CHERRYFIELD – The cottontail cottage rabbit rescue has moved and changed its name.
The Cottontail Cottage Rabbit Rescue is now the Cottontail Cottage Animal Sanctuary.
The nonprofit organization, which began about seven years ago, educates people about owning bunnies and farm animals as pets.
“People think they know what they’re getting themselves into but don’t always and we found people just abandoning animals,” said Mat Nichols, co-found of the sanctuary.
The sanctuary helps people by taking in animals they can no longer care for but also works directly with the state’s Animal Welfare Program.
The operators want to bring in more animals that may have been abused or neglected.
“It just became so obvious that there are so many animals all over the state, but especially here, that are really in desperate need of a place to go when they need to be taken out of terrible situations,” said Angle Bell, manager at the Sanctuary.
Thirty-one bunnies, four ducks, two rats and several cats later, the 3-acre location in Lamoine became full.
“Needless to say no expansion could be made, we couldn’t do anything further,” said Bell.
But that all changed when a 50-acre farm in Cherryfield became available.
“It just fit everything we were looking for and hoping for,” said Bell.
Right now the bunnies and a few ducklings are temporarily housed in a garage but plans call for a barn to be built in this area.
“It’ll house all of the bunnies with the plan of bringing in more bunnies and goats,” said Nichols.
He said they hope to also help senior or special needs dogs and more feral cats.
They’re raising funds to build the barn because it will cost $15,000. Nichols said he plans to build the barn himself.
They said once the barn is completed the hope is to turn the majestic but quaint location with its many trails into a place where people can come to relax.
“They can visit the animals, sit and read a book, have a picnic, go for a walk,” said Nichols.