Friday, December 28, 2012

Doodling Rabbit Art

I discovered Lim Heng Swee aka a while back and wanted to share two illustrations featuring rabbits. The first is rabbits unzipped and the other one below is a depiction of rabbits blowing in the wind as dandelion snow. As the artist says on the website: "I would describe my work as simple and fun, but with a strong idea or message behind it. Life should be fun and humorous when possible and I hope that my illustrations generate a sense of joy and happiness."  Yes, indeed, just like the rabbits illustrated.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

49 Rabbits Abandoned in Foreclosed Home Rescued

The Police Department in Manchester, New Hampshire found 49 surviving rabbits out of 55 total in "deplorable" inhumane conditions in a foreclosed home.  The bunnies had been abandoned according to news reports.  However, the good news is there has been a outpouring of supplies and money to help take care of the rabbits.  Friends of the Manchester Animal Shelter are providing medical care.  They expect the rabbits to be ready for adoption next week.  The shelter still needs money to help with the rabbits' medical care and neuter/spaying. One of the beautiful abandoned bunnies is shown on right.  (Photo credit:
For more information visit the shelter's website:

Rabbits Rock in Hobbit

Radagast the Brown is a fictional wizard in Tolkien's Middle-earth. The Rabbits of Rhosgobel are completely Peter Jackson's (or one of his writer's) original idea for the new Hobbit movie. I saw the movie today and the rumored sled pulled by "Rhosgobel" rabbits. Rhosgobel is fictional home of Radagast in Middle-earth. This is not a real  domesticated rabbit breed. (After all, they are much bigger than Flemish Giants and closer to a hare in speed.) In the movie Radagast provides a distraction, leading the enemy on a chase while Gandalf and the others escape.  The sled pulled by rabbits is fast enough to stay ahead of a pack of nasty looking creatures called Gundabad Wargs, ridden by the equally nasty Orcs. Since I am not a Tolkien purist, I found the wizard and his heroic speeding rabbits pretty thrilling in 3D.  I am a rabbit fan after all.  The giant rabbits reminded me of my big Japanese Harlequin breed bunny, Rosemary, who was very fast on her feet. I think if I had turned my back on her long enough she was also quite capable of digging all the way to Middle-earth.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Red Rabbit

I happened to be passing through the Sacramento Airport a couple of weeks ago. My sister and I made a point of stopping by to gawk at  Lawrence Argent's "Leap" – the centerpiece sculpture at the airport best known as the "Red Rabbit."  I couldn't resist being a tourist and having my photo taken with the very impressive oversized bunny.  I love that the rabbit is posed in motion highlighting rabbits' amazing ability to hop.  Rabbit Hopping (high jumping for bunnies) is becoming popular and the record I think is in the ballpark of 39 inches.  It is amazing to me the stout and very cute lops are winning these competitions, too. My Harlequin rabbit routinely jumped over her 36" puppy pen fence just because she could.  I appreciate art and the agile athleticism of rabbits. When the two are combined it makes for a stunning display.   

Read more here:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sweet Basil Sharing Moment from SaveABunny
This looks like a tug of war instead of a "food fight."  Rabbits love sweet basil as well as other herbs like cilantro, rosemary twigs, dill, fennel, mint, tarragon and several more.  
Herbs are good treats instead of fruit especially for overweight bunnies.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gotta Love a Guy Running in a Bunny Suit
James Fairman is the best. We need more guys like him raising awareness for rabbits.  Last week on July 22nd James ran a 10K in a bunny suit to raise awareness for the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund in the UK.  The fact that he finished wearing a heavy (and I am sure suffocating rabbit suit) for the entire run would give anyone paws for thought.  But he hopped over the finish line somewhere in the middle of the herd at a respectable time.  See his website on the run at this Link
The weather here in the US this summer has been too hot in most places to walk, let alone run wearing a rabbit costume, but the rabbit suit run is a buntastic idea.  What James demonstrated so brilliantly (and with good humor) is there are many ways to get the conversation about the plight of rabbits started with the public.  Sometimes all it takes is a willingness to get out of your comfort zone and run with it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

French Lop Stops Traffic in UK

Another giant rabbit in the news and this rabbit turned heads after being spotted hopping down the road.
The rabbit, which is thought to be a French lop, was brought into Holly House Veterinary Centre in Knutsford, UK at about 10:00am on July 16th after wandering around near the road.  Hard to miss and good thing the motorists missed him!
Vet nurse Zoe Tompkinson described him as an affectionate, bigger than average male. I guess so. French Lops are notoriously cuddly rabbits and I have had the privilege of meeting a few over the years.
Pictured: Trainee vet Emilee De Corte at Hollyhouse Vets in Knutsford, UK and the bunny.  By the way if you are nearby in the UK and know this big boy, contact the vet. (He was found on Mobberley Road near Ashley Junction.) Photo credit: Paul Heaps.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Big Bunny Brings Joy to Family
Boomer, a Flemish Giant breed rabbit recently celebrated his fourth birthday with his human parents in high style at Café Aroma nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains. They say Boomer has been a wonderful pet for the entire family including their son, a senior at University of California Berkley, who also loves Boomer.
People often ask the couple if Boomer is "fake," since they have never seen such a large rabbit, but once they pet him and feel his soft fur and look at his animated eyes they know he is as real as can be.
"He's brought a lot of joy to us," Andy Boynton said. "Boomer's definitely different and wherever he goes Boomer makes people happy."
Read more about Boom at this Link
Reflecting on Rabbits - Window Art

The windows of the Rabbit’s Nest on Dean Avenue, in Rome, Georgia features two-dimensional images of rabbits intertwined with ABCs and 123s were brought to life by Holly Cothran’s brush.

