LAMOINE — Las Vegas has a major bunny over-population that is causing animal rescue groups across the nation to collaborate on how to fix this ever-growing problem. What started out as a nice idea: placing 40-50 bunnies on the grounds of a mental health facility to provide patients with a pleasing panorama, quickly turned into a feral take-over. On top of this, rabbit owners no longer wanting to care for their pets began adding to the “dump sites.” Bunnies have one of the shortest gestation period of only 32 days, and can in fact, carry two litters at the same time. Sadly, these domesticated rabbits have no water and little grass left to eat and predators – including humans – have started targeting them.
Cottontail Cottage Rabbit Sanctuary, in Lamoine, a micro-farm sanctuary that provides homes for upwards of fifty rabbits at a time, was contacted by “Bunnies Matter in Vegas Too,” an activist organization instrumental in overseeing the placement of these abandoned rabbits, to see if they would help. Volunteer drivers will be making the trip to Vegas in the middle of May to transport a large number of these bunnies to approved shelters and rescues across the nation. Eight rabbits will be going to several southern Maine humane societies before making their final stop at Cottontail Cottage, where between 20-30 baby bunnies will start their new life. With little time to prepare, and in the midst of a fundraiser for a desperately needed new barn, the folks at Cottontail Cottage are doing the “bunny hop”. The hoped-for barn will be purchased by the Amish in Pennsylvania and trucked up to Lamoine to house the new bunnies with a delivery date of May 18th. That is, if they can raise the necessary funds. Executive Director, Jenny Nichols, doesn’t seem too fazed about it.
“We are about half-way towards making our goal of $12k to purchase a new barn. Anyone who donates $1k will have their names put on a plaque outside of the barn. We are calling them our “Bunny Angels.” We only need five more. We have run out of space for new surrenders. The new barn will house the Vegas bunnies. It is a worry. But there are some pretty amazing animal advocates out there and I am confident they will come to our aid.”
Nichols also states, that their June “Open House” will not only unveil the new barn but give supporters a chance to meet their newest intakes, including the Vegas bunnies.
“Our open houses are always great times for families. We go all-out for the community in an effort to help educate the public about these rather complicated animals. This gives them a chance to see what they all about.”
Donations for the new barn and to help support the rescue effort of the Vegas Bunnies can be made on their website: ccrabbitrescue.org or mailed to: CCRS, 21 Cottontail Lane, Lamoine, ME 04605.