House Rabbit Society is an international, volunteer-based, non-profit organization with two primary goals: to rescue abandoned rabbits and find permanent homes for them and to educate the public and assist humane societies.
Code of Conduct Visibility: open Membership: open Group Email: HouseRabbitSociety@groups.care2.com
House Rabbit Society was founded by seven people at a dining room table in Alameda, California (the same table that's on the cover of House Rabbit Handbook). The seven of us were Betty Tsubamoto, Ron Westman, Donna Duguay, Bob and Marinell Harriman, Amy (Shapiro) Espie, and myself. Our mission for HRS was based on two observations: that people needed to be educated about the needs of real rabbits, and that there were rabbits in shelters in need of good homes.
When we incorporated as a nonprofit in January 1988, we wondered if a government agency would find pet rabbits as important as we did. It did, and in May 1988, the IRS granted HRS a federal tax exemption.
House Rabbit Society's origins are directly linked to Marinell's extraordinary book House Rabbit Handbook: How to Live with an Urban Rabbit. First published in 1985, the concept of rabbits in the house was like a sublime secret. In HRH, she interviewed over 30 people and their house rabbits, including Ron, Donna, Betty, Amy, and me. The response was phenomenal. Phone calls and letters came from all over, with people sharing their own stories, observations, and questions. Since HRH would not be revised for a few years, it became evident that an ongoing source of information was needed, especially with the rapid changes in veterinary medicine as more people began demanding care for their bunnies.
Then there was the phone call in 1986 that changed Bob and Marinell's life: a reader of the Handbook called to say that four rabbits at a local shelter would be euthanized. Marinell recalls saying, "What are we supposed to do about it?" When she told Bob, he said, "We've got to help those rabbits." Nowhere in the research for HRH had the critical problem of unwanted rabbits ever been mentioned.
Amy soon became a bunny foster parent along with Marinell and Bob. When HRS began, we had two foster homes, and seven people committed to spreading the word about the joys and needs of companion rabbits. We were joined by local fosterers Susan Stark in mid-1988 and Margo DeMello in 1989. As people learned about HRS, some, like Holly O'Meara, who started the LA chapter, said, "Yeah, I can do it. I can foster some rabbits." Then came Sandi Ackerman in Washington and others in Illinois and Colorado.
At the end of 1988, HRS had 300 members; over 7,000 members now receive the Journal. Over the course of ten years, HRS fosterparents have rescued 6,931 rabbits, many of whom had run out of time at shelters. We have educators and fosterers in 27 states and into Canada, plus a network of chapters. Our medical conference in 1997 was attended by 200 veterinary professionals. And, in just a few years of operation, our Web site tallied its millionth visitor. Remarkably, all of these rescues and all of this education have been accomplished by an all- volunteer organization.
As of 2007, HRS has over 9,000 members with new people finding out about us every day thanks to our website, which now receives about a million hits per week, and the tremendous work of our volunteers around the world. Over the course of ten years, HRS foster parents have rescued over 20,000 rabbits, many of whom had run out of time at shelters. We have educators and fosterers in 33 states and into Canada, Australia, Italy, Hong Kong and Singapore plus a network of chapters throughout North America.
We depend on donations to support our efforts; if you'd like to be involved, please consider donating today!
RabbitMatch.org is a small group of volunteers whose passion is finding abandoned Los Angeles rabbits loving, indoor homes. Our wonderful rabbits enjoy human company, are all spayed/neutered, litterbox trained and looking for rabbit-friendly indoor homes.