About a half-dozen volunteers for a rabbit rescue organization are expected to return to Centerville on Sunday.
Fliers have been distributed in the neighborhood by a rescue volunteer, and anyone who does not want volunteers on their property is asked to tape the flier to their mailbox, said Jennifer McGee, the shelter manager for the Marietta nonprofit. Those who want to help volunteers may text their house number on the flier if they see a domestic rabbit in their yard.
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Both Centerville police and the Northridge Neighborhood Crime Watch group posted about the rescue group's visit on Facebook.
Volunteers, who will be wearing bright orange T-shirts, expect to be in the neighborhood from noon to nightfall, or until the last bunny is caught.
The group experienced backlash on its last visit from some residents who did not want the rabbits caught or the volunteers on their property. But the organization has worked hard to let people know ahead of time why they're in the neighborhood this visit, McGee said.
With domestic rabbit rescues, there's often a misconception that the rabbits don't need rescuing and do fine living out in the wild, McGee said. But domestic rabbits don't have survival instincts, depend on people for food and care, and are considered companion animals, like dogs and cats, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, McGee said.
Domestic rabbits can suffer heart stroke at over 85 degrees and hypothermia under 65 degrees, are defenseless against predators such as hawks and owls, and are exposed to disease in the wild, she said.
"Our primary goal is to raise awareness and to educate people on rabbits being domestic pets," McGee said. "If it's outside, just don't assume that's where it's supposed to be. That's our thing: rescue, educate and adopt."
For more information about the nonprofit, visit the society's website on https://www.houserabbitga.com/.