Wow, what a year! Over 3,000 animals have come through the Lycoming County SPCA’s doors so far in 2019. That is a lot of animals, and it takes a village, let us tell you, a village of dedicated volunteers, donors, and staff, to provide a rich experience for every one of them. When we reflect on 2019 and the challenges and inspirations that it has brought, a few high, or low points as they may be, stand out in our minds.
One of the largest, single events that come to mind is the seizure of “the bunnies.” It was in early March when we received a phone call about rabbits. A property in downtown Williamsport had been condemned and the tenants had to vacate. They left behind several animals, the caller explained, including rabbits that were outside in hutches without food or water. Our Humane Officers responded to the case and brought in the eleven rabbits. They filled up nearly all of our small animal cages and the Board Room became the “Bunny Room” until their court case was finished and they could be placed for adoption.
Now, knowing bunnies, what do you think happened during that time? Eleven bunnies became forty-seven bunnies! Can you imagine? To be fair to our staff, the females were pregnant upon intake. And, did you know that female rabbits can be pregnant with two separate litters of bunnies at the same time? Overall, we had thirty-six bouncing baby bunnies born at the shelter.
We quickly found out that having this many rabbits is no small feat. Elmer Fudd does not call them “wascally wabbits” for nothing. They make a really big mess…every day. It takes our staff one to one-and-a-half hours each morning to clean and feed them. They have eaten us out of house and home, and in fact, even nibbled on a foster parent’s molding in her own home. We have most of them spayed or neutered by now, and it is gratifying to see their little personalities emerge as they become less scared and more confident here at the shelter. As of press time, many have gone to forever homes and we are back down to thirteen bunnies available for adoption. We would love to help these sweet little ones find a home for the holidays!
Give a gift this #GivingTuesday to help ensure that homeless bunnies like Grandpa Moses and Latte (see below) continue to have a place to turn in their time of need!