“Real isn't how you are made, it’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
- From The Velveteen Rabbit
Cottontail Cottage Sanctuary is the Rabbit Resource of New England. Our mision: together, we can save somebunny today.” CCRS is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization and licensed, animal shelter located at beautiful, Cottontail Cottage, on the coast of Maine. CCRS is run by founder, Jenny Nichols and her husband Mathew, aided by a network of volunteers all dedicated to rescuing abandoned, neglected or surrendered rabbits. Through our HELP FIX ME program, we spay/neuter our orphaned rabbits, and provide them with physical and social rehabilitation at the "Bunny Barn." While some of our bunnies are available for adoption to approved homes, many - especially, the elderly, or those who have experienced extreme neglect and abuse - will live out the rest of their lives in the loving care of CCRS as "very spoiled" sanctuary rabbits. One of our primary goals is to educate the public about the needs and welfare for domesticated rabbits through public outreach and local and national advocacy work, and the importance of spay and neuter. Rabbits adopted from us must be spayed and neutered before going to their forever homes. Donations are critical to ensuring they can be adopted. Every dollar counts to help us develop a foundation for future sustainability for our critically important organization. The shelter is funded by donations to help cover the cost of habitat, food, rescue transportation, and veterinary expenses for some of our injured or disabled rabbits, as well as, spay and neuter fees. Please let us know what you are able to do to help.
Along with our vegan-run sanctuary at Cottontail Cottage, we also have a network of foster homes providing in-home care for many of our adoptable rabbits. Our reach extends far into New England, where we have an incredible physical and viral presence as advocates for these animals.
Rabbits are one of the most cruelly neglected and misunderstood pets. Not only are they being kept in woefully cramped conditions, they are becoming sick and dying from being given the wrong food and care. Sadly, a significant “silent” population of unwanted rabbits is simply abandoned outdoors and never recorded as part of the problem. One of the services CCRS is passionate about is educating the public concerning the needs and welfare for domesticated rabbits through public outreach and local and national advocacy work. Our social networking sites, including Facebook (with over 3k fans) and high-traffic website, reach rabbit lovers from around the world and has become a leader in rabbit care.
Thanks to a recent grant from the prestigious “Binky Foundation”, we have been able to build large, interior stalls with connecting, predator-safe, outdoor pens - for a grand total of 42-square-feet per bunny (or bun family,) to safely reside in until their forever home can be found. Most of these bunnies have only ever known tiny, rusty, wire cages with barely room to turn around. One of our recent rescues dragged her back feet and did not know how to hop as she had spent her entire life in one of these prisons. It wasn’t long before she was leaping in ecstasy at her new found freedom here at CCRS.
When rabbits are at their happiest they leap into the air and twist their bodies in the most acrobatic fashion called a “binky”. It is a sight to behold and the simple joy of it can take your breath away. This is how should be kept. CCRS rabbits enjoy a safe, wonderful and environment with many natural elements like stumps, hollow logs and fresh cut
branches to chew and forest dirt to dig in. What kind of life is it for a rabbit without the sun on their heads, paws wet from morning dew and the gentle touch of a spring wind just asking for a bunny nose to twitch?
CCRS (physically) serves Washington and Hancock County in the State of Maine, as well as New England, to people of all ages and genders. Unfortunately, area shelters generally do not accept rabbits due to the fact that they are considered “exotics.” That leaves us to carry the burden of rabbit neglect and mistreatment in our region.
Cottontail Cottage is a very special place and draws many visitors from as far away as Massachusetts and Vermont; some to surrender and adopt, others to enjoy our lecture series and hands-on learning events, many of which are directed at children. Folks from all over the world contact us on a daily basis via the internet – even as far away as Africa - asking questions and advice regarding rabbits and their welfare. We work hard to educate for the well being of these beautiful creatures.
At Cottontail Cottage, organic vegetables, herbs and fruit from the orchard is grown, harvested and fed to both humans and buns alike. Composting bunny berries is essential to our organic practices and in this way a full-circle is formed. Much foraging also goes on in the woods behind the cottage that rambles through a half-mile path to the ocean's edge, where wild willow and apple branches are gathered and stored along with plantain, dandelion and other indigenous plants that feed our bunnies all year long. Comfrey, echinacea, parsley, feverfew, sage and oregano and many other herbs are organically grown and used to prevent disease and onset of digestive issues. When summer is over, cold-weather crops like kale, pasley, dark leafy lettuce and spinach are planted in the hoop house in an effort to extend the growing season. In this way, fresh vegetables can be provided to our bunnies nearly all year-round.
Cottontail Cottage also aids poor, rural communities and folks who need in-house instruction on caring for their rabbits. Regardless of socio-economic challenges, people care deeply for their animals. As a movement, CCRR looks hard at solving the issues where they occur to prevent rabbits from coming to shelters in the first place. Unhappy circumstances can be turned around. CCRR reaches out proactively to close the gap in misguided rabbit care information in order to keep pets happy in loving homes by providing the latest information, newest approaches and best practices in our quest to save lives and keep rabbits with their families.
Rabbits are one of the most cruelly neglected and misunderstood pets. Many come to us in deplorable condition and have received the very worst kind of inhumane treatment. Rabbits have no voice. Unlike other species, they cannot cry out, bark, whine or meow. They are utterly defenseless in a world that responds to noise.
Won’t you please donate to our critically important work?
Please make a tax-deductible contribution to Cottontail Cottage Rabbit Rescue. Without your support we wouldn’t be able to continue saving lives. Thank you for being compassionate. Thank you for caring about all creatures, great – and small.
Jenny & Mathew Nichols