Read more and see a slide show of her painting the windows at : - Cothran makes window art for local businesses

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bonding Bunnies:  A Year Long Lesson in Patience

When people email me about bonding their rabbits, I try to give them all the information I can about my personal experiences with bonding rabbits and one important word:  Patience.  In the last year I learned the true meaning of patience when it comes to bonding rabbits.  In fact, I was beginning to think maybe I had met my match (matches) on patience.  Enter Pansy and Sweetie. 
Read their story at this link: Bonding Rabbits.  Includes some trivia about rabbits and bonding plus a list of resources. By the way, this story has a "hoppy" ending as you can see by the photo on the right, but it took a long time to get there.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Remember to keep your rabbits secure and inside the house. A rabbit's hearing is far more sensitive than a human's hearing. The sound of a radio or TV can help mute the sound of fireworks. My bunnies like a little classical music even when it sounds like a bombing range outside. Be sure fireworks don't pop off outside the room where the rabbit is housed. If you are going to be gone for the evening move your rabbits to the most quiet room in the house if possible.  If your rabbits are housed outdoors, move them inside the house or at least into the garage for the holiday.

Friday, April 13, 2012

"Crazy Bunny Lady" Gives Her 2 Cents on Eating Rabbits

A university extension class will teach people “How to raise, kill, and process a rabbit in a humane and efficient manner” at a farm on Saturday morning on April 21st.  How is "dead" for a healthy 6 to 12 week old rabbit really considered "humane." The flyer (link) goes on to say:  “You’ll receive a live rabbit to dispatch and process yourself. You’ll leave the workshop with practical skills, self-confidence and a rabbit and recipe for your Sunday dinner.”  The reality of the lesson deserves more than the euphemism “dispatch.”  The word is “kill” or “slaughter.”  The “process” is “butchering.” Some classes and websites have called butchering rabbits  “harvesting” like picking crops. Rabbits are not plants. They are animals I know by the names of "Pansy,"  "Sweetie," and many more over the years.

Of course, I find the idea of eating rabbits offensive.  Rabbits live as pets in my home. However, those who raise, prepare and cook bunnies have denigrated such opinions as an “Easter Bunny Syndrome,” or a “Bambi Complex.”  Those derisive labels are an easy tactic to brush off a point of view as a psychological problem , i.e., “crazy bunny lady.”  The name calling by those with a contrary opinion tries to minimize any civil discussion. Frankly, why should any animal lover be derided as “wacko” or "a meddlesome nutjob" when we have compassion for these long eared creatures. Many people have rehabilitated suffering abandoned rabbits from abuse or simply love them as part of our family like a cat or dog.  When did respect for the lives of animals become an eccentric personality defect?

There are upwards from 2 to 4 million rabbits kept as pets in this country.  House rabbits are becoming very common in urban areas with rabbits kept in the family home just like a cat or dog. They are the third most popular mammalian pet in the U.S., UK and Canada. Domesticated rabbits can be litter box trained like a cat, learn their names and other words just like any dog or cat, learn tricks like dogs (clicker training), are very affectionate, and bond for life with people, other pets and other rabbits.

Of course, people can eat a bunny. People will eat anything. In some parts of Asia dogs and cats are regularly consumed. However, as pet ownership of these animals is on the rise the resistance to eating them has increased. (This change in attitude has been reported in several news stories this year.) Rabbits are established as pets in the U.S. so why do we objectify them as food and not dogs or cats? If tradition and cultural preferences were reasonable arguments against braising a bunny, then why do the majority of people (pet owners or not) in the U.S. find it shocking people are still poaching puppies and boiling cats in some parts of the world. We know cats and dogs as our companions  I also know cats and dogs and rabbits as companions.  All three species provide companionship to humans. All three species are heroes in news stories saving their owners from perishing in house fires and medical emergencies. All three species are comforting people as therapy animals nationwide.  Yet, one is still considered a trendy "farm to table" dinner entree.

The breeds considered so called "meat rabbits" are the same breeds who make the best pets like the Dutch, New Zealand, Californians, etc. There is no difference between a meat rabbit and a pet rabbit. Does giving a rabbit a cute name change the rabbit. No. It changes the perspective of the humans toward the bunny. It is that simple.  In fact, some nameless rabbits removed from closed backyard meat operations are now living in homes as pets. Recently, Samantha, a Gorilla from a zoo in Erie PA, was awarded certificate recognizing her "great compassion as a responsible rabbit caregiver and friend." Samantha lives in her enclosure with a Dutch bunny, a breed routinely sold as meat and ironically as pets, too.  But, apparently even a 400 lb. gorilla understands rabbits are best suited as friends not food and what does that make us?  As far as I know the gorilla has not named the rabbit.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Harvey Wins "Hutch is Not Enough" Contest

Harvey's Winning Photo
A 10 year old bunny from Godalming (UK) won a nationwide contest out of 1,700 photo entries for the RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund) 'Hutch is Not Enough" Campaign.  Harvey's human,  Martyn Hoyle says the rabbit is house trained, has his own room to relax in during the day and has full reign of the house when Mr. Hoyle is home.  "We all truly believe that a hutch is not enough and that rabbits should not be kept by themselves in a tiny hutch all day with no space to stretch and exercise, and no other bunny or human for company," Mr Hoyle said. Harvey has his own Facebook page and is also building up a good number of followers on his Twitter account.  Harvey looks like a perfect hoppy spokesbunny for "Hutch is Not Enough" campaign. (Photo credit: Surrey online)

Hopperhome is an advocate for "house" rabbits. See flyer listing 10 reasons Not to house a rabbit in a hutch. While I realize lots of hutch bunnies do live long lives with plenty of attention, too many are forgotten except for a daily feeding. After all, my cats and dog live in the house and, my rabbits deserve the same accommodations and room service.

