Show Rabbit Protection Society first formed in response to the heartbreaking case of Debe Bell of Colorado, who had a sudden raid on her farm while away at work, with a tip phoned in anonymously to a reward hotline offering $2,000 dollars cash for animal abuse tips. Debe has no idea who the person was, and there are other obvious problems with the case as well. But in any case, her 193 rabbits were removed by Animal Control and House Rabbit Society to the animal shelter. Debe was then informed that the cost of keeping the rabbits in the shelter would be $5.00 per day per rabbit until her case was decided. This was over a month ago now, and she still has not been to court or convicted of anything at all.
It would have cost Debe $815.00 a day to keep her beloved rabbits x minimum of 30 days so far= $24,450.00 per month. Considering Debe is not a rich person and also was encumbered with the expense of hiring an attorney, she did the only thing she could do...turned over ownership of her beloved pedigreed show stock, grand champions as well, that she has been working with for 28 years to Jefferson County Animal Control who packed them off to House Rabbit Society among others. Debe has now watched all of her beautiful beloved show stock neutered/spayed and put up for adoption to who knows what kind of homes on Petfinder.org.
I got to thinking this is a situation in which the accused is sentenced prior to ever entering the courtroom. She will never see her bunnies again, has lost the stock she loved the most, her reputation is destroyed, her privacy invaded by strangers, but most of all, considering the number of rescues performed by rabbit rescuers from their own foster homes and adoptive homes, Debe has no way of knowing if her precious rabbits will be abused, neglected, starved, dropped, suffer injuries or turn out well. And what an excruciating ordeal for any rabbit owner who finds each and everyone of their own bunnies coming up for adoption to who knows where on Petfinder.org when they themselves have not even been tried, charged or convicted of anything simply because the impound fees are so enormous.
I have no intention of arguing the correctness of the charges, whether or not Debe Bell raised her rabbits properly or not. She has already been tried in the court of public opinion and for some she is innocent and some she is guilty.
My intention is to try and make it possible for show rabbits to be held in trust by experienced breeders, at no charge to the accused, until their case is resolved. If guilty, no harm has been done to the rabbits, they can continue their career after their foster home adopts them out to other show rabbit homes still intact, still able to produce. If innocent, the poor breeder can have at least their stock back. It will be up to them to repair the trauma, the reputation loss and so, but at least the rabbits will be well cared for in the show manner they are used to and not packaged up incorrectly by well meaning but completely inexperienced volunteers from some newly formed rescue group.
Whether people want to face it or not, more abuse of rabbits occurs within foster homes of rescue societies than it does anywhere else. The foster homes are emotionally pressured into taking way more rabbits than they legally, financially or physically can have, and the foster homes are only inspected by each individual society they belong to anyway, thereby skirting any intervention by legitimate animal control.
Not many show rabbit breeders I know want their beloved rabbits in those types of hidden hands.
So we have formed our charitable association to solicit funds, tax exemptions pending our 501c3 status, to help pay breeder impound costs. We have formed to create a network of experienced show rabbit breeders that are members of ARBA to care for the rabbits in the manner show rabbits are cared for and to hold the rabbits in trust until the final disposition of the accused breeder's case.
We operate completely independently of any other animal group, either for or against animal rights, for or against farms, breeders. We tried to solicit the interest of active dog breeders and other rescue societies, only to find ourselves bogged down in a disgusting swamp of political maneuvering, propaganda, infighting, power plays, gossip, demands we become vegans, demands we support PETA, arguments over which species was most important, and calls for Obama's birth certificate all wrapped into one blathering Tower of Babel. After we were called Nazi's by both sides of the animal rights equation, we decided to simply maintain our integrity, reject all propaganda for or against the preservation of show rabbit stock and domestic animals period, abandon all other pro breeder/animal rights radical groups as emotionally disturbed and keep our eye very simply on protecting show rabbits in trouble.
We promise to do what is within our legal area to do to keep the rabbits unsold, unaltered, and show ready until we either return them to the breeder if allowed or put them up for adoption ourselves.
Won't you support us in this fight to end the devastation of overly severe financial care costs to show rabbit owners and breeders and the trauma to the rabbits in inexperienced hands?
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