Carmel Valley Middle School seventh grade student Melanie An is the newest volunteer at the San Diego House Rabbit Society. The HRS rescues abandoned domestic rabbits in the community and finds new homes for them. It is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that has been in existence for over 20 years. The local chapter also educates the community on the proper and responsible care of domestic rabbits.
Melanie has been a rabbit owner since the age of 5 and currently has three rabbits. She says when her mom told her about the opportunity for a volunteer videographer and editor position at the local house rabbit facility she knew it was meant to be. “I have always loved taking care of rabbits and this is a great way for me to help those little bunnies that need homes. I will be taking video of them, editing and after they are approved by the adoptions director they will be uploaded to the HRS website and YouTube channel so that families can look at them and hopefully make them a part of their family!”
Judith Pierce is the local co-chapter manager and adoptions director of the San Diego House Rabbit Society. She says there are currently over 100 rabbits that are cared for by the local HRS chapter volunteers and fostering families.
“On any given day there are about 20 bunnies available for adoption at our center. Our local adoption days are Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. in our Kearny Mesa location. Families can come to look at the bunnies and see if they can provide a new home.”
She adds that some rabbits are sanctuary pets because they have an illness or are just not able to be adopted. They live the remainder of their lives with foster families and the HRS. Many are bunnies that were bought during Easter or for special events and were later returned or set free. Luckily, some rabbits are rescued and end up at the HRS while others are not so fortunate.
The center relies heavily on volunteers and donations. The organization’s largest charity event of the year is coming up this weekend on Sunday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bunnyfest is the group’s annual fundraiser which draws almost 700 visitors from all over the county. This year the event will take place at Balboa Park. HRS officials hope the location will attract not only the traditional bunny lovers but curious onlookers as well. Pierce adds, “We hope to get many rabbit adoptions from Bunnyfest this year and send home bunnies with loving families who will take care of them for many years to come.”
The Bunnyfest event will include an open air fair with arts and crafts, games for children, a petting zoo, informational bunny booth, food carts, bunny races and a silent auction. Admission and parking is free. The exact event location at Balboa Park is the corner of Park Blvd and President’s Way. Proceeds will help the local HRS chapter as well as the much needed creation of a rabbit shelter for the community.
The San Diego House Rabbit Society depends on support from the community. The Petco Foundation is one of the event sponsors for Bunnyfest this year. Volunteers are always needed for rescue, adoption and education efforts. More information on the HRS and Bunnyfest can be found at www.sandiegorabbits.org.