Report Sighting

Costs & Sustainability

Rescue Cost Examples

  • The rescue and relocation of 500 rabbits requires $37,500 in spay/neuter fees.
  • Vaccinations can run as high as $5000 (or as low as $1500).
  • Rabbitat’s current sanctuary under construction, designed to hold 500 rabbits, will cost $31,500 to build.
  • The total project costs will be $142,000
  • The monthly overhead and care costs at that location for 500 rabbits will be roughly $4500 p/m, or $54,000 per year, including rent and overhead.
  • Rabbitats expects the entities benefiting from rabbit removal and surrenders to at least cover the spay/neuter costs.
  • Donors have traditionally covered the veterinary costs not associated with sterilization.

Damage Costs

  • Rabbits cause considerable damage to the environment, destroying landscaping, food sources, structures, etc.
  • The corporation of Delta assessed their damage at over $300,000, they spent a fraction of that on a sterilization and relocation program.
  • The Richmond Auto Mall determined that their landscaping losses were in excess of $60,000 and redirected those funds to humane rescue — which also generated priceless positive media coverage.
  • Rabbits invading farmer Bill Zylmans fields in 2006 reportedly caused damages in excess of $30,000 in just three weeks.
  • Residents in many areas of Richmond cannot grow gardens; public areas, including playgrounds, are littered with their feces.
  • Presumably Richmond city crews regularly fixing rabbit damage, eg: replacing plants, protecting trees, fixing turf and filling rabbit holes (the latter generating major negative media coverage).
Photo: Colin Murphey/Daily Astorian

Costs & Care

  • The highest rescue costs are sterilization fees averaging around $75 per rabbit, and treating ailing rabbits.
  • There is now an additional $10 per rabbit annual cost for the RHD vaccine. Rabbits are relatively cheap and easy to feed, however.
  • Daily produce (pre-compost) is readily donated by produce stores and markets.
  • Their main diet is hay.
  • They are fed a limited amount of rabbit pellets. • Edible tree branches augment their diet.
  • In the summer the rabbits can eat pulled tall grass from nearby fields.
  • Construction costs have so far been minimal as much of the supplies needed to build enclosures are scrounged or donated used.
  • Care is relatively easy, our 125 sanctuary rabbits takes less than an hour a day; one person easily cared for over 600 UVic rabbits.
  • NOTE: Rabbitats strives to adopt out small colonies of rabbits, they remain responsible thus if the placements don’t work out, the rabbits can return to the rescue.
Photo: Gerry Kahrmann

Sustainability and Risk Management

  • Cleared areas are easily monitored for newly abandoned rabbits and can be kept rabbit-free (as long as they’re not coming from adjacent properties).
  • Once the rabbits are removed from the environment , sterilized and contained, the majority of the support will come from rabbits fans.
  • A natural diet will keep costs down..
  • There are currently many available destinations requiring minimal construction and maintenance costs.
  • The rabbits do need a stable, funded central agency/organization to monitor all relocations and take the rabbits back if necessary.
  • In the case of the rescue or sanctuary shutting down, the sterilized rabbits can be released into a controlled, natural area with some minimal predator protection and natural food sources with no need for human intervention.