'It's nose to tail rabbits': Advocates ask Richmond to address wild rabbit problem
Richmond's wild rabbit problem has animal advocates hopping mad, and they want the city to get involved.
"There's well over a thousand rabbits, and there could be close to two thousand rabbits," Sorelle Saidman told CTV News.
"From the Richmond auto mall through to Ikea… It's nose to tail rabbits."
Saidman founded Rabbitats Rabbit Rescue, an organization that helps house homeless feral and domestic rabbits in outdoor habitats. The structures are built in conjunction with animal shelters, rescue groups, businesses and private citizens. Rabbitats also helps educate the bunnies' new guardians on low-maintenance care.
Saidman said the growing problem in Richmond could be fixed.
"Spay and neuter the rabbits on city property and we will take them," she said.
But the city told CTV it doesn't have the funding available to trap and sterilize wild rabbits.
Saidman said the city isn't budgeting properly. She said if municipal officials were on board, Rabbitats could help negotiate a reduced rate for the surgeries from local vets, and the expanding herd could be brought under control.
Local resident Amie Nowak also hopes the city will get involved.
The pediatric nurse and mother didn't plan on keeping 13 bunnies in the backyard of her townhouse, she said, "It just started from trying to do the right thing with one rabbit."
She'd found an abandoned pet hopping around her townhouse complex, and that rabbit soon started having babies. Her daughter caught the mother, who then gave birth again.
"In the span of about three months, we went from two bunnies to 17," she said.
"So then we realized maybe we could get a grip on this problem. We thought we should try and catch the other bunnies from the other litters, so Rabbitats lent us a live trap."
That's how they ended up sharing their property with a baker's dozen of bunnies.
While she waits for the city to come up with a plan of action, she's looking for homes for her backyard brood.
"I guess you could say we fell down the proverbial rabbit hole," she joked.
She said they may be cute, "but I still don't want to keep them all."
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Shannon Paterson