Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Kindness Plug

As always, the words are not mine, but that of the submitter. When I put it like that it sounds kind of kinky, so how about, I didn't write it. The person who e-mailed me did.

Well, it's that time of year again, and I'd like to remind everyone about the folks out there who work so hard donating their time and energy helping all those adorable little bunnies that people take home from the pet shop for their young children during the Easter season.

As the slave to 7 house rabbits of my own, I can personally attest to how much work rabbits really are. Usually we like to say that they take as much work as a dog or a cat, but that's not really true. They require much more time, energy, and interaction. Like dogs and cats,
they must be spayed or neutered. They need a proper diet, several hours of exercise a day, interaction with people and preferably another rabbit. They need to live inside, and you need to have access to a vet who specializes in exotics.

Most folks don't realize this when they bring home that adorable critter for little Johnny or Susie for a special Easter surprise. And when Johnny or Susie aren't old enough to care for their new pet themselves, or mom and dad get tired of the mess, or maybe little bun- bun nips a finger, or marks grandma's antique rocking chair as part of his territory, bun bun is no longer welcome.

What happens then? Most often, the rabbit is taken to a nice wooded area, or a park, and turned loose to "live in the wild". This is literally a death sentence. They have no sheltering or food finding skills. They fall prey to predators or starve to death.

One group of folks are working hard to educate people before they make this commitment. These are the people at http://makeminechocolate.org/. They encourage the public to think twice and
give chocolate bunnies instead of furry ones. Please take a look at their site. They are raffling a gorgeous painting this year that I'm hoping to win! :)

The other folks, whom i have a lot respect for is the House Rabbit Rescue Society. They are nationwide, and are always in need of donations, not only of money, but often things like towels and blankets, bleach, vinegar, fresh greens, and volunteers. Check with your nearest chapter to see what's on their wish list. They offer no kill shelter, adoptions, bunny education (education for bunny parents, that is), bunny bonding, and often grooming and short term boarding and other services. They have a wide selection of RESCUED bunnies available for adoption that have been spayed, neutered, treated for any injuries and "special" bunnies that have been damaged
by abandonment or cruelty, who have learned to love and trust again.

You can find them at :

If you live in the L.A. county area, check out http://www.bunnyluv.com/. I mostly deal directly with them, since they are closest to me.

Thanks for your time, and Happy Easter!



Diane said...

Thank you for this (and to Ent for posting it) A few years ago I rescued three discarded white 'easter bunnies' who'd been tossed out beside a country road. One had been badly injured by a passing car before we found her, and although their story had a happy ending with us I'll always remember the terror and bewilderment in their eyes when we found them huddled there.

Maven said...

While I agree that you should never purchase an animal on a whim or because it's "cute" without finding out if you have the capabilities AND lifestyle to properly take care of it for the duration of it's life, some of the proposed requirements of owning a rabbit in this post are off.

Rabbits are perfectly fine if they're outside in a hutch or shelter that is not drafty or damp and is safe from predators. Just like other outdoor pets, if you're conscious of the weather and their surroundings, they can make great outside pets.

Also, when I was a child, one of my pet rabbits got away from me. That rabbit lived for YEARS as a "wild" rabbit, even reproducing with the real wild rabbits.

I certainly don't think anyone should let them go, and most probably will succumb to predators, but instincts often kick in rather quickly.

Another example is domesticated pigs, who, when released or escape, take only weeks before they're complete feral and start growing the tusks and hair of wild pigs.

I'm all for animal and environment protection and I'm a zoologist who has practiced around the world from US zoos to huge parks and preserves in Africa, but selling half-truths to help a cause should not be done.

Unknown said...

Excellent thing to post, Ent, and THANK YOU to the person who sent it in to him.

