Even before moving to Vancouver I had heard about Rabbit Festival, which is run by the local bunny shelter, the Vancouver Rabbit Rescue and Advocacy. My sister and I used to have a pair of bunnies when we were children and so I started volunteering on a weekly basis with VRRA soon after I arrived in Canada. The volunteers help Olga clean the around 40 indoor cages and outside pens, but the best part, of course, is getting to pet all the fluffy little rascals every week.
During the months I helped out at the shelter we had a lot of drama (a cute bunny I had rescued from a park had to be put down as he had a pellet from a pellet gun stuck in his jaw) and also some happy endings (sick bunnies recovering, older ones with a history of abuse finding a forever home). Looking after our fluffy charges on a regular basis, loving them to bits while also learning to let them go (to a good home) taught me so many things. It’s an ongoing challenge, but an important life lesson – not only where bunnies are concerned.
Rabbit Festival is an annual fundraiser that Olga and the shelter volunteers put on every October in order to raise awareness of issues, such as adequate rabbit care and health as well as cruelty against rabbits. It is also an opportunity for rabbit fans to get together and learn more about their furry friends. Did you know rabbits can easily be housetrained (using a litter box), have unique personalities (some of them love watching TV and can be trained to do some amazing tricks, see here) and can live for 12 years or longer?
For more information on anything to do with companion rabbits, take a look at the excellent House Rabbit Society website or contact your local chapter. They will be happy to help. Find out more about why it isn’t a good idea to give a real bunny as an Easter present here.