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If you represent an animal shelter, we can use your help. Please fill out this simple survey at the end of the year to give us information on your rabbit intake and outtake numbers. All information will be kept confidential. We have surveys available for 2006, 2007 and 2008. Thank you for your help.
Americans own 6.2 million pet rabbits according to the 2007 AVMA U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook. Yet it's difficult finding good statistics on rabbits who are surrendered to animal shelters, adopted from animal shelters, or who are euthanized at shelters. This is because most animal shelters do not track their rabbit numbers separate from "other animals." So while we know the numbers of dogs and cats surrendered to our nation's shelters, we do not have good figures on the numbers of rabbits.
Here's what we do know.
HRS volunteers rescue about 1,500 rabbits per year from their local shelters, with approximately 20,000 total rescued since 1988. On top of those numbers, our 26 chapters each average about 1200 hours per year dedicated to answering phones, and, combined with headquarters, that totals about 32,000 hours per year handling calls from the public who want to get rid of their rabbits, as well as counseling people on rabbit care. Numbers of those people who call us to relinquish their rabbits vary but each chapter (plus our educators in areas without chapters, which totals another 20 regions) probably gets an average of 2 such calls per day, which, for all of our covered regions, would total over 35,000 per year.
So we know that there are huge numbers of rabbits who are being surrendered to shelters, given away, or abandoned in public areas. What we need from municipal and privately-run shelters are numbers, so that we can let the public know that rabbits, too, are being surrendered to shelters, and that rabbits, too, deserve consideration with respect to spay/neuter laws or other public policies enacted to reduce the numbers of dogs and cats who are surrendered and euthanized. Please fill out the survey!
House Rabbit Society is a non-profit rescue and education group.
We welcome your feedback and appreciate your donations. Please join today!