EAGLE, Idaho (CBS2) — A local bunny rabbit shelter in Eagle is struggling to care for a large number of bunnies that are being dropped off on their doorstep.
“People need to realize that these bunnies are pets now, they are not just something you put out in a pen and ignore," Misty Gillum, a volunteer at Remembering Ruby Rabbit Rescue Shelter said.
Gillum said more people are getting rid of their pet rabbits because they can no longer take care of them. This is partially due to the pandemic.
That means more of them are ending up at Remembering Ruby Rabbit Rescue Shelter. Gillum said the shelter can take care of a max of 30 rabbits, and they are already at 25.
“It is not Idaho alone that we are getting phone calls from. We are actually getting them from Utah, Montana, Wyoming because there are not enough shelters, especially no-kill shelters for bunnies," Gillum said.
Debbie Aldrich, the owner of the shelter said often they find abandoned bunnies in yards or people surrender the animals to them.
“We do have a bunny that was in a box and marked free in an apartment building for four days before somebody contacted us,” Aldrich said.
Aldrich said on top of the shelter almost reaching capacity, a disease called Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease is going around. She said so far two jackrabbits by the airport reportedly have it.
“The vaccine has to be imported from Europe, they don't have it in the U.S. yet. We ordered the vaccine two months ago so we are trying to get donations,” Aldrich said.
Gillum said many of the resources the rabbits need come out of their own pockets.
“We are actually losing money every time we bring in a rabbit. We do not always get a surrender fee. It costs us approximately $100 to get a bunny spayed or neutered and we can only charge $45 dollars because no one will take them if we charge anymore. So it's not helping us financially but it's what's best for the bunnies and that's what we have to acknowledge," Gillum said.
You can help this shelter by donating food like fruits and veggies, chew toys, and other items. They are always looking for volunteers, people willing to foster bunnies, and of course adoptees.
Remembering Ruby Rabbit Rescue sprays, neuters, and litter box trains all of their bunnies. Adoption fees are $50 and bonded pairs are $80.
For more information click HERE.
The Idaho Humane Society also takes in pet rabbits, but they recently changed their policy.
They are only taking domestic rabbits, not wild rabbits, because of concerns about Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease.
If you find a wild rabbit or hare that needs help, contact Animals in Distress or Idaho Fish and Game.
You can also surrender rabbits to West Valley Humane Society.