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Some bunny to love: Rescue finds rabbits their forever homes

Rabbits can make great pets, as long as you know what to expect.

CLEVELAND — In November Avon Lake Police got a call about a rabbit on the run. Not a wild "cottontail," instead this floppy-eared fellow was apparently the victim of a bunny "dump and run." 

"We rescue rabbits, domestic rabbits that have been tossed to the side," explained Stephanie Lodge of the Buckeye House Rabbit Society

Avon Lake Police successfully captured the bunny, now known as "Yoda" for his remarkable ears, and he is now in the care of Buckeye House, a nonprofit, volunteer organization that's mission is the rescue abandoned rabbits and educate the public about their care. 

"Domestic rabbits are meant to live indoors as part of the family, like your cat and dog would," said Lodge who says reports of pet bunnies being set free in the wild are on the rise. 

Sadly these domestic bunnies have little to no survival skills. They don't know how to burrow, avoid predators, and care for themselves. 

"They just don't have the same instinctual survival instincts." 

House Rabbit Society is a national organization with chapters throughout the country. Buckeye House serves northern Ohio, rescuing domestic rabbits, getting them veterinary care and treating their needs until they can be adopted. 

"Rabbits live 8 to 12 years, which is a lot longer than anyone expects. They require a lot of maintenance. They need specialized diet, specialized vet care. People think that they can just put the rabbit in the corner, play with it when they want. Rabbits need much more than that," Lodge said. 

Buckeye Rabbit Foster Moms, Stephanie Ash and Shantae Chapman insist the work it takes, is well worth it. 

"I get so much joy getting to raise the them love, just try to learn, learn about their personalities, because each rabbit has a different personality just like each person," said Ash, who brought along foster Woodrow. 

Owning a rabbit requires that you have time to spend with them. They need space, such as a pen, where they can play, hide and have access to toys that provide stimulation. 

They need the right nutrition, and regular health checks too. 

"They are wonderful companions they're unique in that way.  They have their little personality. They're so fun and they have a lot to give as well, if you're just open to it," said Chapman who has her own rabbit, but is also fostering Yoda. 

The rewards of fostering, they insist, are great. Knowing that the rabbits they take in, will eventually be going to families equipped to care for them. 

Like many rescues, Buckeye House Rabbit Society is in need of fosters. And if you can't foster, there are many other volunteer opportunities. 

You can learn more about these opportunities HERE.

At any time, Buckeye House Rabbit Society has about a dozen to two dozen rabbits up for adoption. You can check them out HERE


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