It’s not hard to look at a bunny and fall in love with their big eyes, wriggling nose and long ears, but what you might not know is how much work they are.
A new documentary, The Domestic Rabbit created by Anne Billingsley, a recent graduate from the Centre for Art and Technology in Kelowna, B.C., is shedding light on how rabbits are misunderstood and abandoned.
“I really want to encourage people to research rabbits more especially before making any decisions,” said Billingsley.
“The big thing in my documentary is that rabbits are often abandoned which is a huge problem and people need to be more aware that it’s not OK because domestic rabbits really can’t survive in the wild.”
For decades, people have abandoned domestic bunnies in Kelowna. Thousands were running free around the city, left either because their owners found them to be too much work, or they could no longer be cared for.
Bunnies are fragile, high-maintenance pets that require a specific diet and lots of exercise. If left alone to roam the house they can cause trouble like chewing through wires.
Now more than 200 abandoned bunnies call Lake Country’s Warren Peace Bunny Sanctuary home.
The not-for-profit takes in bunnies that have nowhere else to go, gets them spayed or neutered and provides any other medical attention required to save their little lives, like the rabbit Scarlett who came to them with a back injury.
“We should be the last people that you ask for help. The first thing you should do is take it upon yourself to try to find them a good home and sanctuaries and rescues should be the last place you look; it’s easier to just call us first but we are overwhelmed,” said Antoinette Monod, Warren Peace Bunny Sanctuary
Monod says that if people did their research before adopting a bunny into the family, sanctuaries like hers wouldn’t be necessary.
Her message is echoed in The Domestic Rabbit documentary that is now available online.