Abandoned Rabbits, Adopted During Pandemic, Multiplying In Some Minnesota Communities

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (WCCO) — As the pandemic forced many people to stay home, some adopted furry friends for company. But some rabbits have been left to roam.

The bunny love stands out in the south metro home of Debbie Mans, owner and CEO of Rabbit Rescue of Minnesota. It’s in her basement where the real thing huddle and hop happens — and where Mans worries about a multiplying problem.

“Never seen anything like it,” Mans said.

Pictures have been pouring into Rabbit Rescue of Minnesota of domesticated animals left to roam, likely taken in as new pets and eventually turned away. Their typical 40 rabbits in foster homes has grown to 140, with 80 more still waiting to be rescued.

In Moorhead alone, bunnies are now spread among a city block.

“Two that probably got out of a yard and turned into 20 within a couple of months,” Mans said.

She believes many people didn’t do their research before buying a rabbit this past year.

“They’re not what you call a lap pet, most of them. They’re not for kids, they’re not starter pets and they do not belong in a cage,” Mans said. “They need to run, they need to have at least a minimum of four to five hops in an enclosure.”

Rescue groups also believe cost could be a contributing problem. A rabbit can cost more than $100 a month to feed. So, if you can’t handle one?

“You don’t put them outside. That’s where this whole problem is starting,” Mans said.

If you think you can, they are in desperate need of fosters to, as they say, give a second chance to some bunny in need.

“All we need is a four-by-six area in your home, and a lot of love in your heart,” Mans said.

The rescue provides fresh hay, litter, housing, vet care and food. Click here for more information on becoming a foster or adopting.