A friend of mine got an "Easter bunny" as a gift when we were kids, and within weeks, I ended up with it b/c her family was going on vacation and no one but my animal-loving mom would take it. Having that animal taught me something I preach to anyone who will listen: rabbits should not be pets. We lived in a major metropolitan city and my "backyard" was made of concrete, so we definitely did NOT live in the right environment for having one. We took care of it as best we could, and it was a LOT of work, and I know that poor thing should have had a better life. Shame on my friend's parents for buying it for her, and it's good to hear there are organizations trying to stop others from making the same dumb mistake. I will definitely check out the websites you linked.

Unknown said...

I can't read this because I'll start bawling, but I can tell you're doing a good thing, Buns. So thank you. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your much more informative post Staci.

And thanks for this announcement in general EL. I'm good friends with a few animal breeders, and I see the diligent process they go through in choosing whom to sell their animals too, so they simply dont end abandoned after the novelty wears off. One of my friends breeds Ragdolls, which are beautiful, wonderful, friendly cats but are too passive to defend themselves or hunt; they are strictly indoor cats. She makes sure each purchase isnt for a child, or near a holiday, and keeps track of every kitten from every litter to every owner. I've seen records going back thirty years! Choose your breeder carefully, and always realize the gravity of your decision when you adopt a pet! When I bought my Charlie, he was so loud and mouthy (thats a Ragdoll for ya!) that my landlord said I couldnt have him--so I moved out!!

Emily said...

I have a rabbit, I was going to let her go because she was too much work. Thank God I didn't!! She is beautiful and very sweet, she doesn't get enough attention though. We try, if anything we are keeping her safe and her tummy full! She really is sweet, but it's not a good idea to buy a rabbit unless you have the time to play each day.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for posting this ent. people don't realize how much work having small animals like rabbits are, and sadly more often than not they end up discarded.

AphraelDanae said...

Ent - thanks so much for posting this. As a bunny mummy to two adorable buns, this really hits home. To see any animal simply 'discarded', because it's become too much 'trouble' or isn't 'cute' anymore, is heartbreaking.

Another couple of sites to check out if you're in Canada, specifically Ontario are:


Lots of useful info there, especially if you're thinking of bringing a bun into your home and your life!

Hoppy Easter everyone!

Persephineas said...

Anyone in Chicago should visit:


They are the only animal shelter in Chicago that both rescues and adopts out rabbits. They do great work and are always willing to help educate people on proper rabbit care. They stock and sell OxBow hay which is the best hay that you can get for rabbits. Once they have OxBow they never go back!

Also, I've worked with hundreds of bunnies and I have never heard of one that was able to live outside unassisted. It usually takes less than 2 weeks for them to die once abandoned outside. My little guy was rescued after he was found half dead outside on a playground. He had been attacked and it's amazing he's alive today.

Don't give a real bunny for Easter!

lutefisk said...

Thank you Buns for submitting this & thank you Ent for printing it.
This should be sent to schools for kids to bring home to their parents before the weekend!!
(My thoughts are with you & the bunnies this week.)

bionic bunny! said...

ent, thank you!

staci and trix:
i'm not here to say it is physically impossible for a rabbit to survive outside or if let loose. in the very best of household set-ups, pet rabbits have an indoor and safe outdoor play area. we're concerned about HOUSE RABBITS or COMPANION rabbits. their digestive systems are delicate. one take from a proper diet of unlimited fresh hay and pellets and let loose to forage for itself will eat anything. and as a zoologist, you should know how terrible it is to die from gut stasis.
and i absolutely agree, there ARE responsible breeders and irresponsible ones. i have bunnies from a couple of friends i consider responsible breeders.
and, i do not support PETA in any way, shape or form.

all this was supposed to be is a simple request to please double think buying a live animal as a gift for easter, and think about donating to a local chapter of bunny rescuers who get stuck with the leftover bunnies after the family loses interest.

Anonymous said...

You dont have to address that to me, bb, I wasnt saying anything one way or another about that little disputed piece of information. I was just sayin' its nice to hear both sides, both being concerned about abandoned animals.

pusssykatt said...