"Disposable" Easter Bunnies Already

The Easter Bunny Dump has started the day after the holiday in Roseville, California.  It's outrageous anyone would treat animals like a disposable digital camera - use once and toss.  These three sweet young rabbits were abandoned in front of the Placer SPCA one day after Easter on a Monday. No one even bothered to knock on the door. Yep, they put 'em in a stryofoam cooler with no lid and left them to be discovered.  The bunnies who have been named Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, are slated to be neutered or spayed and will recover in foster homes until ready for adoption. For more information, visit (Photo credit: Roseville Press Tribune)

Medical News: Vaccine Therapy for Myxo & RHD

These diseases are rare in the United States. However, in UK myxomatosis virus is devastating for both wild and companion rabbits.  Reported by: "MSD Animal Health has published positive clinical data for a new vaccine therapy for myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease.
The subcutaneously-administered Nobivac Myxo-RHD was shown to provide high-quality protection against both of these two viral diseases, with vaccinated rabbits remaining healthy and suffering no adverse effects.
Researchers trialled the drug at MSD Animal Health's Milton Keynes research centre, with an editorial published in the peer-reviewed journal Veterinary Record suggesting that the product represents a major step forward in rabbit healthcare." Read full article at: Animal Health Supplier News

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

CNN Story on Rabbit Cafes - Cuddles & Coffee

Interesting CNN story on rabbit cafes at this link. 

Auto Mall Owners & Rabbitats Canada Team Up

The Vancouver Sun reported last Sunday that the "owners of the Richmond Auto Mall have paired with an animal welfare group to try to find a humane way to get rid of roughly 300 rabbits that have been hopping around the area for the past three years."  Auto mall customers enjoy the rabbits, but they are eating through the landscaping and much too close to a high traffic highway. The manager said the "Owners of the auto mall want to do the right thing - these rabbits have a lot of fans." Rabbitats Canada, a volunteer-run animal welfare group that sterilizes, contains and controls feral rabbit colonies across the province are helping with the effort.  I have to agree with Sorelle Saidman of Rabbitats Canada when she said ". . . these rabbits are so far from wildlife it's ridiculous, even multi-generations down the road they are pets. Having a feral colony of rabbits is like having a feral colony of poodles." I had two rabbits who would qualify as "feral poodles" and they were the best house bunnies ever. See full article at this link.

Bing Bunnies

If you missed these sweet wiggly noses on Bing on Sunday go to this link.  The video clip is very cute.  Just nitpicking, but I wish they had linked to some rabbit care information somewhere.

On the Wild Side: Endangered Rabbit & Hares

Pgymy Rabbits
There are several cousins to our companion rabbits (domesticated rabbits - Oryctolagus cuniculus) that are now endangered species.  A recent article in Huffington Post, "Rabbit Species Threatened By Climate Change" brings attention to a worldwide problem.  Many species of lagomorphs are disappearing for obvious reasons and some not.  The Snowshoe Hare needs snow for protection in the winter as their coats turn white or they are conspicuous to predators with deadly consequences. Pikas who live at high elevations in cool climates are finding their temperature comfort zone is shrinking.

There are a few species other than Pikas, Snowshoe Hares, Volcano, Pygmy and Marsh Rabbits that weren't mentioned in the story.  Take the New England Cottontail, for instance. The prolific Eastern Cottontail that was imported from other states (for hunting) is now pushing them out.  Even the lack of natural fires is a factor.  The fires allowed thick vegetation to grow after a burn and is perfect New England Cottontail habitat.  Then there is the beautiful South African riverine rabbit that is suffering from agricultural and development pressures. Unfortunately, unlike most rabbits, the riverine rabbit produces just one offspring per year and an estimated total of four offspring during its lifetime. Even the European Rabbit (domesticated rabbits are decendants of this species) in their native Spain may become extinct there. The myxomatosis virus has  decimated rabbit populations on the Iberian Peninsula and in turn threatens the survival of their main predator the Spanish lynx. 
Riverine Rabbit

It's the connections of hares and rabbits to other animals and plants that impacts entire local ecologies.  I recently read since hares and rabbits are disappearing in some areas of Michigan, scientists find more deer fawns are killed by predators. Even declining populations of jackrabbits in parts of Wyoming are impacting Pronghorn Antelope, deer and even domesticated sheep. There is no doubt the wild hares and rabbits are important species in their natural and native habitats.  Sometimes  when I mention the plight of "endangered rabbits," people are taken aback a bit since wild rabbits are often seen as pests. It seems my friends who garden and some Australians (understandable) are pretty skeptical. However, there is no doubt rabbits and hares have their place and any extinction is a significant loss.

Bunnies Get Good Press this Spring

There has been a lot of good press about bunnies this Easter. Even though I cringe at the thought of the bunny abandonment aftermath of the Easter holiday, I do enjoy reading about all the great work rescuers are doing to prevent it. Huffington Post has published several educational articles on the issue in the run up to Easter as well as Time Magazine and many local newspapers nationwide. It feels like the media did more this year to help and that means rabbit rescuers and educators are making an impact. One example of good press was an article in the New York Daily News at this link. They published this adorable photo with a story featuring three young rescued bunnies who make their home at Sequin, a bunny-friendly jewelry company  in midtown. Both Cindy Stutts and Mary Cotter of  Rabbit Rescue and Rehab, the New York City chapter of the House Rabbit Society were interviewed for the article.  Nice!

