New Mexico's Pet Resource SPRING 2007

by Patteanne Byrum

The House Rabbit Society (HRS), a national non-profit rescue organization, was founded in 1998 to reduce the exploitation of domestic rabbits. HRS has more than 8,000 members around the world who strive to improve the lives of abused and abandoned bunnies by educating veterinarians, humane societies and individuals on the proper care of rabbits.

Through a fostering program, this all-volunteer organization finds permanent housing for homeless bunnies. Every rescued rabbit must be spayed or neutered. They also receive medical care, proper food and love. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a New Mexico Chapter of HRS for almost ten years.

A major goal of HRS is to try to correct the misconceptions about rabbits as companion animals.

According to the House Rabbit Journal, most rabbits are either bred and slaughtered or kept in laboratories. Even as pets, many are kept isolated in small, outdoor hutches, deprived of exercise and human contact. They often do not get appropriate food because some foodstuffs are toxic to rabbits. People abandon rabbits in the mountains because they believe pet rabbits can survive as wild rabbits. People leave bunnies in parks, forests, alleys and by highways when they no longer want them. Abandoned rabbits are more vulnerable than cats or dogs that become homeless. It is sad that rabbits are among the most harshly exploited of animals.

The House Rabbit Society, based in Richmond, CA, receives no government support or advertising dollars. Due to volunteers, who put thousands of hours into educational and rescue work, and the generosity of individual members, who support HRS financially each year, HRS has rescued over 15,000 bunnies since it began.

For further information write to: House Rabbit Society, 148 Broadway, Richmond, CA 94804 or

Patteanne Byrum, a former Albuquerque Journal correspondent, who has written award-winning poetry, lives in Santa Fe where she is an advocate for rabbits.

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