar. Everyone with rabbits has something they have learned and has something to learn. We love creating that space for discussion.
5) We welcome your insight. We continue to work with several veterinarians, vet techs, public & environmental health professionals & professors, and animal scientists who specialize in rabbits. We are so grateful to the team of experts who have been advising us on this project to keep the environment, the rabbits, and our volunteers safe. We know that people who love animals may disagree with each other. Even with the same values, sometimes we approach the same goals differently. We welcome you to email / share your insights with us.
No program or organization is perfect and we continue to strive to "do better." Constructive criticism makes things better for everyone and we remain open to hearing your perspective. We remain optimistic that rabbit organizations and experts will work together focused on kindness. And we're glad you're along for the journey.
Below are some of these amazing larger breeds:
Blue Beveren (Austria)
White Beveren (Blue eyes)