Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hope for the Hopless and other issues

Yesterday, on April 30th, I had the opportunity to attend a program featuring Wayne Pacelle president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, discussing his new book "The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them." (I have read the book.) At the talk on Friday, Wayne Pacelle touched on several animal abuse issues.  Plus, rabbits were mentioned when he spoke briefly about the Rabbit Sanctuary, Inc. which he described to the audience as offering "hope for the hopless,"  for rescued rabbits in Simpsonville, South Carolina. (It is supported by The Fund for Animals and The Humane Society of the United States.) I sat at a table with a wide range of people who were advocates for all types of animals including wild horses (my sister), buffalo, birds, cats, dogs and marine mammals. (I was the "rabbit lady" at the table.)  It was an inspirational afternoon. You can listen to Wayne Pacelle's talk at the Portland City Club program archives page.

Friday, April 29, 2011

On the Wild Side: Hare has Brush with Bureaucracy

A couple of days ago a wild hare was discovered stranded on a railway trestle near Calgary, Alberta in Canada. Local residents reported it to authorities. The SPCA only rescues domesticated animals so the concerned citizens were told to contact the Wildlife Society.  The Wildlife Society referred the callers to railway employees because the hare was stuck on their track. More calls were made and when no one showed up someone called 311 (the Canadian 911). The call was passed to the fire department. The fire department said they weren’t responsible since the city considers hares pests. By evening the fire crew did arrive, but weren’t able to trap the animal so they went home. In the end one of the local residents set up a trap. The rabbit didn’t take the trap and a net was tried again. This time it worked. After two days the ordeal was over for the hare. It is now safe and recovering despite no one having jurisdiction over its rescue. (Photo: CTV - hare on the trestle)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

51 UVic Campus Rabbits Arrive in Sequim

The Sequim Gazette reported on the arrival of the last of the University of Victoria campus rabbits at the Precious Life Animal Sanctuary.  The 51 rescued rabbits were transported from the Pacific National Exhibition Fairgrounds in Vancouver, British Columbia last week. The photo shows the half acre predator proof habitat with a netted ceiling, 6 feet of cyclone fencing and 2 feet of concrete underground. The 51 rabbits will join existing 100 rabbits rescued in January 2008 from overpopulated Seattle parks. For more information about the Precious Life Animal Sanctuary, contact the Turners at or visit link above.  See the full article at this link. I'm sure Ralph and Caryl Turner could always use volunteers to help care for the rabbits and donations.  Sequim is located on the north Puget Sound in Washington State. (Photo credit: Sequim Gazette)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eggcentric Housing for a Rabbit

Easter is over or is it? Today I was sent a press release on this new furnishing for pets.  It's for dogs, cats and small animals (rabbits, etc.) and comes in all sizes. It sure looks like something right out of the Easter bunny story to me.  My cats might enjoy it, but I'm not so sure about the rabbits.  Real rabbits who are descendants of those warren building European rabbits like smaller openings to their cozy places and most prefer a back door.  They also like to chew and gnaw.  Okay, so a cardboard box will do, and so will all of those great cardboard castles and cottages that are available online.  I have to admit the pEipod from Germany is cute and stylish for a conversation piece in the living room, but rabbits don't hatch from eggs - eggactly.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Believing in the Pygmy Bunny . . .

A recent article about the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit of Washington State (who hasn't been seen in the wild since 2004) discussed the a new effort to reintroduce them to the wild. They are North America's smallest rabbit topping in at just a one pound. Fragmentation of habit and disease has greatly reduced their numbers to the point they were listed under the Endangered Species Act in 2001. Just 16 of the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits were brought into captivity for breeding - those were the only ones remaining.
It has been tough to get their numbers up since a conservation biologist says "They just didn't breed like rabbits."  However, they have about 100 now and will try a new approach at reintroduction (it was unsuccessful in 2007).  This time they will try a "soft reintroduction. The rabbits will be released into a six-acre enclosure to acclimate and the new babies this spring will be born into this protected environment.  I hope this all works since I would hate to see this smallest of our wild rabbits become a myth like the Easter bunny.
Go to this link to see a video by the Oregon Zoo of baby Pygmy Rabbits.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hip, Hop Hooray for North Georgia HRS!

