Cottontail Cottage Rabbit Rescue in Lamoine, Maine has managed to get some very good publicity in the Bangor Daily News that includes an excellent video posted on their website. The rescue is run by Jenny Nichols, who is helping to educate the public about rabbits as pets. Here are some highlights of the article written by Mario Moretto:
The story she tells is dire: Well-meaning parents buy bunnies for their kids, unaware that rabbits require specialized care and handling, or that the critters are far from ideal pets for small children. Professional breeders, obsessed with selling “perfect” animals only, will cull rabbits for being born blind in one eye or for having malformed teeth.
In an effort to save rabbits, Nichols, a 30-year-old stay-at-home mom, has started Cottontail Cottage Rabbit Rescue, a shelter in a former garage at her Lamoine home. There, she’s got more than 30 bunnies waiting for adoption or foster care, many of which were rescued from people who didn’t know what they were getting into when they got the animals as pets in the first place.
Keeping rabbits, she says, is hard work. Uninformed owners often turn to neglect, she said, leaving their rabbits in outdoor hutches to fend for themselves. The results are often bad for the animals.
“I have two rescue rabbits with a foster mom right now that were found in a cage with a third, dead rabbit that was so badly desiccated they couldn’t even recognize it,” she said.
Cottontail Cottage recently registered for nonprofit status and is in the process of becoming a licensed animal shelter through the state Animal Welfare Program. Nichols works closely with the Hancock County SPCA, which may soon become her financial sponsor, allowing her to accept tax-deductible donations of money and supplies.
“I applaud her for what she’s doing,” said Diana de los Santos, operations manager at the Hancock SPCA. “We’ are overrun with dogs and cats, so if someone brings a rabbit in, she’s there. And she knows a lot more about rabbits than we do.”
Running the rabbit rescue has become Nichols’ full-time job. A former marketer, she’s used her communications know-how to build a network of supporters online. This week, a St. George man donated handmade rabbit hutches crafted from lobster traps. People from as far away as Massachusetts turn to Cottontail Cottage to take care of bunnies they rescue.
The full article, which includes a short video showing Jenny and several of her adoptable rabbits (including some newborn baby bunnies) may be seen by following this link. Here are links to her Facebook Page and website.
We applaud Jenny Nichols, both for her much-needed rabbit rescue work and also for helping to spread the word about the unique qualities of pet rabbits.
Photo courtesy of Carly & Art