Rabbit Sanctuary Offers Home To Abused, Abandoned Bunnies In Ups - WSPA.com

Rabbit Sanctuary Offers Home To Abused, Abandoned Bunnies In Upstate

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SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. -

Burrowed back on 30 acres in Simpsonville, Caroline Gilbert has found her lifelong passion.  "I guess you could say I specialize in rabbits," she says.  "And I love them just as much today as I did the first day."  Gilbert started her Rabbit Sanctuary 42 years ago, growing from just one of the furry friends, to more than 55 today.  "Rabbits were being overlooked, and there was such a need, I just filled that void," Gilbert says.

The sanctuary includes two "rabbitats", where bunnies bond in burrowed dirt homes covered in straw.  Each rabbit has a name, most of them given by the circumstances that brought them to Gilbert's home.  There's "Sir Prize", a rabbit named because it was given as a prize as a county fair and then discarded.  Then, there's "Abigail", who got her name from a young girl who found her running loose in a park, and asked Gilbert to help.  "Behind every rabbit, there's a kind person that saw them out on the interstate, or in a parking lot, or hopping around in their garden."

Some find their way to Gilbert because they were part of local animal cruelty cases.  She says, "It's really sad.  It's sad when the phone rings and I have to turn rabbits away because I don't have room."

While the animals are popular as pets, Gilbert has a serious message for those considering getting one this Easter.  "Get a stuffed bunny instead," she says.  "It might sound harsh.  But a live rabbit is not an Easter toy, it's a 10 year commitment."

Instead, she encourages people to do their research before getting the animal.  She also welcomes volunteers at the sanctuary, which is run entirely off of donations.  "They're a wonderful animal to work with," she says.

For more information on the Rabbit Sanctuary, click here.

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