The House Rabbit Society of North Georgia got good news on Tuesday morning during the Cobb County Board of Commissioners zoning hearing. They were granted permanent zoning of low-rise office for their rescue operation. It has been a tough process since my last post about the issues they were facing. They came through the process and it is all resolved now. Word has it in celebration, members of the society passed out chocolate Easter bunnies to the commissioners and other audience members. HRS North Georgia Photo is of Twilight, a big, beautiful black New Zealand. She was found outside, on the loose and out in the cold. Black bunnies (as well as white bunnies) don’t get adopted out as quickly as others. They say she is a lovely bun who seems to just adore companionship! A beautiful Lapin Noir to be sure. See link above for more information.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rabbit Rescue & Rehab NYC Featured on CBS All for Animals

CBS affiliate in New York City did a very nice story and video on rabbits interviewing Cindy Stutts with Rabbit Rescue and Rehab (New York City House Rabbit Society Chapter). There have been numerous stories in the news particularly this past week about buying rabbits at Easter and this is just one of many! Great job by Cindy with lots of good information and those bunnies were TV Stars!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Colossus Bunny - Cute and then again . . .

I am not sure what I would do with this, but artist Joe Ledbetter of LA created these 48" Fiberglass Limited Edition COLOSSUS Bunnies in several colors. Locate this in the house and it might scare the real rabbits. The bunny has the same glassy look some rabbits I know get when they are begging for a treat.

Nun Travels the World to Help Pets & Their People After Disasters

Sister Michael Marie was featured holding a rabbit in an article in the Columbus Dispatch about her travels to help animals that are left alone, injured and hungry after disasters. She has recently been to Japan and will go again soon. She is part of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and she worked as a veterinary technician before joining the covent at 24. Her animal mission work is through a disaster-aid group called Kinship Circle. See full article at this link. Photo Credit: Kinship Circle.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rabbit Rollercoaster

This illustration by Daniel Chang gave me pause. It captures my feeling about Easter bunny season - anxious for all those bunnies sitting in pet stores, roadside stands and feed stores about to be purchased on a whim. For some it will be a rollercoaster ride.

Rabbit Math Lesson in England

A couple in Cheltenham, England got a math lesson in rabbit reproduction in less than a year. They introduced their male rabbit, Snowy, to not just one, but two females, Jess and Sparkles. Apparently, Snowy was “looking lonely.” Well, Snowy wasn’t lonely for long, not after litters began appearing topping out at 60 rabbits after nine litters. Eventually, the RSPCA was called in and they took 46 of the rabbits. According to the RSPCA spokesperson, “They haven’t done anything wrong, the circumstances just ran away from them. All the rabbits are in good condition, they have looked after them well –they just needed more space.” I think the message should be to encourage neutering and spaying. Now the RSPCA must support and find homes for 46 rabbits. Snowy didn't need a crowd - just a couple of altered bunny friends. Photo credit: RSPCA

Teacher Euthanizes Baby Rabbit in Front of Students

A teacher used very poor judgement and euthanized a dying baby bunny in front of students this week at a middle school in Florida. Why were these rabbits in this situation in the first place? How did the bunnies "fall out" of the hutch? Why are the hutches in such poor shape (see on video) with fecal matter all over the ground? If this a school "ag farm," why is a black lop rabbit part of this? Again, this brings into question schools keeping live animals at their facilities if they are unable to care for them properly.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rabbits & the Law

This should be a fascinating hour for rabbit advocates - a Rabbit Law Discussion. I found this post this morning and I wished I lived in New York City so I could go: Thurs. April 28, NYC Bar Association Rabbit Law Discussion, 6:30-7:30 p.m. "The Year of the Rabbit: Why Laws Make Rabbits the Unluckiest of Popular Pets." 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit under the Chinese zodiac calendar. But, unlike with other pets, the owner of a rabbit may lawfully kill their pet for fur, food or keychains. Speakers will discuss what makes rabbits special and the laws that allow for their abuse. Cost: free. To register, please visit Location: New York City Bar Association, 42. W. 44th St., Midtown Manhattan. If anyone plans on attending, please see if you can tape. I will try to order a transcript afterwards. Rabbits have no protections and are not covered by the Humane Slaughter Act (not that they should be slaughtered in the first place.) Big Thump. Painting by Lorraine Bushek "Snuggled In." I love this artist's work!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wild Baby Rabbits Can be a Handful!