Man Surrenders 63 Rabbits to Shelters

It seems a man bought two rabbits at a pet store three years ago.  The male and female rabbits began breeding and 63 rabbits later, he has surrendered them to the Boston (48 rabbits) and Methuen (15 rabbits) adoption centers. The adoption centers already had 60 rabbits waiting for adoption to permanent homes. It is sad (for the rabbits) the man didn't understand about "Neuter Spay" certainly after the first litter. The pet store should have educated their customers about the breeding capacities of rabbits. Better yet, the pet store should have neutered and spayed the rabbits before they sold a breeding pair of rabbits to anyone. Somebody should have done the math. The good news is even though  occasionally a large surrender to shelters like this occurs, it is fairly rare in these high numbers. Plus, there are more good people educating the public about rabbits than just a few years ago.  (Poster of multiplying rabbits by Ramsey Sibaja.)

How to Make a House Rabbit LItter Garden

Yes, you are reading the title correctly.  This is something I would have never dreamed up.  My rabbits' litter boxes are not obscured from view.  My living room never smells or looks like a barn, but sometimes I wonder if I'm just used to it. And, I make no attempt to hide the litter boxes since I change them daily.  (I always ask guests if they smell "anything" and hope they aren't being nice when they say no.) Anyway, Apartment Therapy featured this post a couple of years ago (that's how far behind I am in my reading) and it's worth a look.  Go to this Link

Last Chance Rabbits have a Maine Man

A Maine couple provides a home for former lab rabbits and other last chance bunnies who would otherwise be euthanized.  With a total of 51 rescued rabbits to care for David Sherwood now considers himself a "bunny guy."  Read the entire article here.  (Photo BDN Maine)

Articles Advocate Against Easter Bunny Buying

Several articles have begun to appear in the media about the serious issue of people impulse buying rabbits at Easter as gifts.  An article published on Pet Pardons News noted some sad statistics.  According to the Humane Society of Utah’s Easter Pet Statistics, 3 in 10 Easter bunnies die. It is also estimated that 60 to 70 percent of Easter pets are abandoned or turned into shelters. I have seen the tragic results myself over the years. This is why I started over a dozen years ago and my campaign below. 

Bunny People are the Best including Beatrice Potter

A four-page letter from Beatrice Potter to one of her young fans gives some insight to the author herself and how she was "inundated with requests from youngsters to name characters after their pets." The letter to a young girl named, Phyllis, says that the writer (Miss Potter) receives "‘heaps of letters’ from fans wanting their pets mentioned in her celebrated tales, including a pet crocodile." Phyllis had wanted her pet rabbit Fluffy in a story. The letter to Phyllis was dated January 21, 1912 and came to light at auction. It was heartwarming to see how kind the famous author was when she wrote at the end, ‘I feel quite sad to disappoint you - I have begun another book about the fox! If I can do another book that Fluffy can come into - I promise to.’ See letter and original article.

Three R's Could Include Rabbit

In the UK, a vet from Kent would like a fourth R on the curriculum for kids, i.e. Rabbits.  Celebrity vet, Matt Brash would like animal welfare taught in schools concerning such things as how to look after companion animals.  He feels it would help reduce animals being abandoned. According to a recent article in Kent Online, Matt thinks there are ways to incorporate these concepts into lessons.  As he noted, "Math, for example: if you have a male rat and a female rat, how many baby rats are you going to have within a few weeks?"  That would be something to substitute with rabbits and then the lesson could include Fibonacci Series.  Apparently, the vet is not the only one who is interested in adding animal welfare to the curriculum.  According to the article, "New research published today by the Pet Food Manufacturing Association shows 87% of those questioned in Kent and surrounding areas thought it was important to teach pet welfare at school."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mini Felt Rabbits

Check out the instructions for these mini felt rabbits.  There are lots of photos.  I may be able to administer SubQ fluids to a rabbit and give shots, etc., but when it comes to crafts I want how-to photos and this article has them.  Great DIY gift for Spring. (Photo: Buzzmills via Blogher

Friday, March 16, 2012

Theft of Soho Bunny Inhumane for Bonded Pair of Rabbits

UPDATE: Miss Cooper was dropped off at the first precinct stationhouse just after midnight, police and the store owners said. She has returned to her pen in the front of the store with her bunny friend, Jack.  “I always make a point of walking by and waving at the rabbits,” said renowned journalist Carl Bernstein, who visited the shop Saturday after he read of the bunny-napping in the Daily News.
“I’m glad it’s going to be a happy ending.”  Good News for everyone especially the rabbits.

Earlier this week a rabbit called Miss Cooper, who lives by day in the window of a SoHo clothing boutique was stolen leaving, Jack, her bonded bunny friend alone.  Both bunnies are popular with Alexander Berardi NY’s clientele including model Christy Turlington and actress Jane Krakowski.  
The thieves are thought to be a couple who had regularly visited the store and have petted the bunnies on several occasions. According to one of the store owners, "A lot of people come to see the bunnies, though, so it didn't seem out of the ordinary."
What the thieves may not realize is the theft of one rabbit puts both rabbits in jeopardy. It is cruel to separate a bonded pair of rabbits since it can be life threatening for one or both of the bunnies.  Domesticated rabbits are highly social herd animals and they bond for life. Miss Cooper will be in a new environment with strangers and also stressed by the absence of her bonded rabbit friend.  The other rabbit, Jack, may also exhibit stress from the separation.  Stress can cause lethargy and loss of appetite.  It is a very short process from this to GI Stasis which is potentially fatal. Both may need immediate veterinary care if they exhibit symptoms.  I never separate bonded rabbit pairs.  Sometimes when one rabbit of a bonded pair passes away the remaining rabbit has a very difficult time recovering from the other’s death.  If Miss Cooper’s abductors are not experienced with rabbits, she may not survive.  I doubt the thieves who stole Miss Cooper know or care how their actions will hurt both rabbits, or they wouldn't have snatched the rabbit in the first place. However, if they care for Miss Cooper (and Jack) at all, they must return her home very soon.  
(Photo credit:

