As part of her summer writing program, 12-year-old Mikala Sky McLoughlin visited a refuge for abandoned rabbits and learned a lot about the furry creatures, including that they do not carry disease and are often as easy to train as dogs. Submitted photo

Letter: Rabbitats, adoption aimed at helping abandoned bunnies

Editor: If you have always thought of rabbits as mere rodents and nuisances, think again.

Look closely into the life of bunnies, and one thing stands out: they play an important part in the ecosystems of our communities.

Because they forage on wild grasses and herbs, they leave nutrient-rich compost nuggets in the soils. But there is another side to the story.

As part of my July writing program, led by English tutor Joan Gibson, I studied how rabbits are abandoned and live at risk in our community.

I visited Rabbitats at their South Surrey location next to Urban Safari Centre.

Kathy Lucier, who is the volunteer manager of the Surrey Sanctuary Rabbitat, explained to me that between the Richmond rabbit shelter and the sanctuary, just over 200 rabbits are sheltered, fed and cared for until they are adopted either into private homes or rabbitats.

Domesticated rabbits are adopted into homes, whereas feral rabbits that are turned out by their owners into the wild and abandoned, are housed in colonies — or rabbitats — of six to 12 spayed and neutered bucks and does.

The sanctuary is looking for more people to adopt rabbits or set up rabbitats. Setting up rabbitats at schools, seniors homes, and private hobby farms is simple and fully supported by Rabbitats.

The process is trouble-free. They will provide education and support for building shelters, providing food and care.I also found out that bunnies do not carry diseases and are as intelligent and easy to train as dogs.

Come to the Bunny Agility Day on Saturday July 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Maple Ridge Country Fest, located on the Albion Fairgrounds, 23448 105 Ave.

How can you get involved? Visit www.rabbitats.org.

Mikala Sky McLoughlin, age 12,

Surrey