The Bernalillo County Animal Care and Resource Center is overflowing with over 100 rabbits who are in need of loving homes.
Candace Sanchez, the center’s outreach manager, said it all started with a complaint they received about rabbits spotted in the road in the South Valley area.
“Upon arrival, we found that a homeowner ... was housing multiple rabbits in a small contained outdoor area,” Sanchez said. “Once we started going into the facility, we realized that what ended up happening was the owner initially purchased the rabbits as pets, and they were not spayed and neutered. So as time progressed on, multiplication started taking place.”
That multiplication resulted in a total of 169 rabbits, all of which were then surrendered to Bernalillo County Animal Care Services.
Some of the rabbits were placed into other animal care facilities, but currently the Bernalillo center is caring for just under 120 rabbits — an unusually high number of animals to take in all at once, according to Sanchez. Despite the added pressure, staff are working in lockstep to shuffle the rabbits into the adoption process and out of the facility.
“This volume, we don’t see it very often,” Sanchez said. “It’s brought all of our teams together, where we all have a piece in what’s taking place to get them from being into the facility … to our staff doing the initial adoption and getting them out to the individuals.”
An added challenge is the high demand for younger rabbits, Sanchez said, particularly around holidays like Valentine’s Day. Despite the lack of demand for the older set, Sanchez remained optimistic in the center’s ability to get all of the animals adopted.
“In all reality, we’ve had a very high interest, we’re excited, and now it’s just us having the availability, due to COVID, to get people in (the facility) in a timely manner and also in a safe manner,” Sanchez said.
Individuals interested in adopting a rabbit from the Bernalillo County Animal Care and Resource Center can visit the Bernalillo County Animal Care Services website and fill out a rabbit adoption interest card. They will then receive a call back within 24 hours to schedule an appointment to visit the facility in-person.
Alex McCausland is the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @alexkmccausland