House Could be Condemned in Rabbit Hoarding Case

You know when animal control officers need to wear contamination suits to enter a home to remove animals it is going to be bad.  Last night in Virginia Beach, VA several media outlets reported police and firefighters were in the process of removing 50 rabbits from a home.  There had been a report of a foul smell coming from the house and when officers arrived they found the home overrun by rabbits.  Animal control officials stated that "Most of the rabbits do appear healthy."  However, some of the rabbits were "obviously sick" and two had died. The woman who owned the home was contacted at her work and gave permission for all the rabbits to be removed.  The house itself is now being assessed and could be condemned. It's hard to imagine the living conditions animals like these rabbits endure in hoarding cases.
Animal hoarding causes suffering for both animals and humans.  Plus, local animal shelters take on the burden and many times resources are needed regionally if a lot of animals involved. The rabbits in Virginia Beach are receiving care and medical exams now.  I hope the hoarder receives treatment for this mental health disorder because animal hoarders have a high risk for becoming repeat offenders. One of the best resources for current information on animal hoarding is Tufts University Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium.
UPDATE:  The total number of rabbits is now 90.  A 60 year old woman has been charged with three counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and two counts of improper disposal of a dead animal.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mad Rabbit Disease

A study by the  Biogune Research Centre has shown rabbits are not resistant to prion diseases (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies  - “Mad Cow” is the bovine variety).  For decades it was thought rabbits were resistant, but the study shows rabbits can also develop an infection. The authors of the study say an epidemic of “mad rabbits” like the one seen in cows in the 1990s is “highly unlikely.”  But it was also noted in the article that the study “opens up the debate regarding the suitability of feeding various species with animal proteins that may be contaminated with prions, even those that for many years have been considered to be resistant.“

European Rabbit Featured on MSNBC's Animal Tracks

This wonderful photo of a European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)  native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa was featured on MSNBC's Animal Tracks slide show this week.  The European Rabbit is the only species of rabbit to be domesticated. The 40+ breeds of rabbits we all know as our companions are the same species. No wonder they are all so beautiful!  (Photo credit: Patrick Pleul / EPA)

Ricky Gervais Hops to it to End Animal Testing

Check out this video of Ricky Gervais, Ambassador for Cruelty Free International and a bunny friend:

Filming at Zoo Takes Tragic Turn for Bunny

This morning I read the story online about a little bunny unintentionally crushed by a clumsy camerman's misstep. Unfortunately, it seems no one at the Limbach-Oberfrohna Zoo in eastern Germany knew where their star attraction was when this accident happened. Officials were about to introduce Til, a three-week old earless rabbit to the news media. Most of the articles say the camerman who came to film the rabbit simply took a step back and instantly killed Til. It was also reported the camerman as "distraught." I am sure it was an accident, but I was disgusted at the completely senseless stupidity of the incident.  I have house rabbits and they are hopping around my home, but in all these years I have never stepped on a rabbit. I have to wonder why the TV crew and any zoo staff present were not alert to the rabbit's whereabouts. Granted, my  rabbits have a tendency to get underfoot too easily, but I'm the much larger human so it's my responsibility to watch out for them. The adorable bunny in Germany was the reason for the media visit.  I assume the cameraman was preoccupied with setting up his equipment and had no awareness of the animal in their shared space. This wasn't a 400 pound Gorilla sitting in the room with them, instead it was a baby bunny small enough to hold in one hand. By virture of his fragility,  Til deserved much more attention. Now he has everyone's attention and it is very sad.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Following the White Rabbit: Flopsy Parker

About a dozen years ago a small lop bunny I named Groucho (along with Spice, Xena & Angel) inspired me to start  Likewise, Flopsy Parker, a sweet Lionhead breed bunny (pictured) was an inspiration for Gretta Parker.  I was sad to learn this adorable rabbit who touched people all over the world passed away in late December. (He succumbed suddenly from a congenital kidney defect.) Many of us knew Flopsy through his Facebook page Gretta started after she adopted him for $7.50 from a local shelter. Flopsy promoted rabbit adoption and Gretta also started Baskets for Bunnies, Inc. a non-profit that sends supplies to rabbit rescues on a monthly basis.  She also successfully started "Toys for Hops" a program to raise toys to send to shelter rabbits in conjunction with the rabbit toy company Pet Rabbit Toys. This small rabbit was a big inspiration.  For more on a book Gretta wrote as a tribute to Flopsy see: The Easter Bunny That Grew Up.  

Setting Science on Its Ear

A satirical article over Weekly World News by Frank Lake announces a "new discovery" that homo sapiens may have evolved from lagomorphs.  According to the news item rabbits are our closest relatives instead of other primates.  Of course, the terms hare and cottontail are used interchangeably in the story so it makes me wonder about the credibility of the research.  As we all know hares and jackrabbits belong to the genus Lepus and cottontails are in the genus Sylvilagus with 16 different species. (Our domesticated bunnies are in the genus Oryctolagus.) The sketchy details make me skeptical even though I enjoy leafy greens, and have an affinity for wiggly fuzzy noses.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dyeing Rabbits & Chicks - It could Happen in Florida

I haven't seen a dyed Easter bunny in many, many years.  But if I go to Florida this winter I might see one because Florida Governor Rick Scott could change the current law banning the practice with his signature.  New York, California and 17 other states ban the dying process - labeling it as animal cruelty as far back as 1967. Florida does, too. Hopefully, it won't change since the process is cruel and can be toxic.
What is really shameful is that Florida Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff (R-Fort Lauderdale) sponsored Amendment 303390 - repealing S.828.161, F.S. (onto H.B. Bill 1197) because a dog groomer wanted it to be legal to dye dogs' coats for pet shows. The groomer wants to be able to do "creative" dyes on dogs for "fun."  Well, it is no fun for all of the other animals that could be affected by this law.

