GANSEVOORT, N.Y. (NEWS10) — After two years and thousands of dollars raised through fundraising efforts and donations, Hop on Home Rabbit Sanctuary hopes to be able to move into their new facility on Stump Street in Gansevoort come June. The rescue is currently operating out of the Wilton Mall.

Moving into a new facility will give them more space to care for rabbits and give bunnies who don’t get adopted a comfortable home. Once at the new facility, bunnies will have their own spaces as well as an outdoor predator-proof socialization yard. The second floor will have offices and a quarantine area for bunnies just arriving at the rescue.

Hop on Home was created out of necessity. President/CEO Shelby Wimet-Himelrick said she was taking in bunnies at her home until she and her home could no longer keep up with the number of rabbits that needed help.

“Rabbits are the third most abandoned pet behind cats and dogs but people in general just don’t know this,” said Wimet-Himelrick. “People were reaching out to me to have their bunny rehomed after knowing I was involved as the leader of the Domestic Rabbit 4-H club in Saratoga County.”

Wimet-Himelrick said it was at a point where she was getting a call every 10 days from someone looking for assistance. “At that point, I knew I had to do something much larger that could impact the community positively, help those that couldn’t care for their bunny any longer,” she said. “And expand the community that could help and educate the public before they decide to bring home a rabbit.”

Besides fundraising and donations, predator-proofing for Hop on Home’s new socialization yard came from an Oxbow Grant. Oxbow Rescue Grants gives out approximately $25,000 a year to between six to 10 rescue organizations.

Hop on Home which has an all-female board of directors, aims to hold one major fundraiser a quarter. Its next fundraiser, a Brooks BBQ, will take place at the end of May. They also have a 5k Fun Bun Run/Walk in September and an annual pasta sale featuring pasta that comes in different shapes including rabbits.

Pets bought around holidays often find themselves in shelters or rescues weeks or months down the road. The rescue has taken a stance against adoptions around holidays like Easter, so Hop on Home does not allow adoptions around major holidays. “We believe pets aren’t presents and are a family decision so we never have adoptions two weeks before or after a major holiday,” Wimet-Himelrick said.

However, the rescue is encouraging people who may be thinking about adopting a bunny for Easter, to donate the first weekend in April and get a chocolate one instead. The Saratoga Candy Company will be donating 24 chocolate bunnies for those who donate. Donations can be made anytime at their Wilton Mall location or by mail: Hop on Home Rabbit Sanctuary, 23 St. Johns Drive in Gansevoort, 12831.

  • Hop on Home Rabbit Sanctuary's new facility in Gansevoort.
  • The second floor of Hop on Home Rabbit Sanctuary's new facility.
  • Inside of Hop on Home Rabbit Sanctuary's new facility.