Rabbit welfare: over to you

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

Mohandas Gandhi

Support your local animal shelter

Donate money. Donate time. Donate old newspapers, towels, toys or food if you have neither time nor money. Next time you see a collection box for an animal rescue next to a cash register, pop in a penny… pop in a pound.

Join the Rabbit Welfare Association

No brainer, and at £17.50 a year, no excuses either.

Go for a rescue rabbit

So you’re certain you’re worthy of rabbit custodianship? Then help break the cycle which fills up those stretched animal rescues by withholding your custom from breeders and pet shops, and go for an interview with a bunny panel at your local rescue instead.

Rescues are full of abandoned animals pining for a loving home because as soon as they hit adulthood, the novelty wore off for their owners. Then follows the next rejection, when all but the cutest, youngest rescue rabbits are overlooked, sometimes for years, for the dimmest of reasons:

Delores spent four entire years waiting in a rescue for a new home, because she was not small and cute enough. There never was a more stylish bun than the noble Dutchess Delores!

Henry, who staff at the Blue Cross thought would never be adopted after waiting to be chosen for 18 months, because he had red eyes.

Bink, who was too flighty and scared after being dumped with a fosterer by the parents of a little girl because he was terrified of her grabbing hands and shrieks.
He’s the most affectionate cuddle machine you’ll ever come across.

Or just because the bun became surplus to requirements:

Haas, dumped to fend for himself in a busy street in a busy town

Katrijn, who was found floating in a bucket of water at six weeks old with her mother and siblings – only she and her mother survived.

Or because they are ‘too high maintenance’:

Spoon, who needed the odd wash. She simply needed a proper diet and to lose some weight in order to keep herself clean, which she managed after just a few weeks. The neglect she suffered in her early years led to ongoing health problems, none of which stopped her from having a long and cheerful life.

Rabbits need specialist care – rocket science it is not, but they need a lot more than a limp carrot each morning and the odd clean out. The vet bills can be drastic – Haas’s e.cuniculi bill in June 2010 came to a four-figure sum. That’s GBP, not Yen, by the way. No summer holiday for waiter and waitress last year, but Haas is still here to entertain us every day with his wisecracking observations, long after the memories of a holiday would have faded.

Still with me?

OK then. Check this out:

Are you a rabbit person?

What’s it like to live with a rabbit?

Cost of owning a rabbit – but remember, if things go wrong, and of course it’ll be a Bank Holiday weekend when it happens, it could cost you your holiday money…

Finding a rescue rabbit

Rabbits for adoption

Rescuers of Henry and Lizzie

Rescuers of Delores

Rescuers of Haas

Or tell your local vet that you’re looking for a bun, in case someone brings in a bucket of traumatised rabbits one day…

Ready?

Then be prepared to be taught, entertained, amazed, touched, cheered up, clambered over, peed on, occasionally scratched, fully owned and unconditionally, earnestly and deeply loved by your new companions. Welcome to the rabbit appreciation universe.

The Bunnington Post will revert to its usual cheerful self from tomorrow

Spill your beans here - you know you want to!

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