Local rescue aims to find homes for rabbits
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IDAHO FALLS — A female rabbit can produce a litter about every 30 days and within hours be pregnant again. And a female rabbit can have 1 to 14 babies in a litter starting at six months old, according to WideOpenPets. Hypothetically, a rabbit could give birth 12 times a year and with an approximate seven-year life span, she and her offspring could create around 185 billion rabbits in that timeframe.
“That’s a real problem,” Remembering Ruby Rabbit Rescue volunteer and former coordinator Erin Falgoust said.
Falgoust is part of an organization that Elise Church started. Church is the director of Remembering Ruby Rabbit Rescue. She rescued her first rabbit at the Eastern Idaho State Fair after being told it had a problem — it couldn’t be bred.
The group she started is composed of about 15 volunteers and it opened eight years ago at 1561 W. Sunnyside Road.
The rescue takes in bunnies, spays and neuters them and tries to find them homes.
“In Idaho or any agricultural state, they aren’t thought of as companions,” volunteer Lyndsey Rasmussen said. “But they’re extremely smart, fun, clean animals that are worth having.”
In 2019, between the Idaho Falls location and their Boise branch, they adopted out 180 rabbits.
“Every rabbit that you save, it’s one less set of rabbits you’re going to have later,” Falgoust said.
But they can only take in so many rabbits, due to space and money.
They adopt rabbits out for $30 each, but spend more than $100 to have a rabbit spayed or neutered. (All rabbits at the rescue are spayed or neutered.)
“(Church) provides probably 85 to 90 percent of the financial support for the rescue,” Falgoust said.
On top of coming up with funds, the volunteers are in charge of training the rabbits to use litter boxes, plus they are responsible to feed and give them water, clean their cage areas and socialize with them.
Part of the socializing aspect involves sending rabbits to volunteer foster homes. This helps acclimate them to more people and noise so once they’re adopted, they’re better prepared for what awaits.
They also have another foster program where people interested in adopting can take a rabbit home to see if it’s a good fit for their family before purchasing it.
“The cool thing about coming to the rescue and adopting is that we don’t have to go off of a breeder,” Rasmussen said. “We have people who interact with them that can tell you their personality. Especially when they’ve been fostered, the foster can tell you exactly how they’re going to react.”
Rasmussen said they are always in need of volunteers at the shelter and foster homes. If you’re interested in helping, adopting or dropping off a rabbit, set up an appointment through the organization’s Facebook page.