Saturday, May 26, 2012


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This morning I went for a short walk, and lo and behold, I caught sight of a domestic, lop-eared, white-and-tan rabbit by the side of the road.  He was quite adorable and cuddly-looking, and he appeared to be enjoying himself while grazing in the grass, as the day was mild and sunny.  However, recalling what I've learned about domesticated animals being on their own outside--how they can suffer horribly--I decided to try and pick the little booger up and see if I could assist him in some way. 

Each time I walked up to him, he would skitter off, but on my third or fourth try, I managed to grab ahold of him.  After scooping him up under his front legs (I picked him up by his "arm-pits"), up came his hind legs in a robust KICK, KICK, KICK, giving me several scratches on my right wrist and hand with his sharp claws.  I then grabbed his little ankles and held them together snugly with my right hand, while holding him with my left hand (so he would be comfy yet unable to inflict any more ouchies upon me). 

I rang the doorbell of the nearest house twice, but to no avail.  So, not knowing what to do, especially since enthusiastic wiggling seemed to be on the little guy's agenda, I set off for home, bunny in tow.  After what seemed like quite a long trek, I arrived.  I happened to have several empty cardboard boxes in the garage, including one with high enough sides to prevent him from jumping out.

I loaded said furry friend into my car, cranked up the AC, and headed back to the place where I discovered him.  I asked several people in the neighborhood if they were missing a bunny or if they knew of anyone nearby who had a pet bunny, but no luck.  I returned home and put a carrot down in the box with dear bunny. 

Not having a rabbit cage or any other supplies, I knew I needed to start calling around in order to find someone who might be able to take him in.  I got online and called the vet's office where we used to take our pet dove.  They couldn't take him, but they did give me the name of a website I could check out.  Not only was this organization not local, they had a notice on their home page saying that they were not accepting orphan bunnies.  I did come across some affecting information on the site which made me feel like I had done the right thing by not leaving Peter Rabbit where he was.  I went on to find more chilling info. here and here.

I ended up finding some info. online which directed me to a local shelter--and it was open!  I called right away, and a very nice lady said I was welcome to drop off my hunny-bun and that he would be put up for adoption.  Not only was the shelter open today and will be over the next few days, despite the fact that it's a holiday weekend, they are running a Memorial Day special with reduced adoption fees through the end of the month ☺.

I loaded bunny-in-a-box into my car again, noticing that he had nibbled on his carrot, though he refused water.  Needless to say, when I pulled into the shelter parking lot, I was relieved to see it looked like a friendly place, and possibly due to the adoption special, the joint was jumping. 

After I walked in, I was told I could sit down on a bench in the waiting area.  A lady who was at the shelter with her husband came over to have a look into my box in order to see what I had brought in.  It appeared the couple had just adopted a dog.  She oohed and aahed over my wascally wabbit and told me that she had some pet bunnies herself.  She asked me if the rabbit was mine and if I was surrendering him.  I said no and explained that I had found him outside.  She then turned to her husband, and with pleading in her voice, said, "Honey, pleeeeease?"  His response was a resounding, "NO!"  Darn.

Within a few minutes I sat down to speak with a kind lady who worked at the shelter, and I asked her with trepidation if they had much success with adopting out rabbits.  She said that they absolutely did and that there had been a demand for them fairly recently but that the shelter hadn't even had any for the taking at that time.  She also said that someone else had come in earlier that day in order to drop off a domesctic rabbit that they too had found hopping around outdoors.  She mused that perhaps the owners of these two cuties had gone out of town for the holiday and had simply let their pets loose.

After I finished getting cottontail checked in, I decided to have a look around the shelter.  I went into the bunny (and hamster) room, and the two rabbit inhabitants which were already there seemed to be very content in their cages.  Each had a little towel, some sort of grass or hay, a bowl of food, and a water bottle.  There was a solid white one with pink eyes and a solid black one.  According to the shelter's website, they also have one other rabbit, though she wasn't on the premises, as she is being fostered until a permanent home can be found for her.  As I look at the website again, I see that a little 9-month-old white bun was brought in sometime after I left.

The shelter has already added my bunny buddy's photo to their adoption website.  They've named him--and yes, it turns out it is indeed a "he"--"Big Ole Boy," and he is around 3 years old.  I plan to put up a poster or two in the neighborhood where I found him, create a profile for him on a missing pet site, and keep an eye on the adoption website to gauge his progress in finding a forever family who will give him a good home and lots of love.

Shelters are such a blessing; animals suffer too, and these havens help to alleviate some of that.  I guess it's a miracle that I was able to leave the premises without one of the three irresistable black-and-white kittens that were in a cage together, meowing and chasing each other's tails.  Or the tiny grey one named Buster, whose fur shot out as if he had just stuck his paw in an electric socket, and whose little eyes looked like they were way too small for his face.  It's going to take plenty of self-control not to drive across town again, pick them all up (including Big Ole Boy) and bring them back home with me ☺.

*Here is an article by the House Rabbit Society which details how to rescue a rabbit which is running loose.

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Bunny Update:
After dropping off fluffernutter at the shelter, I did indeed post a couple of found pet ads, and I received a response to one of them.  In very broken English, someone emailed me that the rabbit was hers; that she was out of town and would be gone for quite a while; and that she no longer had time to care for her pet anyway.  The people at the shelter discovered that Big Ole Boy was very docile, would make a great pet, and was even litter-box trained!  He was adopted after having been in the shelter for only a couple of weeks.  This good news made me hop, skip, and jump for joy! ☺.

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