Does your contribution to House Rabbit Society really pay for the things you intend? We’re glad you ask. We welcome the opportunity to tell you of the programs you support when you make a donation to HRS. They all fall under two major headings: rescue and education.
The Nature of Rescue
HRS’s rescue program involves far more than gathering abandoned rabbits. Rescue means responsibility for the animal’s maintenance and welfare. The first goal is to save lives. The next goal is to enrich the lives that have been saved. The most expedient way to ensure enrichment is through the bunny’s adoption into a caring home, where there’s an abundance of love and all the good things that go with it.
On the other hand, bunnies who are not adopted also deserve a good life. That’s why we have different kinds of foster homes. Some house only adoptable rabbits on a temporary basis; others house only sanctuary rabbits on a permanent basis; some handle nursing care; and many foster homes do all.
For reasons of time and strained bank accounts, foster homes cannot be overloaded with sanctuary rabbits. Funds must be solicited for their ongoing care. Sanctuary rabbits housed in HRS foster homes do not normally occupy the same space as the matriculating rabbits. “Adoptable” rabbits are usually younger, and their areas require much more stringent bunny-proofing.
Sometimes “unadoptable” rabbits are rescued initially as sanctuary rabbits. Five-year old (or older) rabbits have come into our foster homes from shelters, labs, rabbitries, restaurants(!), and from the streets. Why bother with such old timers who don’t have a chance for adoption? For just that reason. They never had a chance. A five-year-old bunny who’s had a rotten life deserves better, and we do what we can to make up for what has been missed, for whatever amount of time is left.
The Education Plan
Everyone understands the cycle of rescue, adoption, and more rescues. An adjunct to that, which is not so well understood, is the cycle of rescue, education, and fewer rescues. The aim here is to educate people sufficiently so that fewer rabbits will be abandoned, and fewer will need to be rescued.
Helping people understand their rabbits’ behavior and solve problems that might cause them to relinquish their rabbits is how education saves lives.
The second part of our education program is to help our conscientious members, who cherish their animals and want to keep them happy and healthy for as many years as possible.
Here, our rescue and education programs overlap. With what we have learned from the animals in our rescue program, we have the tools to teach. A steady flow of incoming adoptable rabbits gives us experience with a wide variety of personalities and ways to meet their needs. And our sanctuary rabbits provide information that takes a lifetime to acquire. Together they give us the body of health data and behavior information that we impart to our readers.
All of these programs are worthy of your support. We can divide your contribution equally or direct it to where you have a special interest. Rest assured that with our all-volunteer structure, your money goes where you designate.
House Rabbit Journal Volume III, Number 7, Spring 1996