MEDFORD LAKES, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Inside what Valerie Bertsch calls her bunny café, there are about a dozen rabbits from Tribbles Rabbit Rescue, all hoping to find loving homes.
Zeppy is a Netherland Dwarf rabbit whose senior person became too ill to care for him.
Rory is a Lion Head rabbit who met his mate at the bunny café.
"Charlotte, who is a piece of work," said Bertsch, "She's definitely dominant in the relationship and he couldn't be happier."
Bertsch, a realtor by trade, didn't set out to be a rabbit rescuer. She said she just always wanted a rabbit and for her 59th birthday, she decided a bunny would be her husband's gift to her.
"And I knew nothing. But I thought 'How hard can this be?'," she said. "Then she kind of went crazy."
She reached out to Lori Mills from Tribbles Rabbit Rescue for advice.
Turns out the bunny, adopted from a breeder, just needed to be spayed.
"I'm like, 'How can I ever thank you?' She said 'Yeah, I could really use some help, could you foster a rabbit?'," said Bertsch.
That one rabbit led to another and another. Soon, Bertch had gone down the rabbit hole of rescue, converting the garage of her Medford Lakes, New Jersey home into a café for bunnies.
"A meet and greet we call it," she said.
Matteo is an 8-month-old Mini Lop who was abandoned as a baby.
"Found on the side of the road in a crate," said Bertsch. "People throw them out of car windows, they leave them in cages, unfed and abandoned. There's no law that protect them in the state of New Jersey."
Bertsch says the café desperately needs dedicated volunteers, along with foster parents and adopters, willing to bring a bunny into their homes.
"Dedicated volunteers. Someone that wants to come on a regular basis
"Bunnies are so clean," she said. "They just hop around, use the litter box when they want to."
And she says they're super smart and a joy to watch.
"It's just such a cool thing to be able to experience that with another species, if you will," Bertsch said. "And they're great pets."
For more information:
(856) 534-9569 | TribblesCorp@gmail.com