When the Eastern Shore Rabbit Rescue and Education Center joined Upper Shore Aging RSVP as a volunteer station, one of the first questions was “Do people really leave their pet rabbits loose to fend for themselves?” Yes they do!” states Cora Dickson President and Founder of the now eight year old non-profit organization. “In addition to providing shelter for abandoned rescue rabbits we also take in pet rabbits that people no longer can care for.”
Currently the rescue center, based in Rock Hall, Maryland is providing care for over twenty some rabbits. The shelter space is small but volunteers who work there make the most of it, feeding the bunnies a healthy diet, cleaning cages, grooming regularly and providing rotational play time in a large pen. “We all love to see our rabbits ‘binky’.”, says Deborah Guthrie, a dedicated volunteer who has been with the organization since its founding in 2015. Deborah is an expert on rabbit care and explains that a rabbit “binky” is the playful twisting leap – usually with a 180–turn in midair, that a rabbit makes when they are happy or meet another rabbit.
When asked to describe her volunteering experience at the rescue center Deborah simply says it gives her “Joy”. Not only is the service she provides important to the well-being of the rabbits, but as a recent widow, she finds great comfort in caring for them. “We need more volunteers at the center, for sure”, says Guthrie. “Even if we have volunteers who simply provide companionship and petting for our rabbits, it helps immensely because physical touch means a healthy, happy rabbit”.
The Eastern Shore Rabbit Rescue and Education Center is 100% volunteer-run and it provides many services to ensure the health, safety and emotional well-being of abandoned pet rabbits on Maryland’s Eastern Shore through shelter and care. The organization also provides guidance to the families who adopt rabbits from the center as companion animals. The non-profit welcomes volunteers of all ages and skillsets. Volunteers can pitch in at the shelter, help with outreach and fundraising events, or foster a rabbit until it can find its forever home.