Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ten New Year's Resolutions If You Have a Rabbit!

  1. Make that yearly vet appointment now and have your rabbit examined from ear to end.
  2. Resolve to provide more living space for your rabbit so it can take a few hops, stretch out completely and stand up in a cage or pen. Then be sure the rabbit has time outside the cage or pen to run, jump and simply be a rabbit. Rabbits need exercise.
  3. Record identifying information on your rabbit including a photo. If you have a hutch rabbit or a rabbit who spends time outside, make sure the bunny is micro-chipped by a veterinarian.
  4. Spay or neuter your rabbit. Every year that goes by for a female rabbit may mean she is closer to being in the 85% of female rabbits who develop uterine cancer. Neutered males will be calmer and less aggressive, too.
  5. Resolve to give your rabbit good nutrition including a constant supply of timothy or grass hay.
  6. Take time to learn how to check your rabbit for medical problems, and how to clip growing nails. Check for lumps and bumps, be sure ears and eyes are clear and the rabbit's bottom is dry and clean. Check once a month to see if your rabbit's nails need to be clipped.
  7. Promise to keep the treats to a minimum (despite the begging). Obesity is the number one cause of rabbit medical problems reported by veterinarians.
  8. Remember to change the litter box often and clean out the rabbit's living quarters, too. Rabbits are happier and healthier with good hygiene in their living space.
  9. Bunny proof your home so exercise time outside a pen or cage does not become an "electrifying" experience for the rabbit. Make sure all wires and other "chewables" are covered and out of the way of curious rabbits.
  10. Resolve to spend more time with your pet rabbit and if you have a single rabbit, perhaps this is the year to match him or her up with a (neutered or spayed) bunny friend.

Hopperhome Wishes You A Very Hoppy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

USA Today Features House Rabbit Book Author

USA Today featured rabbit rescuer, Georgiana G. Hall (G.G.) in Pet Talk and discussed her new book, "Hershey, A Tale of a Curious House Rabbit."
The article discusses not only the book which was published last autumn, but also how Hall came to write the book and some insights into domestic rabbits as house pets.

If you are interested in purchasing the book, go to Amazon through this link at the House Rabbit Society, 5% of the purchase price will be donated to the society.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snowflake - Classic White Bunny

Gotta love a big white bunny. This is Snowflake and she was featured in a video on WPRI of Providence, Rhode Island. This white as snow rabbit has been at the Providence Animal Rescue League since June. PARL says she is friendly, litter box trained and "good with being handled" plus "gets along with other rabbits." Classic white rabbits have a hard time finding homes because some people think they are too plain and don't care for the pink eyes. An article from the Ontario Rabbit Education Organization will dispel any idea that white rabbits are just "ordinary." The Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society also has a web page called "I'm Dreaming of a White Bunny."
If you live near Providence, RI and would be interested in Snowflake or any of the other animals at PARL, call 401-421-1399. Also, there are always lots of wonderful white rabbits to chose from at most shelters or rabbit rescue groups anywhere in the country.

Today Show is Hopping

The Today Show this morning reports business is hopping at a local pet store in Yokohama where pet bunnies are having their photos taken. The rabbits are dressed up for the holidays in silky Santa outfits. There is a lot of giggling by their humans. I am pretty sure my rabbits would never speak to me again if I tried to play dress-up with them. One time I put a Santa hat on Mr. Bumble and managed to get a photo before he tossed it off. It was also followed by a lot of thumping. See video at link above.

Bunnies Have Seoul

Rabbits made MSNBC's Animal Tracks photo album this morning. They were all dressed up in traditional Hankok costume during a photo shoot at a park near Seoul, South Korea. The little Rex looks likes he's managing okay, but the other two look like they are thinking "Hey, what's up with the clothes over my fur coat?"