It was Florida State Senator Nan Rich who spoke in defense of current law and against a repeal: “This is a way of ensuring that we don’t have a lot of little adorable ducks, rabbits and chickens that are given away at Easter time and look so cute and then two or three months later nobody wants them.” Despite her efforts, the amendment was adopted. The revised bill (HB 1197) was later passed by the Florida House and the bill is now headed to the governor’s desk.

Call Govenor Rick Scott's office to tell him Not to sign the repeal of the current law.  His office number is: (850) 488-7146 or link to email   (Photo above was sent to me and shows colored bunnies in Qatar.)

People Magazine Features Shakira's New Bunnies

Pop singer Shakira hopped on the bunny band wagon this spring and introduced two new pets on Twitter this week. "Meet our baby bunnies," she tweeted (@shakira), sharing several pictures of the two little Lionhead rabbits. Every so often a celebrity buys a bunny just before Easter and it's featured in the media. Just a couple of years ago Paris Hilton purchased two "Easter" rabbits in Beverly Hills.  Unfortunately,  a celebrity who buys a rabbit this close to Easter can send the wrong message to the public about giving live bunnies as gifts this time of year - no matter how well-intentioned. Hundreds (if not thousands) of rabbits are purchased on a whim every Easter and abandoned a few months later. It would be fantastic if Shakira and other celebrities who love rabbits would promote adoption of former Easter rabbits year around. They could help hundreds of rabbits needing homes. I wish Shakira all the best with her two new bunny friends. (Photo via People Magazine)

Elderly Gorilla Finds a New Friend in a Rabbit

elderly gorilla has a new companion: a Dutch breed bunny named Panda. Samantha, has been without a friend since the death of Rudy, a male gorilla, in 2005. Officials say the 47-year-old western lowland gorilla is too fragile to be paired with another gorilla so they introduced her to Panda, a Dutch rabbit, last month. Zookeepers report Samantha is gentle with Panda and will scratch under the bunny's chin and share her food. Rabbits have been paired with gorillas at other wildlife rehabilitation centers in the past with good results for all. It seems bunnies have the same calming effect on gorillas as they do on humans.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Colorado House Rabbit Society Educator Featured in Southwest Art Magazine

My twin sister, Bonnie loves art and we both love bunnies so I was thrilled when she shared the article in Southwest Art Magazine about artist Beverly Endsley. Beverly happens to be an avid rabbit rescuer and an Educator with the House Rabbit Society.  Rabbits lounge in her Colorado studio and her first art models were a pair of white rescue rabbits according to the article. It's obvious the rabbits inspire Beverly since her art truly captures their personalities. Plus, she finds the time to share her knowledge as an educator with the Colorado House Rabbit Society.  She takes bunnies to the local television stations for interviews and to educate the public. With her husband, Beverly has 10 “special needs” rabbits and keeps the ones who are not adoptable.  (Read full article at this Link) (Photo credit: Southwest Magazine)

Southwest Magazine also has a sweepstakes featuring one of Beverly's beautiful rabbit paintings (see below).  Hey, I already entered myself.  You can enter at this Link.

Ultimate Fighter Shows Gentle Side with a Rabbit

Photographer Elizabeth Weinberg did a photo shoot for ESPN The Magazine last month featuring UFC fighter Jon Jones. She says on her website that it was "one of the most fun shoots I’ve worked on recently. The [ESPN] article is about how since these fighters are essentially lethal weapons, they have to keep their skills pretty much hidden…except when necessary. So we wanted to show him in a more gentle, pensive light." Below is one of the outtakesfrom the shoot featuring Jon smiling at a baby bunny. Very sweet. Rabbits always make people look good! 
Jon doesn't need help to be one of the good guys even if he and the bunny look terrific together. Jon came upon a woman recently whose GPS had been stolen from her car. He and his coaches chased down and subdued the perpetrator–at the risk of his upcoming fight (had he become injured). (Photo credit: Elizabeth Weinberg)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Japanese Rabbit Cafes

The Japanese have the right idea.  A cafe where bunnies are the main attraction instead of an entree.  The cafes are popular in Japan and a Canadian newspaper included a quiz asking readers if they thought a "rabbit cafe" would be a place they would visit.  Almost half of the respondents said, "yes" to spending time with rabbits while enjoying a cup of coffee.  This might be paws for thought for rabbit rescue organizations since people are interested in  pastry and coffee while they bond with a rabbit. Studies indicate rabbits descrease stress in women and girls particularly.  It would be a nice break from the office, too.  No rabbits named "Stew" at these cafes, just hoppy times. Link to article and video

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bunny Love on Valentine's Day

After reading the article by Cara Stefchak who revealed the identity of her cute and fuzzy Valentine’s date, Pancake, (a Flemish Giant Rabbit), I totally agree with everything she says.  I'm in bunny love, too. I have been for a long time. In fact, my relationships with rabbits have outlived men and cats. Right now I share my home with a male Holland lop who came to live with me when a friend could no longer keep him. He's not bonding with the female rabbits yet. It seems he has a crush on me. Last night he firmly nudged one of my cats out of the way so he could get his pets. So this year I won't be going out to a fancy dinner with my Valentine, because he hates car rides, constantly twitches his nose when he's nervous and he would rather share a salad at home.

