Please phone or email us to make an appointment to come out and meet the rabbits.
Why rabbits? Of all animals that are used and abused by people, rabbits probably suffer in more ways than any other species. Rabbits are raised for food and for their fur, wild rabbits are hunted, laboratories use rabbits in toxicity and cosmetic testing and biomedical research, and rabbits are kept as pets. In all these ways rabbits' needs go unmet and they are not treated as individuals who have desires and lives they wish to live.
Even people who adopt a rabbit as a pet often inadvertently mistreat him or her - the rabbit may be kept in an outdoor hutch where he or she rarely sees anyone, or indoors in a small cage. Many of these bunnies are dumped at the local animal shelter, unloved and unwanted. But if rabbits are allowed to be rabbits, to run and jump and explore, their personalities will blossom and they can be charming companions for people or each other.
Rabbits are now the third most popular companion animal, after cats and dogs, and unfortunately this means that an ever-increasing number of them are being abandoned to fend for themselves, or dumped at the local animal shelter. Most animal control facilities and humane societies know little about the care and behavior of rabbits, and have little time to learn due to the overwhelming numbers of dogs and cats entering their shelters. Many shelters will not even take rabbits, which results in rabbits being "set free," where they have little chance of survival, or ending up as snake food. Every week Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary receives many phone calls and emails from individuals wishing to give us their rabbit. When possible we try to help the individual keep the rabbit sometimes people just need a lesson on bunny-proofing the house, or an explanation of rabbit behavior and a referral to a veterinarian for spay or neuter surgery. We take in as many rabbits needing sanctuary as we can, especially those who have been abandoned or neglected, but we recognize that the need is so great that we must focus more on educating the public so that fewer rabbits will be in need of sanctuary in the future.
Many perfectly friendly and companionable rabbits arrive at Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary for one reason or another, and are adopted out to good homes. In this way we are able to make room for more animals in need.
We prefer that rabbits are adopted into an indoor home where they will receive lots of attention from the human members of the family. Rabbits require a lot of exercise and should receive several hours of exercise every day -- that means time out of the cage (if one is used at all). Rabbits can be litter-trained and many people do not lock their rabbit in a cage at all.
Like most animals, rabbits almost always prefer the company of their own kind, so we strongly recommend that you get a companion for your rabbit if currently you have just one. The best match is a neutered male with a spayed female. Two males will most certainly fight, and two females may fight, but a male-female pair will generally fall in love and become inseparable, after an initial adjustment period. All rabbits adopted out by Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary are neutered or spayed. Our adoption fee is $85 for a single rabbit, or $125 for a bonded couple.
If you are considering adopting a rabbit for a child, please reconsider! Most of the rabbits taken in by Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary over the years were children's pets. Kids grow into and out of interests quickly. Remember that a rabbit can live 10 or more years! And they need attention, not someone who simply feeds and waters them on the way out the door. Moreover, most rabbits do not enjoy being held -- they prefer being petted on the floor. They also do not play games like dogs and even cats will. Although we at Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary adore rabbits, we recognize that for most children, a dog or a cat would make a better pet. Or a hamster or gerbil, which do not live as long and can often be happy in a Habitrail or other fancy cage with little attention from people. Rabbits make wonderful companions -- for the right person! Remember that when you adopt a pet you are making a commitment to that animal for his or her entire life.
For more information on Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary visit our website!
PO Box 7
Whittaker, MI 48190