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I Found A Domestic Rabbit

Please note that all animals are accepted by appointment during regular daytime hours. Only a found rabbit who is sick or injured is considered an urgent appointment. Please call 519-966-5751 to discuss bringing a found rabbit in and to book an appointment.

Fees to Drop Off a Stray Rabbit

The WECHS offers Animal Control Services to the municipalities of Windsor and Amherstburg, so there are no fees for bringing in a stray rabbit from those areas. While NO other municipalities have provisions for stray rabbits, the WECHS will accept stray rabbits when we are able to from finders at no charge when shelter capacity allows, with the understanding that Windsor and Amherstburg rabbits must take priority.

 

If you are concerned about rabbits and you live in Tecumseh, LaSalle, Essex, Kingsville, Leamington, or Lakeshore, please let your municipality know that you believe they should provide services for finders of stray rabbits.

 Rabbits are often more challenging pets than people bargain for. They were expecting a “big hamster” and instead they get a “vegetarian cat who chews everything”. That leads to rabbits being the third most common pet surrendered to shelters in North America, and it also leads to rabbits being abandoned in parks and other urban areas. Many people think that a domestic rabbit is the same as a wild rabbit, who is fit to survive on their own. But unlike cats, domestic rabbits are genetically different from their wild counterparts, and often they don’t survive long after being abandoned. They are picked off by predators or killed by cars that they have no experience with or succumb to illness or parasites. Or sometimes the opposite happens – the environment is perfect and they start to overpopulate, causing a nuisance.

  • A domestic rabbit outdoors isn’t necessarily homeless. There are no laws in Windsor/ Essex prohibiting a pet rabbit from roaming, and provincial law also doesn’t prohibit outdoor pet rabbits. If you see a rabbit outside, be sure to talk to nearby homeowners to see if the rabbit is theirs. If you feel that adequate care isn’t being provided to the rabbit, you can report the situation to the Provincial Animal Welfare Service by calling 1-833-9ANIMAL (please remember that just living outside is not a situation that violate’s Ontario’s standards of care).

  • A sick or injured domestic rabbit needs help. If the rabbit is bleeding, showing severe respiratory symptoms, or can’t hop they need help. Injured or sick rabbits found in Windsor and Amherstburg are included in those municipality’s animal care and control plans; please call the Humane Society about confining them and bringing them in for care. If you live in another Essex County municipality, please ask your town if they provide this service. If not, the Humane Society will assist rather than leaving the animal in distress.

  • I found a healthy-looking stray rabbit. The Humane Society needs to ensure that we have the capacity for healthy rabbits prior to bringing them in. We currently have a wait list for surrendered rabbits, and it’s not fair to them to bump healthy stray rabbits ahead of them. Please call us at 519-966-5751 if you see a stray rabbit – before trying to catch them. We may advise you to monitor the rabbit until a spot in our adoption program opens up.

  • Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV-2) is in our community. RHDV-2 can have a mortality rate as high as 90%, and some rabbits who become infected with the virus will show no symptoms. Bringing a rabbit in from outside can put your rabbit at risk (although the virus can also be carried home on your clothes or shoes even if your rabbit never goes outside). This illness has now been found in Windsor, so it is critical that the Humane Society monitor our shelter’s rabbit population and not take in more rabbits than we have capacity for. For information about the virus and how to protect your pet rabbit check out this helpful info from the House Rabbit Society.