Granville Island Partners with Rabbit Rescue

Granville Island partners with rabbit rescue to rehome domestic animals abandoned in local park. No rabbits euthanized. An agreement with Rabbitats, a registered, lisenced rabbit rescue, control & management non-profit, reached.

Granville Island would like to thank everyone for their interest in the rabbit situation on Granville Island. As a reminder, a pair of domestic rabbits appeared in Ron Basford Park last winter, it is assumed a member of the public abandoned their pets, leaving them in the park. By the time Granville Island became aware of the rabbits, they had bred and grown to a large litter (s) and were attracting coyotes into the park.

As Ron Basford Park is heavily used by families and dog walkers, the arrival of the coyotes was a new and alarming development as there had been reports of aggressive coyote behavior in other local parks around Metro Vancouver. With thousands of visitors a day, and their safety utmost in mind, the goal was to prevent the coyote’s from settling on Granville Island.

Granville Island reached out to licensed rabbit shelters, and discovered that abandoned, unneutered/un-spayed pet rabbits were a province-wide problem, and at the time there were no shelters available to take the rabbits. As the rabbits were now considered wildlife, the SPCA was also unable to assist with removing the rabbits.

With that, we made the difficult decision to consider having the rabbits professionally live-trapped, and, if there were no shelters who could take them, have them euthanized by a licensed veterinarian.

We appreciate the public’s engagement and support in finding alternative solutions to the overgrown rabbit population, and are pleased to announce that after live-trapping just a single rabbit, we have reached an agreement and partnership with the Rabbitats Rescue Society, a registered charity tasked with rabbit rescue, control & management, before having to resort to euthanizing the animals. Granville Island is supporting this initiative with assistance from staff, and a cash donation that will cover the cost of neutering, spaying, removing, and rehoming the rabbits from the Island and surrounding parks. Rabbitats will be looking for permanent homes for these, and other abandoned rabbits.

Granville Island has communicated this with the various organizations who have taken an interest in this initiative, including the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, who is responsible for the stewardship of provincial Crown land and natural resources, and protection of BC’s archaeological and heritage resource; the Vancouver Humane Society, Animal Justice Canada, and the City of Vancouver.

We remind the public that abandoning domestic animals in public parks is not a suitable solution to unwanted pets, is a criminal act under the Criminal Code of Canada, and an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The BC SPCA states it is opposed to the abandonment of domestic rabbits into the wild. Please contact them for alternative solutions should you be in doubt.


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