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Local shelter finds homes for abandoned bunnies

Rabbits such as this one are always seeking forever homes at the Ohio House Rabbit Rescue. Credit: Claire Lefton | Lantern Reporter

Tucked away in Worthington, the Ohio House Rabbit Rescue might seem like some run-of-the-mill animal shelter to the unsuspecting onlooker, but the small operation holds an important place in Ohio’s animal welfare community.

Founded in 2009, the Ohio House Rabbit Rescue is the sole rabbit-only animal shelter in the entire state. It was founded by manager Beverly May when she realized there was a need for rabbit-specific rescue and shelter in Ohio.

“They don’t have to live with cats and dogs,” May said. “You’ll notice it’s really quiet around here so we don’t have to worry about barking dogs or cats and so on. The bunnies like it here.”

Almost every square inch of the shelter is dedicated to the rabbits and they try to squeeze in as many as possible.

“At our adoption center, we’d like to have 25 to 30 rabbits,” said Pat Barron, president of the board of directors. “We almost always have over 40 at our rescue. Though we adopt about 100 to 125 a year.”

The bunnies are always on the lookout for forever homes and Barron said students could provide excellent environments for them.

“The rabbits are actually very social and they’ll get attached to their owners,” Barron said. “So to give up a rabbit is a really serious thing because it’s hurtful to the rabbit [that] their friend that they want to be with in life isn’t there anymore.”

While they make nice pets, May said it is important to keep in mind –– especially around Easter season –– that rabbits should not be given as gifts. Oftentimes, people will buy a rabbit as a present and either get bored of it or think its too much work, leaving it abandoned.

“We don’t recommend any animal or pet be given as a gift so we really monitor somebody if they come in here around Easter time to make sure that they are really after the rabbit as a pet and not just as kind of a temporary gift,” she said.

For those who love bunnies but for can’t adopt one, the rescue is always looking for volunteers to help out.

“We have two types of volunteers,” May said. “You can come in and help us socialize the bunnies and then once you’ve come in and socialized a few times, you can help us actually take care of the bunnies by feeding them, cleaning them, changing their litter boxes, that sort of thing.”   

Aspiring adopters should know that the adoption fee is only $40 and the rabbits are already spayed or neutered to save the adopter hundreds of dollars in veterinary bills.

The Ohio House Rabbit Rescue is located at 5485 N. High St. in Worthington. The shelter is open from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and 12 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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