This was published in spring of 2011. Most of our pet bunnies have been rescues. When an acquaintance called for help with stray domestic rabbits, they called us.
When La Petite’s phone rang, it was the mother of a friend. She and her youngest two children had come across five domestic bunnies that had been abandoned at a construction site near a local bike trail. They went back with lettuce and a large box, lured the furry ones, brought them home, and called The Bunny Whisperer, a.k.a. La Petite.
We knew what to do, so Chuck and I joined her. We gathered two cages with litter, hay, and pellets for each cage. La Petite knew where we were going, so she drove. When we pulled into the driveway, Friend’s Mom and two kids in pajamas led us into the garage where she’d set the box.
Five full grown domestic rabbits were in the box. Two were harassing the others, so Chuck picked up those two first and looked them over closely. “Yep. Boy bunnies. Let’s separate these from the others.” We put the two males in one cage and the three females in the other, and they calmed down significantly. All five started to nibble on the hay and pellets, and they even found the corner with litter and used it appropriately.
Four looked like they may have been related or from the same litter; the other was a lop-eared character who didn’t resemble any of the others. He was either a major case of recessive genes or was unrelated. Cute, though. They were all cute, even though they were incredibly dirty from their adventure and abandonment trauma.
We left as the bunnies and their rescuers settled for the night, and La Petite made arrangements to help Friend’s Mom take all five to the Humane Society the next day. When they loaded up and delivered the bunnies, La Petite reported to me that all five looked cleaner and they were eating well and (are you sitting down?) at least two of the three females were pregnant.
We’ll never know why the owners dumped the bunnies. Maybe they realized the males were mature and too much to handle. Maybe getting them neutered would have been too expensive. Maybe the owners realized that not only were the males mature, but the females were expecting. If five bunnies were too many, five plus two litters of babies would be overwhelming.
The girls, getting a little attention
I still don’t fully understand, though. La Petite and Friend’s Mom brought the rabbits to the shelter. The previous owners could have done that instead of dumping them. Pet rabbits are not equipped to survive in the wild. They don’t know what to eat, and they’ll be eaten soon because of their lack of camouflage. With their domestic coloring, they’d be hawk bait before long. The little albino in particular would be easy prey for eagle-eyed predators – and I do mean eagles.
La Petite was pleased with the people and the set-up at the shelter. Rabbits and other small animals were kept in a separate room a significant distance away from dogs and cats. She said the shelter animals looked clean and well cared for. We wished we could have done more. When cash flow is a little easier, maybe we’ll make a donation. We’re grateful to have a Humane Society in town. We’re also grateful to know people like Friend’s Mom who thought it was important to rescue these animals when they were homeless and in danger.
The Boy Bunnies
Most of all, we’re grateful we’re able to make a good home for our pet rabbits: Sadie, Buttercup, and Krumpet. We love them dearly.