In the beginning...there was Al.
It was the summer of 1986. There I was, walking through the mall. I saw some GI's with a little rabbit...and they were offering to sell her feet for $5 each. I bought the whole bunny for $5. Such a deal! Having never had a rabbit, I wasn't sure how to care for her/him. The pet store books called for two-foot wire cages and pellets. They also included recipes and hide tanning instructions. I knew that this little guy needed better than that.
Alice lived in the house - she went to potty outside, then came back in. Alice was very small. I later learned she was very young - maybe four weeks. Alice grew and grew into a beautiful gray French Lop. Now that Alice was BIG, she became sexually mature. She really had eyes for our calico cat Ginger. Ginger was not equally enamored. After one particularly vigorous encounter, I discovered Alice was Al! Off to the vet for neuter! Vets in our area knew little or nothing about rabbit medicine. I finally found a vet who agreed to neuter Alice/Al. He came with a wife who had just rescued a bunny from a lumberyard. Could I foster Roxanne for a couple of weeks? That was 14 years ago - I still care for Roxanne.
I am a general contractor by trade, so building an extra pen was no problem. Then they started coming, the homeless buns, one by one until I had 13 rabbits. My husband was amazed --especially when he had to care for them while I was in the hospital.
Word spread quickly and within one year of rescuing Alice I had 23 rabbits - I was busy building newer and better housing. It became very clear that rabbits were the Rodney Dangerfields of the animal kingdom. They got "No Respect." I was hooked!
I've made it my business to develop better medical care for bunnies. I have been working with my vet, Dr. Ray DeCent for 12 years and we have developed some very good treatment therapies.
I have developed a diet that is healthy and helps prevent "hairballs".
It takes a great amount of time and patience.
Rabbit Haven evolved out of a great need for proper housing, feeding, medical care and public education.
Rabbit Haven Today
After 14 years, Rabbit Haven has a new address! We are now situated on 11 1/2 acres containing orchards, pastures, two large ponds, a meandering creek, many scattered maple, cedar, willow and cottonwood trees, and over five acres of woods. Our temporary facility consists of 22 sheltered rabbit runs, a small barn with a kitchen and an area for special needs animals.
Funding is all out of my pocket with a few donations and adoption fees helping with feed, housing and vet expenses. We have just become a Not-For-Profit organization. We are currently home to 62 rabbits, with an addition 14 rabbits in foster care. We also care for two chinchillas, 2 pigeons and 3 doves. They also have nowhere to go.
My goal is to provide the best possible care for my furry friends. They are spayed/neutered, vet checked, and socialized. They live a quiet, safe, healthy life here until they are adopted.
My adoption policies are strict! We only adopt to indoor situations. NO OUTSIDE housing. For housing, they must have a minimum 2'x4' run/cage with a solid floor, no wire flooring please. Any rabbit that an adopter cannot keep is returned to Rabbit Haven.
We are a No Kill shelter. Therefore I cannot take all of the owner relinquishes we are offered. However, we are always available for strays and hardship rabbits. We will always provide vet care and housing for any homeless rabbit.
I spend a lot of time doing educational programs at schools and pet stores and phone questions. I have convinced all of the feed stores and two retail stores in our area not to sell rabbits for Easter - or ever. I am pleased to say Stroh's Feed, Cenex and Purdy Pet Place no longer sell rabbits.
- We are available for feral rabbit rescue and to round up "dumps."
- We provide boarding and grooming services and sell hay and grains.
- We provide complete information and education for all rabbits we place and for many others who are referred to us. We also provide medical care for sick and injured rabbits when their owners are unable to do so.
Our motto is "Every rabbit is important and deserves all of the love, respect and care we would afford any family member".
Our goal: Every rabbit will have a good home and we will never turn away a rabbit in need.
Rabbit Haven's new Bunny Barn
We have built a beautiful new bunny barn! Our barn features:
- indoor/outdoor runs
- a large exercise area and a safe fenced and top-screened area for feral-domestic rabbits
- a clinic
- a kitchen
- an 'old folks communal home'
- a small animal room
- a reception and 'get acquainted' area
- a cemetery.
It took tons of work, but...WE DID IT! We can't thank our donors and volunteers enough. It's still a work in progress, so you can help too...just visit our donations links on the right side of the page. Every little bit helps the bunnies!
Let us give them some respect!
Founder, Rabbit Haven