By the way, you can learn a lot about romance from a rabbit.  See Rosemary Rabbit's Rules of Romance (Photo credit: Temple News - Cara Stefchak and Pancake)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Go Ahead and Make My Hay

It's been the Good, Bad and the Ugly this week over Clint Eastwood's Chrysler Super Bowl ad. It reminded me of a video he made awhile back only this video promoted second chances for animals. The video shows Clint and Dina Eastwood holding their SPCA adoptee "August."   Any guy who has made a long career of depicting tough guys on screen and calls a bunny his "son" is okay in my book. All the critics of Clint this week are "Unforgiven" by this bunny fan. (Photo: screenshot from video)

12 Year Old Rabbit isn't an Outlaw

Rocky the rabbit won't be taken away from his home in bunny handcuffs anytime soon. In Sidney, BC a resident has the town taking a second look at its bylaw that bans rabbits so companion rabbits and their humans aren’t breaking the law. The “lack of cleanliness” (the smell particularly)  and fear of farming operations in town prompted the original ordinance banning rabbits.  However, officials said, “We don’t go after the person that has a little pet bunny in the back yard.” Though 12 year old Rocky (pictured rabbit) technically isn’t allowed in Sidney, “the town is not in the business of forcing people to get rid of their pets. The rabbit’s been here a long time. There’s no reason why he should move.” Thanks to the Sidney Bylaw Officer for letting Rocky continue to enjoy his rabbit retirement on beautiful Vancouver Island.  (Photo credit: Peninsula News Review)

Monday, February 6, 2012

World Spay Day 2012

Since rabbits are such prolific breeders, it is fantastic to see bunnies included in the World Spay Day campaign for 2012 in the logo and with the poster below.  I get an email every week begging for help to find homes for unwanted litters.  The reasons are many: "I didn't know rabbits could be fixed" or "I had the male neutered and I thought the female wouldn't get pregnant" (males still have viable sperm for up to 6 to 8 weeks after neuthering). The most common reason I hear is an error in identifying gender: "the person (or pet shop) who sold me the rabbits told me they were two males (or two female rabbits)."  Male rabbits can be neutered between 3 and 5 months old and female rabbits are old enough to be spayed between 4 and 6 months when they hit reproductive age.  The gestation period is 31 days and the females can conceive the same day they give birth. Rabbits multiply fast. Neutering or spaying is 100% effective, permanent and no more worries about their raging "hare"mones.  (Photo credit: World Spay Day)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bright Bunny Faces Amid Animal Abuse Sentences

This has been a week of news stories about sentencing for animal abuse. First, a rabbit farm operator in Colorado, then a hoarding case in the UK and now news out of Canada. The latest story from Ontario, Canada concerns a man who has been charged with nine counts under the Ontario SPCA Act, and may get jail time, a lifetime ban from owning animals and big fines after the SPCA rescued “many, many” rabbits from his property . The rabbits were reported to be without food or water and suffering from neglect. The good news is when I read these stories, the rabbits who survive are safe from further suffering. There are always people who care and just take a look at the two bunny faces (above) from the bunch rescued in Ontario. (Photo credit: Northern Life CA)

Bunny Buck Teeth Need a Dental Exam, Too!

Most of us don't enjoy a trip to the dentist.  But at least for rabbits their annual vet exam is also a trip to the dentist since your vet can do it all. Rabbits should have their teeth examined once a year and some experts recommend twice a year for lops and dwarf breeds.  This month is National Pet Dental Health Month and a good time to remember to take your rabbit in for an annual check-up especially if your rabbit is older.  According to Anna Meredith MA VetMB at University of Edinburgh Royal School of Veterinary Studies “if rabbits are fed on fresh and dried grasses and other herbage, dental disease is generally rare. Unfortunately, the incidence [of dental disease] in some, particularly extreme dwarf and lop breeds, approaches 100% whatever their diet. See this article at BunnyHugga to find out why. 
A good resource describing  Common Dental Problems  (by Dana Krempels, Ph.D.) is worth reading especially if you are new to rabbits. The House Rabbit Society also explains dental problems in detail at an informative article online, When Teeth Turn to Tusks.  A video from Bunny Central shows how to trim teeth if the rabbit has a malocclusion at Trimming a Rabbit’s Teeth. (I still leave it up to a vet to do.) And, if you want to see complete illustration of a rabbit’s skull and  teeth visit MediRabbit.  So smile - a bit of prevention will go a long ways toward a healthy rabbit.

Canmore Feral Rabbit Rescue Just Beginning

The long process to find a resolution to the feral rabbit issue in Canmore (Alberta, Canada) has been frustrating, but fortunately (for the rabbits) a nonlethal solution was reached.  The community has  started trapping its feral rabbits and is turning them over to a rescue group, EARS (Earth Anaimal Rescue Society).  The town has approximately 2,000 rabbits to remove, that's one for every six people in the town of 12,000.  According to EARS, 35 rabbits are at a temporary facility where they will be sterilized and then will be released to the sanctuary. Enough funds have been donated to save 175 rabbits ($17,000).  A quick calculation and it's obvious will take a lot more money to save the rest of those bunnies.  Rabbits like the ones pictured below from Canmore. There's plenty of need to help rabbits  in my own community, but my check for Canmore bunnies has been sent. Link to Donate

(Photo credit: Brandon Sun)

Cartoonist "Drawn to Bunnies"

I was happy to learn fellow bunny fan T.M.R. Arthur whose drawings I have seen on has now published a book of  her drawings called, “Drawn to Bunnies: A Collection of Rabbit Cartoons” (published by AuthorHouse). Her rabbit, Sundae, (a mini rex female) is featured on the cover and according to Arthur in the official press release "The book provides an insider's view of the life of the average rabbit, and is thus presented in scrapbook form.”  She goes on to say, “Rabbits are a lot more organized and lead much richer lives than one might think . . . The book helps to ‘humanize’ rabbits, and raise them above the level of food, fur and Easter symbols."  Suitable for all ages. Sounds great to me!   

