“In 2003 it was determined the overwhelming need in the area was to provide for domestic rabbits in particular,” Patino said. “As a result, the name and focus changed.”
© Courtesy of Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary
Goliath is one of the thousands of rabbits who have been helped by the Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary.
What Goes On At Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary
Notable trends at the GLRS are that people abandon rabbits in spring and summer following Easter, or they give up their rabbits after adopting a dog or cat when friction develops between the pets. “Even though the rabbit was first to the home, they are the ones being dumped,” Patino said.
When someone contacts the rescue to surrender a rabbit, Patino said that staff first ask why the person wants to give up their rabbit. “Sometimes people just need a lesson on bunny-proofing their house, or an explanation of rabbit behavior and a referral to a veterinarian for spay or neuter surgery,” Patino said.
Rabbit Rescue Successes And Challenges
Trying to pin down a most memorable rescue proved impossible, as Patino said each rescue touches their hearts. “I bet each volunteer would have a different answer on which rescue touched them the most.”
Patino said that GLRS finds the most fundraising success through grants and by sending direct mailings throughout the year to its supporters. The mailings detail recent rescues and adoptions.
Helping thousands of rabbits over the years is quite an accomplishment, and Patino credits bringing together a diverse group of volunteers with a common goal: house rabbits. Additionally, “GLRS believes in and promotes cooperation between rescue organizations,” Patino said. “Compared to cat and dog groups, rabbit and small animal rescues, those who truly specialize, are few. We all have limited resources, but by working together and pooling those resources we can help even more rabbits. We attribute part of our success to the willingness of other groups in our area to work with us, and our willingness to work with them.”
Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary Quick Stats
Rabbits Rescued Since Opening: 1,800 to 2,000
Number of Rabbits Typically At The Sanctuary: 70 to 90
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Pet Rabbits And Easter Don’t Mix
Excerpt from the annual magazine Rabbits USA, 2014 issue, with permission from its publisher, I-5 Publishing, LLC. To purchase the current Rabbits USA annual, click here>>