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. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

English Angora Rabbit Keeps Yarn Shop in Stitches

A rabbit is the star at Two Knit Wits, a specialty yarn shop in Oak Ridge Commons shopping center in North Carolina, where a small, hand-written sign that says: “Please watch for bunny.” The sign refers to Hank, a handsome English Angora rabbit that is the store's mascot.  Read article (Photo Credit: Annette Joyce, Northwest Observer)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Snow White Missing in Dubai

Snow White is a rabbit (see photo on right) and he is missing in Dubai. Yes, Dubai - about as far away from my home in the Pacific Northwest (US) in culture and distance as you can get.  However, after reading the article about the rabbit in the Gulf News by Imran Kazmi, I know we have a lot in common - we both love our rabbits.  The article says "Snow White is very friendly. There is hardly a visitor who hasn't been touched by his human affinity and playfulness.  At night we cuddle him and keep him warm and cozy. Additionally, we don't feed him anything but hay and fresh green vegetables or grass. I don't know where he is and how he is faring, I can only hope and pray that he's alive and happy." I am sure rabbits are not common companion animals in Dubai since I rarely read about stories about them from this part of the world.  So Snow White would surely stand out if he were hopping around in another yard.  I hope Imran finds the rabbit, because the pain of losing a pet is universal.  (If anyone happens to live in Dubai and sees the bunny contact

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bunnies Abandoned at Doorstep on Christmas Eve

Not just one, but two sweet little bunnies were dumped at a rabbit sanctuary on Christmas Eve near Coventry (UK).  The women who run the sanctuary think the person who dumped the rabbits may have replaced them with a puppy since a puppy pad went missing.  Fortunately, there are people like Lynn Beasley, who runs the Rabbit and Guinea Pig Sanctuary (Rags) with her sister Karen in Keresley who saw the car speeding away from their home.  They opened their front door to find the abandoned rabbits sitting in a cardboard box.  The sanctuary is full to capacity with abandoned rabbits and guinea pigs so the two female bunnies spent Christmas in the bathroom.  The women worry they may not be able to continue operating without more donations. 
As I have said many times before, no matter what the reason, people must do the right thing and relinquish their animals to shelters (find a no-kill shelter if that’s a concern) instead of dumping them on doorsteps,  in parks or in the woods.  If the Keresley sisters had not been home or were gone for the holidays, the rabbits might have met a very cruel fate.  To donate to RAGS see their link above.  Photo credit (Coventry Telegraph – pictured Lynn Keresley and two Christmas Eve bunnies)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Once Again Firefighters Come to the Rescue

Easton, MD volunteer firefighter Brett Cover holds a large pet rabbit injured Tuesday afternoon in a fire. The rabbit was given oxygen at the scene and taken to a St. Michaels, MD veterinarian for treatment. The rabbit's cage was next to a barn-like structure engulfed in flames.  The bunny was treated using an oxygen mask designed for animals which are now becoming common as fire rescue equipment.  The bunny has several injuries and is in critical condition.  Why the rabbit was housed next to the building remains a mystery as well as who is responsible for the rabbit.  No one had claimed the rabbit as of last night. However, once the rabbit is recovered it will be taken to the Talbot Humane Society. I'd say those firefighters deserve a paws up for this "hare"raising rescue. (Photo credit: Erin Fluharty) Read article