Published March 23, 2021
Written by Noah Nelson
Lindsey Provost was first given Ember, her pet bunny, as an Easter gift six years ago. She quickly realized that bunnies take much more care and maintenance than most people expect. “Bunnies are considered high maintenance pets,” Provost said. “Most people don’t really realize that when they give them out as gifts, because they neglect to do the proper research prior to purchase.”
Bunnies can prove to be a challenge to take care of if pet owners don’t have the time and resources required to care for them. Because of this, the House Rabbit Society estimates that over 35,000 bunnies are given away and abandoned by their owners each year in the U.S alone, and even more suffer from neglect in households that don’t understand how to fully care for them.
That is where Ember’s Wildflower Animal Sanctuary and Bunny Rescue comes in. Provost, the founder and director of the sanctuary, started Ember’s in the beginning of 2019 to address the issue of abandoned bunnies, rabbits and other animals in Central Oregon. “Ember’s is the only sanctuary in Central Oregon that will accept bunnies. While we try to take in any animal in need, our focus is on abandoned bunnies, including those with special needs,” Provost said.
A bunny with special needs often requires special attention, catered to their individual condition. In general, a bunny with special needs can be one with an injury or amputation, as well as elderly bunnies requiring extra care and bunnies born with any kind of medical condition that would render them reliant on human care. “Bunnies with special needs are euthanized too often, and I believe everyone deserves a chance at life,” Provost said.
Since their doors opened, Ember’s has taken in 170 bunnies in Central Oregon. Most of their operations revolve around getting these bunnies ready for their forever-homes, and as a result Ember’s has spayed or neutered 126 bunnies. Out of those, they’ve managed to adopt out over 100 bunnies to caring, educated homes.
“Education is key. We really try to educate every person coming in wanting to adopt a bunny on how high-maintenance they are when cared for properly, and we also provided some adequate supplies for new owners,” Provost said.
Ember’s sanctuary is capable of holding thirty to forty bunnies at a single time, due to a new twenty-six pen bunny barn built earlier this year. They have been able to switch to a waitlist system instead of turning bunnies away due to full capacity.
On Easter weekend, a celebration will commemorate the completion of the barn. This COVID-19-friendly event will allow families to go on an Easter egg hunt featuring real Easter bunnies. Better yet, guests will be able to interact with some of the bunnies and even learn a thing or two about how to care for these animals, should they choose to adopt one.