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Middle School Student Raises Funds for Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary

An eighth-grader raised $1,040 over a year's time for the Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary and presented the gift to their Board last weekend. The GLRS is a wonderful sanctuary providing care for abandoned, and neglected domestic rabbits, and adopts them out to forever homes. According to the news article in the Ypslanti Courier "Holly became inspired to help after volunteering at the sanctuary one day." She was creative in her goal to raise the money since she designed and crafted bunny charms out of clay. "I looked online at Petfinder to see all the current bunnies up for adoption. I based each little charm off of a real bunny," she said. (Photo credit: Ypslanti Courier)

The Babe of Bunnies

This video is making the rounds on the internet now. I suspect Champis (the herding bunny) isn't neutered.  I suspect the behavior is territorial on the bunny's part. Rabbits are herd animals themselves and my lop enjoys herding cats in the evenings. The sheep are more cooperative subjects in this video.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

On the Wild Side: Snowshoe Hare in Socks

Nate Zeman caught this photo of a Snowshoe Hare in the middle of his color change.  And, I thought domesticated rabbits had all the fun with colorful fur.  The Snowshoe Hare turns white in the fall after a  summer in a brown coat.  But if it is a year with no snow on the ground like it has been in some areas of North America this year, the hares are conspicuously exposed to predators and human hunters.  All it takes is a dusting of snow so the hares are camouflaged. They also burrow in the snow to stay warm and snow helps them get to more food sources. If several inches of snow falls, the hares are able to reach barks and twigs higher up on the trees. By the way, there is a genetically rare all black snowshoe hare who have a very hard time surviving winters due to their contrasting color in the snow.  See Nate Zeman's amazing fine art photography of wildlife at his website. He also has a few photos of the little wild lagomorphs known as Pikas, too.  (Photo: website)

Rabbits Polish Nails in Style

One of the Hopperhome Bunny Blog readers sent along this photo from Japan of some bunny inspired nail art.  If I had a manicure like that, I wouldn't be able to clean up after bunnies twice a day without breaking several of those small works of art.

Michigan's Critter Cafe & Rescue Hopping with a Heart for Small Animals

Christine Lea Bishop is the founder of the Critter Cafe and Rescue in Fruitport Township near Muskegon, Michigan.  In the photo below she is holding Twister, a beautiful Flemish Giant rabbit who was rescued last November. Christine and her small (except for Twister) animal rescue operation were featured in an article in the Muskegeon Chronicle this week. The article also includes a video and more photos of Critter Cafe's menagerie of residents. Check it out at this link. (Photo Credit: Ken Stevens, Muskegeon Chronicle)

Feeding too Much Fruit is Bananas

First, I want to thank Dana Krempels, Ph.D. for writing some of the most informative and helpful articles on the internet about companion rabbits.  You can see them at this link. This past week her article "What Should I Feed My Bunny?" was referenced in the UK's Daily Mail online. The video shows a bunny cradled in its caretaker's arms eating a banana.  Fortunately, the journalist  sought out some expert advice online and located Dana's information on feeding rabbits. (I also appreciate Dana's sense of humor on her website - see this link. )
I cringed when I first saw the video since it sends all the wrong messages about how to handle and feed a domesticated rabbit. First, it appeared to me the rabbit could be in jeopardy of choking. Even when I syringe feeding a sick rabbit, I try to keep them upright on their paws in a natural position. After all, rabbits were built to sit on their haunches and graze grasses.  As much as we want to anthrophomorphize our pets, rabbits do not have the same anatomy as human babies.  Also, the rabbit's posture was close to inducing tonic immobility.  There has been some controversy over “trancing” or “hypnotizing” rabbits. I no longer practice nor support the use of this technique. I trust the science and the scientists who have studied Tonic Immobility (TI) in animals and particularly rabbits. The studies show this phenomenon is “a short-term reversible paralysis which can be readily induced in susceptible ‘prey species’ such as rabbits.” It's stressful, not calming. See my web page on TI at this link.

I have never met a rabbit that didn't have a "sweet tooth." But fruit is high in sugar and causes weight gain. Plus, it upsets the balance of bacteria in the cecum and can cause many medical issues both short and long term. A diet primarily consisting of  timothy hay, some leafy green vegetables and very small bits of fruit once or maybe twice a day may seem boring to us humans, but it will promote a long and healthy life in rabbits.  One of my young bunnies (8 years old) who just ran very fast circles around the living room and joined me at the computer is living proof.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

72 Abandoned Rabbits in Monterey County California

Yikes! 72 rabbits were abandoned in a field in Monterey County near a dump. Just look at this herd of beautiful bunnies who deserve a chance including chocolate point Californian and classic white New Zealands breeds plus some with variations of lovely agouti (brown) fur. The good people at Animal Friends Rescue Project are helping Monterey Couny Animal Services with the rescue and veterinarians from Monterey Avian and Exotic Clinic will donate spay/neuter surgeries to get the bunnies ready adoption. So if you live in this part of California help is urgently needed for foster homes, families to adopt and donations. You can contact AFRP Volunteer Coordinator (Lisa) at  Donations to assist with the rabbits can be made at mention Marina Rabbits. Photo by AFRP.