THUNDER BAY — Ashley's Little Rabbit Rescue is a testament to one woman's passion for rabbits and her unwavering commitment to their welfare.
Founded by Ashley Whistle, a lifelong animal lover with a special affinity for rabbits, the rescue organization has become a beacon of hope for abandoned, neglected, and mistreated rabbits in Ottawa and Thunder Bay.
Whistle's journey with rabbits began in her youth, growing up in Thunder Bay, where she actively participated in 4H rabbit shows and developed a deep understanding of rabbit care.
Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to establish a petting zoo business called Whistle's Little Rabbitry, educating the community about proper rabbit husbandry.
Upon moving to Ottawa for her studies, Whistle was confronted with the harsh reality of rabbit neglect and mistreatment. Witnessing hundreds of abandoned rabbits, unethical breeding practices, and the heartbreaking euthanasia of countless bunnies in shelters, she felt compelled to act.
Driven by compassion and a desire to make a difference, Whistle founded Ashley’s Little Rabbit Rescue. The organization's mission is to advocate for rabbits as loving companions, promote responsible pet ownership, encourage spaying and neutering, and provide a safe haven for rescued rabbits.
“I am very happy to report that as of earlier this year, we are now a federally registered not-for-profit corporation in Ottawa and Thunder Bay,” Whistle said. “Our next goal in the coming years is to become a charitable organization and have a facility with volunteers one day to house more rabbits and other small animals.
“Right now, ALRR is home to just under 50 animals in foster homes in and around Ottawa and Thunder Bay.”
The organization currently cares for these animals with a network of dedicated foster homes. Over the years, Ashley's Little Rabbit Rescue has expanded its reach, rescuing not only rabbits but also other small animals in need.
Ashley's Little Rabbit Rescue is a registered not-for-profit corporation with aspirations to become a charitable organization and establish a dedicated facility to house and care for more animals.
The organization relies on the support of the community to continue its vital work.
There are various ways individuals can contribute to Ashley's Little Rabbit Rescue's mission:
- Engage with the organization's social media presence, sharing educational content and raising awareness about rabbit care.
- Encourage local pet stores to partner with the rescue, providing a platform for adoption and reducing reliance on large-scale breeders.
- Participate in fundraising events, both in-person and virtual, to support the organization's veterinary expenses.
- Donate items from the rescue's Amazon wish list or provide old blankets and linens to keep the animals comfortable.
Ashley's Little Rabbit Rescue welcomes collaborations with local businesses and individuals who share their passion for animal welfare.
“Right now we are in collaboration with Pet Valu on Dawson Road, with in-store adoptable animals from us, as well as host rescue in-store events at Ren’s Pets and Pet Valu,” Whistle said.
“We would love to collaborate with other local businesses as well.”