PUUNENE, Maui (KITV4) The Maui Humane Society is offering a free rabbit vaccine clinic, in light of a recent influx of rabbit, and guinea pig, surrenders — and the recent confirmed case of rabbit hemorrhagic disease in a Maui farm rabbit.
Last month, 14 guinea pigs were surrendered to Maui Humane after their owners lost everything in their home due to a house fire. With help from their on-island transfer partner Leilani Farm Sanctuary, they were able to take a few of the guinea pigs for adoption.
Up to 30 rabbit surrenders have come in from a single household. This comes as Hawaii’s first case of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus, type 2 (RHDV2) was confirmed on a Maui farm on June 17.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture confirmed RHDV2 in a 4- to 5-year-old neutered male rabbit on a farm in Kula. Maui Humane Society immediately put in measures to ensure the in-shelter rabbit population is safe. As of July 1, all eligible rabbits received their first dose of the vaccine.
“The vaccination could save your rabbit’s life,” stated Medical Director, Dr. Laurie Gaines. “This highly contagious and fatal disease could be catastrophic to the rabbit population on Maui. Please protect your rabbits. We look forward to seeing you on July 23rd.”
“With the increased guinea pig and rabbit intake, Maui Humane Society desperately seeks adopters in the community,” Maui Humane shared in a press release. “Guinea Pigs and rabbits are great pets for apartments or smaller homes as they require less space. Additionally, they are great for first-time pet owners or families with kids. All rabbits and guinea pigs have $0 adoption fees. Visit mauihumanesociety.org to see all the adoptable animals.”