Thanks so much for posting this. A few years ago I was at a county fair with a friend, who bet me she could win a bunny, and if she did, I'd have to take it. She did, and I actually liked the bunny, but found that it was very destructive. Unlike my cats (who btw, loved the bunny), it chewed on everything...from television wires to anything that sparkled...like a pair of very expensive gold earrings. I soon realized that I was not going to be a bunny owner. I called my vet and she put me in touch with a 4-H advisor that had a rabbit club. Since I had had the bunny taken care of by my vet, it was going to work out well for one of her members. We drove 60 miles to deliver it, and it ended up having a wonderful home, but shame on me in the first place. Although I'm sure it had a better life than any of the other bunnies at the fair that day.

bionic bunny! said...

sorry, trix, i misread what you said.
pussykat, that's one of the reasons you have to have them "fixed". and you have to bunny-proof your house, just like you would with a baby.
it's easier to box train them when fixed, their need to chew on anything and everything is stunted, it lessens any aggression, and most importantly, it lengthens their life span, as reproductive cancer is one of the largest killers of companion rabbits.

again, trix, i'm sorry. i've seen some terrible things over the years due to the opinion that a pet rabbit can "return to the wild", and was so upset by the comment before yours that i took your first sentence wrong, and i should know better.
still friends?

Majik said...

Chocolate bunnies for Easter? It'll never work...

Seriously...as an activist and a vegan, thanks for posting that. The same thing happens in my area with baby chicks--really cute, until they grow up into evil, shit-horned roosters (they keep the female chicks).

brendalove@gmail.com said...

thanks for posting this!
Don't forget to forget about getting Easter chicks, too!

Unknown said...

Aw, thanks so much for posting this, Ent! And thank you to the wonderful person who wrote that. I am the parent of 2 house bunnies who were abandoned by people who also wanted "Easter bunnies." Thank GOD they were not just tossed out into the wild where they would have quickly died. My bunnies are the best of friends and they get the run of the house except at night when we put them on "lockdown." hee hee. They are wonderful pets to have, but they do require a long-term commitment and thet proper diet, socialization and exercise just like Buns wrote in the email to Ent. Bunnies can live up to 12 years (sometimes longer!) with proper loving care.

Unknown said...

diane: you are an angel ;-)

Unknown said...

stacy: thank you for your information and I hope that is true for the bunnies who were abandoned. But aren't bunnies, especially on their own, at a TERRIBLE disadvantage when they don't have the protection of a family and warren of other rabbits? I also do not advocate keeping them locked up in a hutch outdoors. What kind of life is that to be locked up in a cage?

allyimagines said...

Staci is full of CRAP, and is not a zoologist.

She claims that her domestic rabbit gone loose "lived for YEARS as a "wild" rabbit, even reproducing with the real wild rabbits."

Well, if she is a zoologist then she would know that Hares have 24 pairs of chromosones. Domestic rabbits have 22 pairs. Cottontails have 21, Mating is possible
between the different species but the resulting embryos die after a few cell divisions because of the differences in the number of chromosome pairs.

Don't believe everything you read from commentators on blogs. If anyone wants to check my references, Merck Veterinary Manual is a good place to start. Take this from a REAL zoologist, (study of ecology, anatomy, evolution and embryology) ;)

Thanks to the original poster for this article, and I suggest to delete Staci's comment as it is scientifically incorrect in many ways and can easily mislead people.

Shallow Gal said...

"Well, if she is a zoologist then she would know that Hares have 24 pairs of chromosones." wow allyimagines...If you were REAL zoologist as you say, you might have learned how to spell "chromosomes" along the way during your studies of ecology, anatomy,etc. Maybe it's a typo...but before you cast aspersions on others, you should really check your post. Such careless mistakes make it look like you don't know what you're talking about...even if you do.


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