Deluge of rabbits turns shelter into Bunnyland
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By Mickey Zeldes  September 13, 2013 12:00 am

For some reason, the bunny floodgates have opened up and we are inundated with stray and unwanted rabbits right now.  In fact, we are at an all-time high of 23 rabbits in the shelter as of this writing – everything from a litter of 8-week old babies to a very old looking stray rabbit.  We’re not alone – recently there were emails from both the Sacramento shelter and the San Jose shelter asking for help with an unusually high number of rabbits coming in. It’s surprising and makes you wonder what is going on?

The litter of six 8-week old bunnies we received was owner-surrendered along with the mom.  It’s amazing what people don’t know about animals (and biology) and this story proves it.  These people rescued the mom from a feed store where she was in a cage giving birth.  They went up to inform the clerks of what was happening, and they said the couple could just have the rabbit if they took all the babies too.  That they rescued this rabbit is the good part.  The sad part is they kept the family all together and was shocked when six months later mom gave birth to another litter.

They didn’t realize the son could impregnate the mom (oh, he wouldn’t! – um, yes, he would… and he did!).  FYI – moms can mate with sons, dads with daughters, brothers with sisters, etc.  This is true for most animals – cats, dogs, rats, rabbits and so on.  With a gestation period of approximately 31 days, it’s no surprise that people find themselves in trouble in no time.  That’s often how these hoarding situations you hear about get started .  Good intentions gone awry.

Needless to say, this couple was overwhelmed, so with a second litter quickly coming of age and still struggling to place all of the first litter, they surrendered the newly weaned babies and mom to the shelter.  They are beautiful Dutch mixes and a couple Himalayan mixes and are already up in adoptions, along with many others.  

If you are at all interested in rabbits, come by the shelter during our monthly bunny day event, the second Saturday of each month – the next one is Saturday, Sept. 14, from 1-5 p.m.  We showcase our rabbits on the lawn, have knowledgeable bunny volunteers available to answer your questions and offer free nail trims, as well as sell toys and supplies at our Bunny Boutique to support our small animals at the shelter.  We are doing a “Name your own Price” adoption special through September, so this is the perfect time to add a rabbit to your family.  And boy, do we have the selection right now to choose from! 


Upcoming events

Registration is now open for the Mutt Strut – a dog walk and pet fair on Saturday, Sept. 28.  Start getting pledges and winning prizes for raising the most money for our shelter.  Register online at or stop by the shelter.


• Free pet ID tags and microchips for all Rohnert Park and Cotati pets are available for those who stop by the shelter during our open hours. The hours are Wednesday 1-6:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 1-5:30 p.m. and Sunday 1-4:30 p.m.


Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at

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