By Michele Page
Wow has it been 10 years? Where does the time go?
I remember it was 2006 when Best Friends got the call from Reno Nevada, that someone had 800 hundred rabbits on an acre of land and they needed help. It turned out that 1250 rabbits were rescued from that backyard and many more were born at the rescue ranch site before all the spaying and neutering was complete.
I was working in the Parrot department at the time. Close friends of mine then working in rabbits and those in the clinic at Best Friends were eager to respond and help. This was going to be one heck of a endeavor. It took a few weeks to put the plan in action to go rescue, relocate and begin to spay or neuter them all and find partners around the U.S. to help facilitate finding placement for them all.
Making long stories short, the group of rabbits that is now living at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary originally were sent to a sanctuary in Michigan. When the Michigan sanctuary could no longer care for them, 312 of the Reno rabbits were brought to Best Friends in 2009. Our hope was that they would have a peaceful life until adoption or old age.
I started working with these lovely animals in 2010. Many were frightened and misunderstood. At the time we had just over 300 rabbits originally from Reno, then Michigan living living at “Rescue Village” at Best Friends. Now we house less than 35, due to the fact that they are passing from old age.
They have received much love from their caregivers and Vet staff here at the Sanctuary. Truly a dedication over the years that has given them a wonderful quality to their lives and has left them a chance at enjoying a wonderful existence. Over the years I have had the privilege of caring for them and learning about their health needs and personalities. Bonding with each of these little beings was an honor. Some so shy, others adventuresome, some with attitudes. What a truly lovely experience. How could I be this lucky?
Over the years they all touched my soul. Benjamin with his unconditional love ,Kelly which never went without reminding me that she would never let me be “dry” after one of her butt baths, and Teddy that went through quite the weight loss program never complaining. They all touched my heart beyond words. These little beings were expressing themselves and showing their personalities just like dogs and cats do. They got excited at feeding time, they did “Binkies” at new toys being presented to them. They played hide and seek when they knew that they needed to take their meds. What wasn’t to love about these marvelous creatures. I have my favorites just like anyone would, Teddy being one of them. However my respect for each and everyone of them remains the same. As they each have left an impression on my heart and always will. I will be thankful for the time we have all spent together from the day they arrived until each one has passed over the rainbow bridge.
I am so thankful and grateful for this wonderful experience.