This little cottontail went exploring and accessed a ramp on a deck built for a pair of minature Dachshunds next door to photographer, Courtenay Vanderbilt. She feared the dogs might discover the bunny and she scooped him up. After consulting with her local nature center, they released the bunny in the bushes in another neighbor's yard (over a fence) where an adult rabbit had been spotted.
Every year about this time I start to receive a lot of email about "abandoned baby bunnies." Often baby rabbits (much younger than this little exploring rabbit) are removed from their nests because a concerned person believes they are abandoned. The doe is usually nearby and out of sight. A mother rabbit normally visits her nest only once or twice a night to nurse her litter. The baby bunnies do not have a scent and the doe stays just far enough away to try to keep from drawing predators. For advice on truly abandoned baby bunnies, there are wildlife rehabilitators in every state. See their directory at the link. Hopperhome's page on Wild Baby Rabbits (Photo credit Courtenay Vanderbilt)

Trudie the Rabbit Featured on Ch.22 News

Go to this link to see a terrific segment on the Ch. 22 News in Massachusetts featuring Trudie the rabbit (see photo) and Marlene Wilhelm, President of the House Rabbit Connection. It is great to see local TV stations (and talk radio stations) getting behind the efforts of rabbit rescue organizations to discourage impulse buying of live rabbits at Easter. Trudie was beautiful in her starring role on the segment, too!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fire Leaves 40 Rabbits Homeless

In Wilmington, NC a fire destroyed a home and now a couple are trying to find homes for 40 rabbits. According to the article a smoldering cigarette ignited enough debris to do extensive damage to the house. The rabbits were living in the back of the property in "huts" and were not hurt nor injured by the fire. Several family pets in the house were lost including 5 chinchillas, 2 guinea pigs, 1 hamster, 3 hermit crabs, 4 chicks, 2 sugar gliders, 1 dove, 4 finches, 4 dogs and two fish tanks. Three dogs survived. See full article here.

Congratulations to Rabbit Rescue Canada

It's official and I have no doubt the folks with Rabbit Rescue up in Canada are hopping for joy! They won $10,000 as fourth place out of a number of charities all vying to win a $50,000 prize for their inspirational work. The competition was run by Wind Mobile.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bonded Rabbits Share A Sprig of Dill

There are a lot of "cute" rabbit moments around the home I share with my twin sister Bonnie and, of course, rabbits (and cats). I just happened to have my video camera out for this quick video of a bonded pair tugging on a spring of dill.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Photographer Amber McKee Captures Rabbit Personality

I came across an article a couple of weeks ago in Marin Magazine with an early article discouraging the impulse buying of Easter Bunnies. They interviewed Marcy Schaaf of of Mill Valley, CA. Nice! You can read the article here. A gorgeous photo by Amber McKee accompanied the article and so I had to find out about her photography. I found some wonderful photos of rescue rabbits on her blog and you can visit it here. Amber does beautiful wedding photography, but she also does great work with the rabbits since their personalities really shine. On her blog Amber says she has been been photographing bunnies for Save A Bunny for just over a year. I have no doubt these photos help in the efforts to find the rabbits good homes. A sample of her rabbit photography on the right. Be sure to visit the link above for more photos.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pet Rabbits Included in Mississippi Anti-Cruelty Law

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States writes in his blog that an Anti-Cruelty Law Awaits Miss. Gov. Haley Barbour's Signature. The HSUS was instrumental in helping get this law passed. Pacelle said, "If the bill is signed by Gov. Haley Barbour, aggravated cruelty to dogs and cats will be punishable as a felony on the second offense. It will no longer be legal to leave dogs outside in the hot sun or freezing cold without adequate shelter. And pet rabbits and other animals will be protected from cruelty under the law for the first time in a decade." According to Pacelle, "Once this bill is signed by Gov. Barbour, Idaho, North Dakota, and South Dakota will be the only remaining states in the nation where there is nothing a person can do to an animal, no matter how depraved, that constitutes a felony offense." Hopefully, these last 4 states will take a new look at their own anti-cruelty laws in the near future. Thank you HSUS! (Pictured is Bullet. He is a 5 year old Rabbit surrendered by his owner because they were moving. Available for adoption at Oxford Lafayette Humane Society, Oxford, MS,