Since 1988, House Rabbit Society, its supporters, small staff, local chapters, licensed educators, and other volunteers around the globe have been advocating for the care and well-being of rabbits.

Our goal is to help people see rabbits as intelligent and social pets who thrive indoors. HRS’ mission, philosophy, and policies have influenced the formation of many other nonprofit rabbit rescue groups and set a standard for the treatment and respect of domesticated rabbits. As a nonprofit, we rely on membership support and other donations–large and small. HRS financial documents are provided below, which record our programmatic efforts over the past decade.

Contact us if you have any questions or want to get involved in helping change the way people view and treat domesticated rabbits—as intelligent and social companions who thrive indoors.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to save and improve
domesticated rabbit lives.

Vision Statement

Our imperative is to change cultural perceptions of domesticated rabbits and improve their legal status, quality of care, and living standards, as indoor animal companions.

House Rabbit Society Board of Directors

  • President: Chris Beafore
    An IT specialist, Chris is based in Ohio. He's also the chapter manager for Dayton House Rabbit Society.
  • Treasurer: Cecille Caterson
    She has decades of nonprofit expertise and was most recently part of the California State Parks Foundation. Cecille is based in California.
  • Secretary: Laurie Gigous
    She's a long-time HRS board member and founding chapter manager of the former Orange County chapter. A health and safety specialist, Laurie is based in Arizona.
  • Director: Beth Woolbright
    Both a founding and current board member, Beth is also the new executive director. Her background is in working with philanthropic foundations and other nonprofits. She’s based in California.
  • Director Emerita: Marinell Harriman
    Marinell founded House Rabbit Society in 1988 and was the long-time HRS president and executive director. Her philosophy on the value and treatment of animals and the importance of rabbits living IN the house underscores every action by HRS. She lives in California and continues to work with HRS as an advisor, foster parent, and educator.


  • Rabbits make social and loving companions. Our goal is to help people see rabbits as intelligent and social pets that thrive indoors. Much like humans, rabbits require mental stimulation, play and exercise, and human contact! And they all have their own unique personalities.
  • Therefore, House Rabbit Society believes that all domesticated rabbits are valuable as individuals, regardless of breed purity, temperament, state of health, or relationship to humans.
  • The welfare of all rabbits is our primary consideration. We are against the exploitation of rabbits in any and all forms.
  • Except for unique situations, in which wild animals are being nursed or rehabilitated, it is in the best interest of wild rabbits that human intervention be held to a minimum.
  • Domesticated rabbits are not the product of natural selection, but rather of human interference by means of breeding programs, and the product is a human-dependent animal who needs protection. It is therefore a human responsibility that these animals be cared for in a manner appropriate to their needs.
  • It is in the best interest of domesticated rabbits to be neutered/spayed, to live in human housing where supervision and protection are provided, and to be treated for illnesses by veterinarians.
  • Domesticated rabbits are companion animals and should be afforded at least the same individual rights, level of care, and opportunity for longevity as commonly afforded to dogs and cats who live as human companions.
  • Rabbits are intelligent, social animals who require mental stimulation, toys, exercise, environmental activity, and social interaction (from, as appropriate, people, other rabbits, or other animals).


House Rabbit Society insists on high standards for each of its Chapters and from each of the individual that helps to carry out our work. Therefore, we have the following policies in place to ensure that the welfare of the rabbits is always at the forefront of our efforts.

  1. We do not support or align ourself with any group or individual promoting rabbits as food animals.
  2. All HRS publicity is to serve in the best interest of the animals and reinforce the image of rabbits as house pets. Promotion should focus more on the merits of the rabbits than on human personalities.
  3. Although House Rabbit Society is involved in rabbit nursing care and health research, all our health research is done by compilation of existing data and necropsy results. We “experiment” only prescriptively to save sick animals and bring about recovery. No animal is ever “sacrificed” for any reason.
  4. We respect the privacy of our members. Our mailing list is not shared by other organizations or commercial interests.
  5. We do not support commercial or exploitative interests. Nor do we endorse products. Donations from manufacturers may be gratefully accepted, but no obligation is implied. Objective recommendations of products are occasionally made for health reasons but never in exchange for payment or publicity.
  6. We are dedicated to prolonging quality life for rabbits. Euthanasia is recommended ONLY when irreversible animal suffering is involved and NEVER for owner convenience.
  7. Under the terms of our incorporation as a nonprofit organization, House Rabbit Society may not be involved in political activity. House Rabbit Society Members may attempt to influence legislation as individuals but should not do so in the name of the House Rabbit Society.
  8. We strive to inspire compassion for animals. We pledge to serve only plant-based foods at events sponsored by House Rabbit Society.

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