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It's a rare and sad day that we say anything negative about a shelter or another rescue group---even if we have a difference of opinion or don't particularly "like" each other. We recognize the value of working together, supporting all rescue efforts and doing whatever is needed to help save the most lives.
We support all reasonable and honest rescue efforts that further the bigger picture of animal rescue.
Most professionally run rescue groups, like SaveABunny, The Rabbit Haven and House Rabbit Society work collaboratively with each other. We share resources, act with integrity and respect the work and boundaries of other rescue groups.
This unfortunately hasn't been our experience with Rabbit Ears for many years. Until recently we just looked the other way.
Recently Rabbit Ears put a number of their rabbits into our local shelter, Marin Humane Society, behind the scenes, without communicating with us or inquiring how their actions might impact our local rescue efforts. It actually had a HUGE impact.
It crowded our local shelter, undermined our rescue efforts and placed a burden on our group. Putting those bunnies into Marin Humane Society also took away spaces that were planned for actual death row bunnies from the San Jose and Santa Cruz shelters. We were working closely with The Rabbit Haven and Santa Cruz ACC to help save several rabbits. Spaces destined for those rabbits at high kill shelters were taken for what was an inconvenient, but not an emergency rescue scenario. The reason for leaving bunnies Marin Humane Society?---rising rent bills and Rabbit Ears wanted to downsize. Inconvenient, but an emergency? Finding foster homes was another option or directly asking us and other rescue groups to help take a few rabbits.
All rescue groups are struggling to pay bills and make ends meet. For example, we pay for all our rescue costs, including rescues from Marin Humane Society. Like Rabbit Ears, we have operating expenses that weigh on our minds. But we would never dream of unloading our problems and bunnies in a way that is detrimental to another group. Few groups (including us) are as lucky as Rabbit Ears to have a for profit, retail store (non 501 c3) with paid staff members.
We have to trust people and other groups to behave in ways that are efficient, effective and helpful to animals in a global sense. This simply wasn't the case here.
"Reflection Of Compassion" is a lovingly commissioned series of original watercolor and gouache illustrations created especially for SaveABunny Rabbit Rescue by artist Elizabeth Koval Maffeo. (All images copyright 2008 SaveABunny. All rights reserved.)