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Bunny Blog Archives

April/May 2006

 

May 29th - 9:00 p.m. Panasonic Promotes Neuter/Spay for Rabbits - Panasonic has started a campaign to build awareness of the benefits of neutering/spaying of rabbits while also promoting their new Oxyride Extreme Power batteries. According to Panasonic, their  batteries (introduced last year) last twice as long as traditional alkaline batteries which is good for things like digital cameras and MP3 players. (See Bunny Blog entry on Duracell’s Energizer rabbit on March 7th). 
The new
Neuter Your Bunny website states that "Many people are unaware of the benefits of Panasonic Oxyride batteries, just like many bunny owners are unaware of the benefits of neutering or spaying.” There are several links to informational web pages on the House Rabbit Society website. Whomever came up with this public service campaign from Panasonic is going to help rabbits and I'll buy their batteries!  See the website at the link above.
 

May  28th - 7:00 p.m. - Gardening for Rabbits – On Saturday a great article appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about Mary Svetan who co-founded the Pittsburgh House Rabbit Club.  She is growing a garden for her house rabbits.  Here are links:  Podcast - Growing a Greens Garden for your Rabbit and the article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.  If you are in the Pittsburg area visit the Pittsburgh House Rabbit Club  In the article it mentions growing wheat grass for your rabbit.  There are many links on the web for growing wheat grass for human consumption and it is as simple as growing it in nursery flats, watering and harvesting a couple of weeks later.  Bunnies love it!

Frontline & Rabbits – An email over the weekend about a rabbit treated with Frontline twice in the last month who has had seizures prompts me to post this.  There are several conditions that can cause seizures in rabbits, however, some flea medications do cause them in dogs and cats.  The manufacturer for Frontline urges vets not to use their product for rabbits as published online in an article by the San Diego House Rabbit Society .  It states:  “Representatives of Rhone Merieux Inc. admit they have received other reports of "adverse reactions" to Frontline when used on rabbits, but would not go so far as to say that they knew if other rabbits had died. They went on to say that they strongly recommend Frontline NOT be used on rabbits or other exotic species.” See full article here:  San Diego HRS Frontline  According to the House Rabbit Society, Carbaryl is the ingredient preferred by their veterinary advisors.   I have treated a few cases of severe flea infestation in rabbits abandoned outdoors.  My main treatment (and cure) was a flea comb.  Mr. Hops had hundreds of fleas on him and I resorted to giving him a quick spray in the sink with lukewarm water from a faucet spray hose.  (I never bathe rabbits nor would I ever give or recommend a "flea dip" for a rabbit.)  I spent the rest of the afternoon combing fleas off of Hops until he was completely flea free.  He has never had fleas again and no other treatments for them. I also used this on 3 other rabbits in the same situation with good results.  If a flea comb can help in these cases, then I know it works.  A rabbit can get used to these "grooming" sessions with a flea comb and having a treat ready afterwards helps!

Alfie, the cat, joins the Hopperhome family.  My sister, Bonnie, decided to get another cat after loosing her 15 year old cat, Miss Luca, to cancer a couple of months ago.  Getting another cat with 5 full-time rabbits in the house is a very important decision.  After scrutinizing several cats at the humane society, a big male tabby jumped in her lap, kissed her arm and that was it.  Bonnie found her cat or maybe he found her.   After a day of posturing with my cat, Pele, they are starting to play. Also, Alfie who is about 3 ½ years old seems to want to make friends with the rabbits.  Even Bonnie’s little Netherland Dwarf, Miss Sage, hopped right up to Alfie to greet him.  Over the weekend Alfie has been supervised around the rabbits and shows no signs of aggression.  In fact, Mr. Hops chased the new cat a couple of times.  (I’d run, too, if I saw a big romping stomping bunny like Hops after me!)  So even though Luca can never be replaced, Alfie has been accepted by the rabbits (plus one cat) and the humans are thrilled he is here, too.

