Come Visit Bunny Town, USA
OK, I'll admit it. I am a little biased when it comes to bunnies. When I was in charge of the Pet Appeal tab a couple of months ago for Heritage Newspapers-West, guess who was featured along with the regular lineup of dogs and cats. Yes, rabbits. And when I am covering the Washtenaw County 4-H Youth Show and Saline Community Fair, guess what animal I always stop by to look at and photograph. Yes, the rabbits.
I grew up with rabbits. I find them to be adorable, sweet, independent, quiet, low-maintenance creatures. Quiet and low-maintenance are probably the key to my relationship with them. I have two at home right now.
Puddin' lives in my upstairs bathroom with a baby gate blocking her escape. It's her house, with a litter box at each end of the bathtub and Timothy hay in between, so she can jump in the tub, bounce back and forth between litter boxes and enjoy a snack. She also likes to nap on top of the toilet seat, which I think is oh so cute. Then there's Oompa, who has her own little bunny condo in my home office.
Both have very distinct personalities. Puddin' is always trying to get under my bed. When she is successful, she likes to thump her foot several times to let me know that she beat me at my game of Keep-the-Rabbit-Out-of-the-Bedroom. Oompa is fiercely protective of her home and will growl, lunge and bite me if I try to stick my hand in to grab her and even put food in. She's territorial. Once I trick her by throwing something at one end of the condo and grab her from behind as she tries to attack it and get her safely in my arms, she melts and becomes totally docile. I can flip both on their backs and put them in trances for long periods of time. In fact, I think of myself as the bunny whisperer.
It's these rabbits and the long line of bunnies before them that have moved me to do whatever I can to help the Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary, a home for abandoned, abused and neglected rabbits in Willis. It's located, more specifically, in Augusta Township, about 15 minutes from my home in Pittsfield Township. Just a short drive down Willis Road, off US-23, to Whittaker, left on Judd. I bring newspapers for their use and help in other ways. Most recently, I created two videos: a seven-minute video posted on our news Web sites and an 18-minute version on YouTube and MiCentral.com. Both feature Tim Patino, president of the group, talking about the needs of the sanctuary, the largest rabbit sanctuary in the United States, with more than 500 rabbits to care for. Their budget is $300K a year, and last year they fell short by about $50K. They need help, and we're hoping the video will entice people to donate funds or items on their wish list, which can be found at rabbitsanctuary.org.
On Sunday, Oct. 12, the Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary will host an open house. It's a way to raise money and awareness, as well as educate those with bunnies or thinking about getting bunnies about their care. If you're looking for something to do, it should be a fun time, with activities for children, in addition to tours of the farm, where potbelly pigs live too. There will be a haunted "Hoppy Hollow" and bunny merchandise for sale, and a performance by Delirious Love, a band that features Manchester Enterprise Editor Daniel Lai. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children 12 and younger, and that money will go toward a great cause.
The farm, which is known as Bunny Town, USA, is located at 8260 Judd Road. It's not too far from Saline. Just take Willis Road to Whitaker to Judd. I hope to see you there!