ATTENTION: The first known case of RHDV2 (Rabbit Hemorrhagic Virus) was confirmed in Oregon was in Milwaukie in 2021. The most recent case was found in Lane County on 8/1/22. This is a very serious & deadly virus that affects both wild & domestic bunnies. We are keeping a close eye on the situation and working to think of solutions to protect the bunnies of Cannon Beach from this horrific virus. If you do find a deceased rabbit in Oregon, please DO NOT TOUCH THEM and report it to https://oda.direct/RHD immediately!
Click here for the most up-to-date information on cases in Oregon.
Our mission, as a 501(c)(3) rabbit rescue, is to improve the lives of the abandoned and feral domestic rabbits living in Cannon Beach, Oregon through public education, restriction of population growth through sterilization, provision of safety and care, and facilitation of the fostering and adoption of these rabbits into loving homes.
Decades ago, people abandoned domesticated rabbits into the wild in Cannon Beach, Oregon. Since then, they have been reproducing like, well, rabbits! It is very important to understand that these are NOT wild rabbits. They are an entirely different species. Domesticated rabbits may be able to survive for some time in the wild, but without constant access to dry hay or grass, their molars will overgrow and eventually become a painful problem. Many are hit by cars or mauled by animals, before dental problems or lack of essential nutrients become a problem. When these bunnies get sick, there is no loving family to notice and take them to the vet. If wounded or ill, they will likely suffer in silence and slowly die alone.
The city of Cannon Beach has recognized the rabbit overpopulation is a problem and is seeking ideas for solutions. This rescue has been created as a way for concerned people to connect, plan, and organize rescue efforts to help stop the overpopulation and provide these innocent animals with the shelter, love, nutrition, and medical care that they truly deserve.
The Answers You Need
WHY IS IT SUCH A BIG DEAL?
While it may appear that the bunnies are happily frolicking in the wild, the truth is that they are not receiving the nutrition or care they need. Here are some reasons why the bunnies need our help.
Bunny teeth grow their whole life. They need constant access to dry hay or grass to keep them worn down. Without it, their teeth will overgrow and become painful.
Domestic bunnies need adequate nutrition, which they are very unlikely to find in the wild.
They are hunted and brutally killed by local predators.
As they encroach on gardens, they may be in danger of being poisoned by people.
Though they may find shelter, pouring rain, cold and hot temperatures, flooding, big waves, and gusty winds are all causes for concern.
All bunnies deserve medical care when they are sick or injured!
WAIT - AREN'T THOSE WILD BUNNIES?
Absolutely not. These are domesticated bunnies. Wild bunnies are an entirely different species. Rabbits are very territorial, so wild ones and domestic ones will not cohabitate or mate. Most of these bunnies are feral, which means they were born out in the wild, but "feral" does not equal "wild."
This is a super important distinction because real wild rabbits have different nutritional needs, behaviors, and life spans. Wild rabbits should not be approached or taken from the wild unless they are injured and need immediate care, in which case they should be treated, rehabilitated, and returned to the wild.
YOU AREN'T GOING TO PUT THEM IN CAGES OR HUTCHES, ARE YOU??
ABSOLUTELY NOT. No rabbit should have to live their life in a hutch or a cage! We advocate indoor living either free-range or in large pens with plenty of exercise time.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE BUNNIES AFTER YOU RESCUE THEM?
All rescued bunnies will either go to one of our wonderful foster homes, or be transferred to another trusted rescue organization or shelter. They will receive shelter, enrichment, good food, socialization, and be spayed or neutered before being adopted into loving homes.
WON'T THEY MISS THEIR BUDDIES?
Rabbits are social animals. In bringing them to safety, some friends may be separated, but if a pair is apparently bonded, we will do all we can to try to keep them together. If a bonded pair is placed in foster care, they will not be separated and will only be adoptable as a pair. They may miss their other friends, but our hope is that they will thrive in their new homes, comfortable, protected, and surrounded by love.
SINCE THEY ARE FERAL, WILL THEY BE ABLE TO ACCLIMATE TO INDOOR LIVING WITH HUMANS?
Feral rabbits are very different than feral cats, who are aggressive, fearful, and nearly impossible to socialize. Feral bunnies, in our experience, tend to be fearful, but blossom in indoor settings with calm, patient caretakers. They benefit from established routines, regular exercise time, and feeding of a healthy balanced diet (for the first time!). With a little TLC, they typically start binkying in no time!
WHAT IF I WANT TO KEEP MY LOCAL BUN(S)?
It can be wonderful to have cute little fuzzy friends hopping around! If you would like to adopt that bun (and his friends) who frequent your garden, please contact us for advice! We can help you capture them, assist with spaying and neutering (if you need financial assistance or help with transportation), and help get you set up to be the best bunny parents ever! We love teaching people how to set up their homes to welcome bunnies into their families! We are here if you need advice on diet, housing, enrichment, and medical care. If you don't find the answers you need on our website or just prefer to speak with a human, we are happy to offer you personalized support!
WHY CAN'T WE JUST LET THEM BE?
Aside from the reasons laid out above, it is important to note that this is a problem that will not just go away on its own. The bunnies will continue to reproduce, and people will likely abandon more bunnies in the area. If nothing is done to help them now, and the population continues to grow, the city may turn to drastic, violent means to exterminate them in the future.
HOW CAN I HELP?
We will have more specific volunteer opportunities available in the future (sanctuary care, rescuers, fundraisers, etc.). For now, please consider FOSTERING. We need a few temporary fosters and lots of long-term fosters! Without more foster homes, we can't rescue more bunnies. We also appreciate you sharing the truth about the bunnies. Spread the word that they need our help! Join our private Facebook group for the latest volunteer opportunities and keep an eye out for updates! Check out our "Get Involved" page for ways to spread the word, donate money, etc.
A person commits the crime of animal abandonment if the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence leaves a domestic animal or an equine at a location without providing minimum care.
Animal abandonment is a Class B misdemeanor. [1985 c.662 §8; 2001 c.926 §11; 2009 c.233 §1]
WHAT WE STAND FOR
These are the pillars that we believe in:
Every animal is deserving of respect and compassion.
We do not condone the abuse or consumption of rabbits in any form.
Every domesticated rabbit is deserving of an indoor home with adequate housing, diet, exercise, socialization, and access to medical care.
We do not support rabbit breeding for any reason.
We advocate the spaying and neutering of rabbits to avoid serious health problems, and to eliminate difficult behaviors, strengthening the human-pet bond.
We also advocate spaying and neutering to reduce future populations of homeless rabbits.
All photos on this home page were taken by the fantastic Chelsea Lincoln.