In case you didn’t know, February is Adopt a Rescued Rabbit month!
To celebrate, Petco is hosting a “Meet the Critters” adoption event this weekend, February 18th – 19th, from 1-2pm in their stores nationwide. Petco does not sell or breed rabbits. Instead, they work with local rescue groups to find forever homes for available bunnies. During the event, volunteers from the rescue groups will be on hand to offer advice on how to properly care for house rabbits.
It was near midnight on a rural road in New Jersey when Sharon Coughlin caught a glimpse of a fluffy white object at the side of the road. She drove on, but the thought of an animal possibly in need nagged at her.
“I made a U-turn and slowly drove up to the white fluffy object. My headlights shone on it. It did not move. I pulled off to the side of road and got out of the car.
“It was a rabbit! A tan and white rabbit. It was just sitting there, apparently uninjured, looking terrified. I love animals, but knew little about rabbits. I wasn’t sure how to pick it up or how it would react, but I knew I had to rescue the little guy.”
You can read the full story at The Great Animal Rescue Chase website. This site features articles submitted by people all over the world who have a rescue story (big or small) to share.
September 24-25, 2011 (the fourth weekend of every September) is devoted to learning about proper rabbit care and appreciating the unique companionship pet rabbits offer. Below is a sampling of how you can celebrate rabbits this weekend!
Baskets for Bunnies is a new nonprofit organization that assists rabbit rescues with supplies and funds. Founded by Gretta Parker, the organization hopes to take some of the fundraising burden off shelters, so they can focus their attention on rescuing more bunnies.
After a Florida rabbit breeder appeared on the news saying she was broke and would be forced to sell all 79 of her rabbits to a zoo as snake food, first euthanizing them with a homemade gas chamber, several rabbit rescues came together to help. The rescues raised money to provide the woman with the $8/bunny that was promised by the zoo and picked the bunnies up yesterday to be transported to various foster homes and shelters throughout the eastern US.
Although the rescues have raised enough money for the “bailout”, they still need donations to reimburse costs for transportation, spay and neuter, and general care of these rabbits. Learn more about this rescue mission and donate to their cause at BunnyTransport.com.
Crystal & Christin, two adult female rabbits available for adoption from Alabama Ears.
Now that the excitement of Easter has started to subside, shelters and rabbit rescues will begin to be inundated with surrendered bunnies. Now is the time to show your support for rabbit welfare and rescue!
If you are an experienced house rabbit owner and have the space, sign up with a local rescue to foster bunnies in your home
Volunteer with your local rescue
Donate supplies (hay, litter, puppy-pens, etc.) to your local rescue
You may also want to put focus on Alabama-based shelters (e.g. Alabama EARS or Huntsville Friends of Rabbits), who may have to accommodate rabbits displaced from the tornadoes in addition to the annual post-Easter influx.
John C. Doub feeds Rosemary the rabbit at Virginia Rabbit Inc. Photo by Bill Tiernan, The Virginian-Pilot.
Located on the second floor of a Mack truck dealership in Chesapeake, VA, Virginia Rabbit Inc. provides shelter to 45 homeless rabbits up for adoption. The rescue is run on a daily basis by Ashleigh Watts and was founded by her father John C. Doub 10 years ago.
From an article in the Virginian-Pilot:
“The tear-jerker stories behind the rabbits are quite familiar to Watts. Many of them are labeled “Vacation neglect,” as folks will often drop their pet bunny off when leaving for vacation and never return to pick it up.
“Black and white Reggie was dumped with a broken leg. Pepper was kept in a 10-gallon fish tank. Silver’s previous diet was hot dog buns, leading to the removal of all of her teeth. Pooh Bear is blind. Doub and Watts care for each as if it was their only.”
This case really shows the importance of spaying/neutering your pet rabbit. The owners of these rabbits said they started with what they thought were two female rabbits. This wasn’t the case, and the rabbits kept breeding with each other. The final count was 78 when officials intervened.
Paul Spereall with rabbit he discovered in trash bin. Photo by Jason Roberts.
In the past week, there have been multiple incidents of pet rabbits being discovered out with the curbside trash.
In Birkenhead, England (across the river from Liverpool), window workers Paul Spereall and Paul Harvey went to toss a piece of garbage into one of the bins on the side of the road. When they opened the lid, a cream-colored lop-eared rabbit jumped out at them. The two men brought the rabbit back to their office and cared for it while they contacted the RSPCA. The rabbit was dehydrated, but otherwise is good condition.
In Regina, Saskatchewan, the Hamel family discovered a pet bunny in a recycle bin out on the street with some hay and pellets. With temperatures dipping to -16°F (-29°C) that night, the Hamels saved the bunny from a frigid demise. After caring for the abandoned rabbit for the night, the Hamels contacted the Regina Humane Society.
This rabbit was discovered in recycle bin by Hamel family. Photo by Hamel family.
It is incredibly sad that stories of rabbits being abandoned out with the trash (or just set loose outside) keep popping up. These two rabbits were lucky that a few good Samaritans discovered them, cared for them, and brought them to local shelters so they’d have a chance at a good life.