Meet the ‘rabbit woman’ – Christchurch’s rabbit rescuer


Lucy Bell founded Christchurch Rabbit Rescue to help abandoned or lost bunnies like Stella.

Peter Meecham/Stuff

Lucy Bell based Christchurch Rabbit Rescue to assist deserted or misplaced bunnies like Stella.

“I perceive rabbits,” Lucy Bell says.​ “They’re my type of animals … we have now an understanding.”

Bell rescues stray, escaped and dumped rabbits by means of her charity Christchurch Rabbit Rescue.​

When a message comes by means of {that a} rabbit’s in bother, she drops all the pieces and races off in her rabbit cellular to rescue the animal.

She captures them, often by hand, and administers first help if wanted. She has them spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.

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Then she takes them house to review their character. Some “buns” want to be inside, secure and quiet. They wish to cuddle and a few sleep on her mattress.

Different rabbits solely flourish open air, the place they will run, soar, dig and discover.

As soon as she’s assured of their rabbity​ persona, she gives them for adoption. The appliance type is 5 pages lengthy – as a result of she should be sure the “furever household”​ fits the bunny.

She at present has about 20 rabbits at house and as soon as had 25.

Stella is comfortable at Bell’s workplace.

Peter Meecham/Stuff

Stella is comfy at Bell’s office.

Because of an accommodating boss at Constitution Transport,​ Bell brings 1-year-old Stella​ into work some days.

Stella was rescued from Timaru final 12 months. The highest of 1 ear is lacking, and she or he has a wonky leg. However she loves cuddles and the indoors – in all probability the image many individuals have of pet rabbits.

However some wee bunnies may be “vicious little brutes”, Bell says. They boys combat one another, the ladies combat one another. Bell’s arms are routinely scratched. They spray urine in every single place. Teenage rabbits are an entire different nightmare.

Which is why they get dumped in locations just like the residential purple zone, the place they’re deemed pests.

Stella lost part of her right ear before being rescued by Bell.

Peter Meecham/Stuff

Stella misplaced a part of her proper ear earlier than being rescued by Bell.

April is a busy month for abandonments. Bunnies given for Christmas have turn out to be teenage terrors and the homeowners are “trapped” by the little beasts, Bell says.

She’d by no means condone abandoning a rabbit, however understands the way it occurs. Plenty of rabbits escape from their pens as properly.

She acquired into the rescue scene about 5 years in the past, and based Christchurch Rabbit Rescue in January 2020. It lately acquired charitable standing and might provide tax receipts for donations.

She wants help. Final 12 months, Christchurch Rabbit Rescue spent about $12,000, totally on vet payments. The charity spent about $4000 within the first three months of this 12 months. When Christchurch Rabbit Rescue​ was launched, Bell was spending her personal cash.

She rescued about 56 rabbits final 12 months and will have recovered many extra, however doesn’t have the sources. Some rescued bunnies are too unwell to outlive, even in Bell’s care.

The charity has simply received a Te Tohu Maimoa Award​ from Companions Animals NZ​ for contributions to the wellbeing of companion animals.

“Rabbits are one thing else,” Bell says. She’s calls herself the “rabbit woman”.

Christchurch Rabbit Rescue is on Fb.


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