Richmond Auto Mall teams with sanctuary

U.S. care facility agrees to house colony of rabbits

A Washington State sanctuary has agreed to host a colony of rabbits from the Richmond Auto Mall, but the deal awaits approval from the provincial government.

The Precious Life Animal Sanctuary will provide safe refuge and ongoing care, while the auto mall provides the financial support for the next five years.

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To give financial support and send as many rabbits possible, the auto mall needs the public's help to raise money for the animals to be spayed, neutered and transported. It is estimated that about 300 rabbits live on the grounds.

The mall will match all funds raised towards the rabbit rehabilitation project.

To kick start its fundraising initiative, Rabbitats and the Richmond Auto Mall are co-hosting a garage sale this Saturday, Nov. 17 and a "Hoppy Hour" Sunday, Nov. 18, which will include a bunny social and an agility demonstration by the Vancouver Rabbit Agility Club. Attendees are welcome to bring their rabbits or just watch; admission is by donation.

It is currently illegal to trap and possess rabbits without a permit, but legal to trap and kill them, according to the Fish and Wildlife division of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

However, government policy says it can approve applications involving the export of feral rabbits out of the country.

The sanctuary already hosts a colony of rabbits from the University of Victoria, rescued between 2010 and 2011.

Donors and volunteers can contact the Auto Mall's Bunny Hopline at 604-273-3243, or can email either we-care@richmondautomall.com or Rabbitats at rabbitats@gmail.com.

Donations can also be made directly to the sanctuary at www.preciouslifeanimalsanctuary.org/help.php, but donors are asked to indicate the donation is for Richmond rabbits and to notify one of the above email addresses.

Extra money will be redirected to feral colonies around Richmond.

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