Hamilton Town Bunnies
Trap Free Montana received another calling in 2022. The city council for the town of Hamilton, Montana, voted to approve the trapping and killing of bunnies in the city limits.
Folks began reaching out to us with this upsetting news, especially since it regarded trapping. We are actually based out of Hamilton, which is located in the beautiful Bitterroot valley, in Southwestern Montana. Since we oppose trapping, unless it is to help the creature, and we promote non lethal methods, our board agreed for us to step in and try and help these helpless bunnies. As it stands, the City Council approved $2,000 for a trapper to trap and kill bunnies. If someone complains about the rabbits, they are given his name. He gets $10 to set a trap and $5 per rabbit. A raptor rehabber in the county would like to have the rabbit meat.
These are not native wild rabbits which Montana is home to eight different species. These “town” bunnies, some refer to as “feral” bunnies, are of European stock bred originally as pets, for show, or for meat, we all are familiar with, but who have been abandoned and/or reproduced during their very short and difficult lives. They are essentially on their own and with no humane laws regarding their trapping and killing that we are aware of.
These bunnies are, by and large, babies, rarely if ever making it to a year. They are easily run over, killed by cats, dogs, owls, other raptors, and die from starvation, the elements, you name it. They are even shot, and illegally, including with blowgun darts as evidenced, again.
After various attempts and by recruiting caring neighbors, we were finally able to catch this little “blowdart bunny”. A local vet clinic managed to remove the 6” dart penetrating his nasal cavity and save his precious sweet life.
We were also able to get the Hamilton city council to agree the Mayor can provide our contact number to troubled property owners about the town bunnies.
Trap Free Montana already pays towards medical costs for creatures, both domestic and wild, who have been trapped. Therefore, in lieu of trap and kill, we will help pay for spaying and neutering of these bunnies, as that is a must. In sync with our offerings of non-lethal methods, we assist homeowners with repellents, fencing, too. This project is in the preliminary stages, but we have other ideas to help people and the bunnies.
To increase public awareness, Trap Free Montana created an educational brochure regarding the “Town Bunnies”. (Town Bunny brochure emailed)
It takes a community effort in order for this effort to be successful. As long as people abandon bunnies, the issue will be never ending. As long as unspayed/unneutered bunnies have access to others, the rabbit population will increase.
It takes a village to fix this problem and in which innocent bunnies suffer and pay with their lives.
Reach out to learn more and for ways to help with non-lethal methods.