Monday, December 20, 2010

Snow Bunnies

This morning I read an article from England highlighting the dangers of keeping rabbits outside in hutches during winter. Many people don't realize pet rabbits would normally avoid the cold by burrowing a warren underground and snuggling up to other rabbits. Hutches just don't allow for this if there isn't enough bedding and rabbits are kept separately. I am not a proponent of hutches, but if rabbits are kept outside, they need to be safe and warm in cold weather. Vets in the UK have been seeing cases of hypothermia in hutch rabbits this year and are recommending housing areas such as a garage, shed or some other type of sheltered area. When I lived in Minnesota it was much worse. I knew of rabbits with ears treated for frostbite. Some required part of their frostbitten ears removed. Yikes! With a whole lot of snow expected in the foothills and mountains of normally sunny California this week - it is time to bring the bunnies inside.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Year of the Rabbit in 2011 - Looking Ahead

Hurray for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and the House Rabbit Society Singapore who issued a joint press release recently about the Year of the Rabbit (2011). Both organizations are discouraging people from buying rabbits as gifts on impulse especially for children. During 1999, the last Year of the Rabbit, the SPCA in Singapore noted there were 625 abandoned pet rabbits which was a 116% increase from the year before. For 2011 the rescue groups are educating the public about the many reasons rabbits should never be purchased on impulse. (Picture of Jewel and Shiro just two of many gorgeous rabbits available for adoption by the HRSS.)

"Rabbit a la Berlin"

Out of Poland/Germany comes an odd documentary, "Rabbit a la Berlin," featuring rabbits and humans during the Cold War. The rabbits are trapped in the "death zone" between the Berlin Wall (walls). (The Wall was two walls with grassy space inbetween.) A woman's voice gives the rabbit's-eye view of events, and from all accounts it is a sometimes hard to watch political allegory. The main actors are the nose wiggling European rabbits who give the history lesson of the dreadful results of the wall. It is apparently an oscar possibility. Not "Watership Down," by any stretch of the imagination, yet the rabbits are very much the stars. I am sure it would be hard to watch since I have heard there is rabbit mayhem involving rifles in sections.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rabbit Puts Out Holiday Lights

Near Denver a homeowner who decorates his house with lots of holiday lights thought he was up against a human prankster. But after catching the chewing bunny on video, he realized who was the real culprit. "It was a rabbit. It was kind of cute. He runs out, he looks both ways. The rabbit comes up, stands up, goes over to the lights, takes a bite and runs away." The video is posted here
I have to give the Mr. Miller credit for trying to find a humane way of deterring the bunnies including pepper, predator urine and other non-lethal methods. He could also check out my list at this link.
It could be holiday lighting manufacturers are following the lead of automobile manufacturers. Car companies have discovered that a soy based plastic is cheaper to produce than traditional plastic to coat wires. However, it also tastes good to rabbits, mice, rats and other creatures.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Finnish Feral Rabbits

Finnish feral rabbits find food at feeders (say that real fast 20 times). Anyway, a recent article in the YLE News was posted with this beautiful photo of one of the feral bunnies. The rabbits are, of course, descendants of "released" pet bunnies and have migrated to other communites outside the capital of Helsinki. According to the article, "even last winter's record-breaking cold temperatures did not have any significant impact on rabbit numbers, with the animals finding food at birdfeeders and in gardens." (Photo credit: YLE)

Bunny Christmas Song

A few years back I took the lyrics to "Let it Snow" and "bunnyized" them. They were inspired by at least three rabbits. These particular three rabbits got on Santa's "Bad Bunny List" because they enjoyed playing under the decorated tree and nibbling everything in sight. You would be surprised how far a rabbit can reach into a tree. They are not afraid of hopping on to sturdy lower limbs either. I decorate large wreaths now and hang them all over my place. The tree thing is over. The rabbits can still have run of the place. No one gets electrocuted by holiday lights, the decorations last from year to year and there is Peace on Earth. (Visit link above to see the rabbit version of an old favorite Christmas song.)