By Tyler Wright
A Dandenong Ranges rabbit rescue has received a $1,000 grant from Australia Post to facilitate their foster program.
Rabbit Runaway Orphanage in Olinda, a non-for-profit run by volunteers and a small committee of management, facilitates medical treatments, short-term care and homing solutions for the neglected or stranded bunnies.
“Our rescue supports council pounds and other rescues with animals that are perhaps difficult for them to rehome because of underlying health issues,” orphanage president Judi Inglis said.
“When we [send] these bunnies out, we put out a pet set up with them; that’s an indoor pet fence with a picnic rug to go under it, a water bowl, a big bag of hay and pellets.”
Rather than adoption, where the new owner foots medical and maintenance bills, the rabbit orphanage covers veterinary expenses for foster carers.
“Rabbits are not a mainstream pet, when it comes to animal grants and laws… so we battle to keep funds coming in for vet care for the animals, particularly the ones in our special needs foster program,” Ms Inglis said.
A bunny dumped in a St Kilda laneway was recently surrendered to the centre and another rabbit suffering from a tapeworm cyst was delivered from another regional animal rescue.
These are what Ms Inglis calls ‘Very Important Bunnies’ (BIBs) and the ones who are in the most need of foster care.
“We’re finding pet rabbits dumped…over the last few years we’ve picked up five or six from the Mountain Highway…these animals were long-furred breeds, and they don’t survive out there,” she said.
356 community groups were supported through Australia Post’s ‘People of Post’ grants which seek to reward non-profit community organisations.
“We are delighted that so many of our people around Australia were keen to make a difference and nominated an organisation close to their heart for a grant.”
It was Sunshine West local Christian Rangasamy who nominated Rabbit Runaway Orphanage for the grant.
Ms Inglis encourages those looking to own a rabbit to research the breed’s needs and warns they are not a “great child’s pet”.