Howard Magazine - Page 32 - Small Wonders (3)

Howard Magazine
- Page 32
Small Wonders (3)
director Alex Deckert.

Friends of Rabbit’s events in pet stores, its extensive social media presence and its top listing in internet searches for the keywords “rabbit rescue” has helped it increase the number of people it reaches.

The organization won’t shut its doors to other small pets that need new homes, either. Deckert often rescues guinea pigs, hamsters, mice and an occasional chinchilla, animals she encounters at shelters, and adds them to the roster of adoptable pets.

At Howard County Animal Control, most of the small animals are adopted from the shelter directly. The shelter only euthanizes when there are chronic or extreme health issues for the animal, or if there’s extreme aggression, Blood said.

When they get a large number of the same animal, or when a particular animal has languished in the shelter without interest for a while, they turn to rescues including Frisky’s Wildlife and Primate Sanctuary, Days End Horse Rescue, the statewide Charm City Reptile Rescue and Friends of Rabbits.

“We’ve really had a lot of great rescues that have stepped forward over the years and pulled [out] animals like rabbits and small animals,” Blood said. “I know a lot more people will come in and say ‘we wanted to adopt, we didn’t want to buy,’ and I think over the years that awareness has grown in general.”

Unfortunately, many small animals may not make it to the shelter, according to Friends of Rabbits President Susan Wong. “Rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, birds even: I have a feeling that a lot of times they just get released,” she said.

“Look how cute they are,” Wong said, pointing to four newly-born bunny rabbits housed in the organization’s front room.

“This is why Easter bunnies are so bad — because they’re so cute. But then when they become Mama-rabbit size, people are less interested. Because young rabbits are so easy to control, and once they become adults any animal may not be the personality you want them to be.”

Many people who adopt from Friends of Rabbits do so after encountering the res-