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Bunny Barn gives rabbits another chance to binky

Rabbits that police seize from abusive homes or are facing euthanasia in animal shelters now have a place in Southern Oregon to call home.

Sanctuary One, an animal-care farm in the Applegate, recently completed its Bunny Barn. The $2,000 structure will be a home for up to 15 rabbits who are adoptable but nearing the euthanasia mark at shelters; have health or behavioral issues; or require special attention because of abuse, trauma or neglect.

A grant from the William and Charlotte Parks Foundation paid for the structure.

Rabbits "need a lot of care," said Sansa Collins, Sanctuary One animal-care manager, adding the sanctuary intends to start with just one or two animals. "They are not animals that can just sit in a cage all the time."

Rabbit euthanasia rates are the third-highest among pets in the U.S., Collins said, and the facility has received numerous calls to take on rabbits in the past. But until now, it wasn't equipped to handle the animals.

"In the past we've had to turn them down and network with other organizations," Collins said.

Now, she said, they will be able to accept rabbits from shelters or abusive homes.

The Bunny Barn's interior has sleeping areas, props to jump on and spots to hide, with linoleum walls for easy cleaning and to discourage chewing. Outside, the animals can roam in a yard fenced in from predators.

"If we need to separate them, they can be separated," Collins said. "Not all rabbits get along."

Sanctuary One officials said they hope to start adding animals this month. Their facility tours start in April. Tours are held Wednesdays and Saturdays by appointment. Email info@sanctuaryone.org or visit www.sanctuary.org for more information.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.