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Rabbit adoption center opens in Kenmore
Sandi Ackerman was born an animal lover but rabbits became her favorite when she held one for the first time at a pet store about 20 years ago.
"I had gone to the shelter to look for a cat and saw a rabbit there," Ackerman said. "I was struck by what smart, clever creatures they were."
Ackerman started an animal adoption and supply store shortly after that day called Rabbit Meadows, specializing in rabbits, guinea pigs and small rodents. She moved the store from its Lake City location to Kenmore last month and held a grand opening Dec. 28.
"We've had so many local people come into the store," Ackerman said. "I would guess several hundred have come here during the past few days and we have two rabbits that have been adopted."
Ackerman gets her animals from various animal shelters across the state including the Everett Animal Shelter, Seattle Animal Shelter and a humane society in Bellingham.
"We only get our pets from places that euthanize their animals if they have to," Ackerman said. "I find that the shelters really hope it never comes to that and are glad to give their animals to me."
Ackerman is picky about who gets to adopt her animals.
"My commitment is to the animals, I want them to be safe," she said. "They've already been passed around by the time they get to me and I want them to go into a loving, permanent home."
Ackerman screens each person wanting to adopt by checking to ensure they are home owners. She also requires each hopeful adoptee to buy the right equipment prior to taking an animal home.
If a parent is buying the animal for their child, Ackerman wants to the child to be at least 6 or 7 years old.
"Sometimes people think a great starter pet for a child is a guinea pig or a hamster, but that is really a bad option for a young child because those animals tend to be really squirmy and quick runners," she said. "I like to sit with each person coming in and see what they're looking for and find them the best pet for them."
Education is a big part of Ackerman's store. The business offers kids a chance to learn how to brush and pet some of the rabbits and guinea pigs.
"It's really important to me that the people adopting these animals know how to care for them," she said.
Northshore residents can find out if they would like to volunteer to help these special critters while they wait for their forever home or adopt one.
The new Rabbit Meadows is located at 8030 B NE Bothell Way in Kenmore.
For more information contact Sandi Ackerman via email at Sandi@rabbitmeadows.org or visit www.RabbitMeadows.org.