Saving Rabbits in Red Deer

Carrie Trembinski

PetSmart Charities of Canada bunny adoptions

A recent grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada helped the Red Deer & District SPCA save the lives of over one hundred adorable, wriggly-nosed rabbits that had been abandoned outside a car dealership in Alberta.  Due to the speedy nature of rabbit reproduction, many of the rescued bunnies came into the shelter’s care pregnant and before long, 140 cotton-tailed bunnies were in need of food, veterinary care, spaying and neutering, and a good home.

While Tara and her team of dedicated staff and volunteers were committed to saving the lives of these bunnies and preventing further overpopulation, the SPCA’s financial resources were running thin very, very quickly. But a $21,000 emergency relief grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada combined with expert local veterinary care and some very creative thinking by the Red Deer & District SPCA staff have managed to make a remarkable difference during this rabbit crisis in Red Deer.

As of Sept. 4, 32 rabbits have been adopted into the community, 47 have been transferred to other rescues and animal welfare partners, and 48 rabbits are now available for adoption both at the shelter and in surrounding PetSmart stores. 

Recently, Tara Hellewell, Executive Director of the Red Deer & District SPCA welcomed Rob Smith, Regional Director of PetSmart Canada, to visit the shelter for a cheque presentation and tour.  About the recent grant, Tara said, “Thanks to the support of our donors and a grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada, over 127 beautiful healthy bunnies now have the chance to live out their 8+ years as cherished members of their new forever families.  In addition, our team at the Red Deer & District SPCA can breathe a little easier knowing this financial burden has been lifted just in time for us to continue to save more animals in our province.” 

PetSmart Charities of Canada and the Canada SPCA save rabbits

Rob Smith, Regional Director of Operations for PetSmart Canada, and Board Member of PetSmart Charities of Canada (holding cheque, center) is surrounded by staff, volunteers and board members from the Red Deer & District SPCA.  



PetSmart Charities of Canada finds homes for nearly 20,000 cats and dogs each year. The newest member of your family could be just a click away.