Presentation on theme: "TRAP NEUTER RETURN, Not just for cats anymore!. The need, the “how to” the challenges. Debby Widolf Rabbit Dept. Manager ________________ Best Friends."— Presentation transcript:
The need, the “how to” the challenges. Debby Widolf Rabbit Dept. Manager ________________ Best Friends Animal Society
The “domestic feral” rabbit. Not a wild rabbit. Do not breed with cottontails. They are related to the European wild rabbit, but have been domesticated by man. Most colonies of domestic feral rabbit populations start from people “dumping” their pet rabbits!
SURVIVAL: WHERE? HOW? CITY PARKS COLLEGE CAMPUSES SUBURBS ZOOS AIRPORTS LOW PREDATORS HIGH BREEDING CYCLE GOOD CLIMATE, FOOD MOST ABANDONED RABBITS LIVE A SHORT LIFE
HOW MANY? Kelowna, Canada Est. 1,500 University of Victoria Est. 2,000 plus Garden Grove, CA 500 removed Long Beach City College Est. 300-500
Why TNR for Rabbits? A humane approach. Rescues are full. Shelters are not able to care for the large numbers. Domestic rabbits are the third most abandoned and euthanized animal after cats & dogs.
A “community” steps up! Long Beach City College Pet rabbits dumped on campus for over 25 years. Staff, students cared for the rabbits. Volunteers contacted Best Friends. We presented to the academic senate and administration a TNR proposal for approval. Started the “Rabbit Task Force.” Organized fund raising, grants, donations
More approvals received. Recruited help. Obtained a “rabbit room”. Gathered food, cages, supplies. Contacted Western University VACS unit. WE BEGAN TRAPPING THE RABBITS!
Expenses: $43.00 per spay/neuter, included medications, surgery, pre-post vet exams. Food, misc. care items, extra vet visits, approx. $300.00 per week. Room was free from college. Cages and food dishes were on loan from Best Friends. Care of ill rabbits and donations of food and advice courtesy of Bunny Bunch Rabbit Rescue
175 spays and neuters done in 4 days 90 babies born just before surgery 60 rabbits released back on campus 118 adopted through adoption program 300 remaining rabbits needing S/N
Health status of the campus rabbits Most common health problem was VD Eye infections Upper respiratory infections Wounds from fighting Approximately 75% of female rabbits were pregnant General health of the majority of rabbits was considered good
A “Caring” Plan Prevent “dumping” Increase campus security. Out of sight feeding and watering stations. Continuing to spay/ neuter the rabbits Adoption, TNR, Education
The Challenges Ahead Financial Staff-Student- volunteer help. Community support. A near 100% spay/neuter rate. Prevent more dumped rabbits. Adoption program. Continuing care of the rabbits living on campus. COMMITMENT
Dear Friends, We rabbits need your help. This is what you can do: Change the laws. Ask pet stores not to sell rabbits. Please adopt us. Give us the same consideration as all other pets. Support the people who are helping us. Volunteer. Ask your local shelters to spay and neuter rabbits too. Please don’t abandoned us. We need your care. Remember that “TNR” is a humane option but not the solution. We love you, The Rabbits