Bunnies abandoned in downtown Kelowna under care of Okanagan rabbit sanctuary | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Bunnies abandoned in downtown Kelowna under care of Okanagan rabbit sanctuary

These bunnies were found abandoned in a crate in Kelowna's downtown last week.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Warren Peace Bunny Sanctuary
August 09, 2021 - 7:30 AM

The founder of an Okanagan bunny sanctuary is again taking in a pair of abandoned rabbits despite trying to wind down operations.

The rabbits were found abandoned last week in Kelowna’s downtown in a carrier. The pair, an un-neutered male and pregnant female, are now at the Warren Peace Bunny Sanctuary in Lake Country.

The Warren Peace Bunny Sanctuary is no longer accepting bunnies as its founders attempt to retire and the B.C. SPCA branch is at max capacity for rabbits.

“People are just dropping them off in their carriers downtown,” said sanctuary founder Antoinette Monod.

“They just have no options. Those bunnies tend to be coming here, because what am I supposed to do?” she said.

Monod doesn’t yet have a timeframe for when she’ll shut down the sanctuary, she’s letting the current bunnies live out their lives and another volunteer will take over operations of the farm animals.

They currently have roughly 700 small critters they care for including rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, pigs, rats, ferrets, chinchillas and turkeys.

At the beginning of the pandemic, people were dropping off rabbits but when Monod started saying they can’t accept rabbits, they asked her where to take them.

“I don’t know,” was her response. “I don’t think they’re bad people, they’re good people with no options.”

She’s encouraging people to use the Warren Peace Bunny Sanctuary Facebook page to find homes for pets.

“There are more bunnies that need homes than there are people who can look after bunnies,” she said.

They are currently accepting a few animals temporarily from wildfire evacuees and Monod also noted as things begin to return to normal, she’s heard the stories of people getting evicted who can’t keep their pets.

“I know one fella who's living in a tent right now and we’re looking after his bunny and he’s trying to find a place to live that will allow him to take his bunny back.”

After hearing his story, Monod decided to look after the bunny until he finds a place to live.

“That’s part of the problem as well, not just people taking in animals and deciding they don’t have time for them,” she said, noting that’s still part of the issue, people don’t understand how much care bunnies require.

Sean Hogan, Kelowna branch manager with the B.C. SPCA, said the branch is currently at max capacity with four rabbits in Kelowna that are under quarantine through the SPCA's Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease vaccination protocol.

"It is standard for us to manage the number of animals we have in shelter at any one time," he said, adding there has also been a shuffling of animals across the region as branches are looking after wildfire evacuees' pets.

The SPCA is also experiencing a shortage of volunteers, he said. "There are days of the week that we can't get covered."

“We have several rabbits on our waitlist, and tried to connect other branches in the Okanagan – but everyone is maxed out,” he said. “The SPCA branches in the Shuswap, Vernon, Kamloops are full and focused on evacuees from wildfires. We have been assisting those branches by taking animals from them, which has made us full, too.”

READ MORE: Businesses, community groups offering places for B.C. Interior wildfire evacuees to stay

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