Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Vet bills adding up for rabbit rescue

Volunteers struggle to cover costs 
December 29, 2010  By Jennifer Saltman, The Province

Carmina Gooch, founder and president of Rabbit Advocacy Group of B.C., holds Romeo at the PNE barn on Tuesday. More money is needed to care for the bunnies rescued from UVic. Photograph by: Arlen Redekop, PNG, The Province

A group of volunteers in Vancouver is struggling to keep up with the cost of taking care of rabbits rescued from the University of Victoria.  

With more bunnies on the way Wednesday, rescuer Sorelle Saidman said the number of animals being housed at a barn on the PNE grounds will swell to 75 and the cost of feeding, treating illnesses and spaying and neutering will be too much. "It's really tough right now," Saidman said.  

In September, UVic began removing feral rabbits that have damaged the campus with their digging. About 700 have been removed so far -- half of the number that the university wants gone. The Ministry of Environment gave Saidman a permit to take on 75 rabbits, which the PNE allowed to be housed in livestock barns at Hastings Park.  

The plan is to bring them to the Precious Life Animal Sanctuary in Sequim, Wash., before the permit runs out in March. However, there is much to be done before then.  

Saidman said part of the deal with the animal sanctuary is that an all-terrain vehicle must be supplied so that the people taking care of the bunnies can access their hillside pen. She said another $1,400 has to be raised or an ATV donated.  

Some of the rescued rabbits are ill and Saidman said there is a considerable vet bill -- $2,000 -- for medicine and treating the animals and costs will only grow. The bunnies must also be fixed before going to the sanctuary. Saidman said that so far only one rabbit has had the operation, due to money and scheduling issues. "We can't keep up with all the spays and neuters and medical costs," added volunteer Christina Keats.  

Money has also been poured into going to Victoria to pick up the rabbits. Truck rentals, fuel and ferry fees have cost about $1,000. So far, funds have come from donations, fundraisers and out of volunteers' pockets. "The volunteers have been absolutely awesome. They've been great," Saidman said.  

-If you'd like to help with donations of money or supplies e-mail uvicrabbitrescue@telus.net For more information on this project please contact info@rabbitadvocacy.com

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