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House Rabbit Society celebrates 20th anniversary in 2008

"It all started with a single phone call," says founder, Marinell Harriman. "In 1986, a local animal advocate called to inform me that four rabbits were going to be euthanized at the SPCA the following day. I immediately called Bob at work. He said, 'We can't let that happen, can we?'" The Harrimans realized that rabbits were being euthanized around the country, but that rescuers could take those rabbits from shelters and adopt them out on their own. Their first four foster rabbits led to four more, until the Harrimans were rescuing at least ten rabbits per month.

After incorporating as a nonprofit in 1988, the Harrimans began publishing the House Rabbit Journal, which led to volunteers emerging first locally, in the San Francisco Bay area, and then from other areas of the country. These volunteers established the first chapters of House Rabbit Society.

Since its founding, HRS has expanded to form a network of thousands of members and hundreds of licensed volunteers across the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia. Today, HRS volunteers collectively produce the House Rabbit Journal, and the encyclopedic, award winning website. Our volunteers have, since 1988, saved the lives of over 20,000 rabbits. In addition, the organization is responsible for educating tens of thousands of people, including present and prospective rabbit caretakers, veterinary and shelter staff workers, members of other rescue organizations, and members of the general public. In 2000, HRS opened the first public rabbit-only shelter in the country, in Richmond, California, which serves as a model for animal shelters around the world. HRS volunteers are internationally recognized for their expertise in rabbit behavior and care, and are called upon regularly to give educational seminars at venues around the world.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, House Rabbit Society chapters will be holding special events around the country throughout the year, and we will be selling commemorative items as well. To find out about national's 20th anniversary celebration, click here.

So far, we have the following anniversary events scheduled:

March 22: Sacramento HRS Run for the Buns
March 29: Massachusetts HRS 5th annual Bunraiser
April 5: Seattle HRS Annual Dinner & Silent Auction
April 20: Tampa Bay HRS BunFest
April 27: Milwaukee HRS Bunny Day
May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31: Arkansas HRS "20/20 Vision"
May 4: HRS Italy Celebrates "Conigliando a tutto pelo"
May 31: San Diego HRS Open House
June 7: Columbus HRS "Celebrating Rabbits"
June 7: Arkansas HRS "20/20 Vision"
June 8: St. Louis HRS Bunny Expo
June 8: North Georgia BunFest
June 14: Colorado HRS Spring Fling
June 14: Chicago HRS BunnyFest Picnic
June 21: HRS Headquarters Celebratory Dinner
Fall (TBD): Madison HRS Bunny Day
September 11: LowCountry HRS Day of Caring
September 27: San Diego HRS Bunfest
October 4: Vancouver HRS Rabbit Festival
October 12: Maryland/DC/NoVA HRS celebrates "HRS: 20 Years and Counting"
October 25: New Jersey HRS BunnyFest
October 19: New York City HRS Rabbit Care Conference
December 6: Alabama EARS BYOB Party

Please check back often for more information about our anniversary!

Check out our new 20th Anniversary Commemorative Items at Cafe Press !
House Rabbit Society is selling special HRS logo pendants to commemorate our 20th anniversary! If you are interested in buying a pendant, please email
Check out some photos from National's 20th anniversary party here! Check out the wonderful donors and sponsors from National's party here !

House Rabbit Society is a nonprofit rescue and education group.
We welcome your feedback and appreciate your donations. Please join today!