 

May 26th - 7:00 a.m.  - Training Time for Rescued Reno Rabbits - Best Friends Great Bunny Rescue will have "trainers in Reno this weekend to help teach people how to train rabbits if they want to adopt one" according to the Reno AP.  And, it's a good idea since there are around 1,000 rabbits to find homes for from this rescue effort that started in a Reno backyard.  "Efforts have been hindered [for adoption] since potential bunny owners aren't sure the rabbits can be trained."  So Best Friends has brought in specialists in Clicker Training from California who will conduct "clicker" classes for people who are interested in adopting the rabbits.  I agree with the article that given the time and patience with or without clicker training, even feral rabbits can become pets.  But this training will certainly speed up the process.  Go to their website above for more information.  This is the "second biggest rescue effort after Hurricane Katrina" for Best Friends when "the group saved about 7,000 animals along the Gulf Coast."

 

Give a Hoppy Ending to Jewel & Two Babies  from Michigan Rabbit Rescue - After Easter I get emails from frantic people who have a "surprise" litter with their newly purchased rabbit. Then someone sent me the link about one rabbit that was abandoned over an unexpected litter. The story of Jewel who was abandoned the day after Easter with her two newborn babies is very familiar. Who knows how it happened, but it wasn't this bunny girl's fault!  It is great the Michigan Rabbit Rescue gave Jewel a safe environment so she would take care of her kits.  So many times interference in the routine of a mother rabbit can have tragic results for the babies. Jewel's little abandoned family were lucky and are now in a foster home. Read all about Jewel and see very cute pictures at the link above.  If you want to adopt Jewel or one of her babies, please contact the Michigan Rabbit Rescue at the link above for more information.

 

Spoiled Saipan Rabbit - I received this photo yesterday in the email and it puts the salads I make for my rabbits to shame!  Look at the beautiful arrangement of carved carrots and more.  I can't let my rabbits see this or I will have to start preparing elaborate garnishes.

Bunny Hoppenings:  The Bunny Blog will hoppily announce your rabbit event for free if you are with a non-profit rabbit rescue or sanctuary or animal shelter - just email  connie@hopperhome.com

The Colorado House Rabbit Society with have a Rabbit Family Reunion picnic for the whole family (bunnies included) on June 10th.  Go to their link for detailed information.  

Visit HRS Foster Rabbits in the Tri-Valley at the Dublin PetSmart on Saturday, June 10th from 1pm to 4pm.  This is a Rabbit Adoption event if you live in the Livermore, Dublin or Pleasanton, California area. Go to HRS Foster Rabbit Adoption

The Missouri HRS 2006 BUNNY EXPO will take place on Sunday, June 11th at the Humane Society on Macklind Ave.  Check out their website for details on this event.
 

The Columbia Ohio HRS Chapter will have their Summer Picnic on Saturday, June 10th.  Go to their link for more info including a flyer and map.

 

May 22nd - 10:00 p.m. - Congress considers pets' in Disasters -  The hurricane season this past year drove home the message: Americans should not have to leave pets behind during an evacuation for a disaster. According to a story in the AP wire Rep. Shays of Connecticut said "When asked to choose between abandoning their pets or their personal safety, many pet owners chose to risk their lives. The House approved legislation; a similar measure to Senate Rep. Lantos from California sponsored the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act.  The bill, which passed 349-24, would require state and local preparedness offices to take into account pet owners, household pets and service animals when drawing up evacuation plans. Offices that fail to do so would not qualify for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Humane Society of the United States cited a recent Zogby International poll that found that 49 percent of adults say they would refuse to evacuate if they couldn't take their pets with them." 


In Japan Rabbits are Dolls  Direct from Japan there is a website that sells wonderful rabbit dolls.  The dolls are reasonably priced and they ship to the United States and around the world.  The dolls include rabbits with musical instruments, "cherry blossom rabbit dolls" and more!  Hop over to the link above to see them.

 

An Amazing "Scooter" Rabbit - After I asked for bunny cart plans for a disabled rabbit on the Bunny Blog, I received a link to a story about Scooter.  Scooter was a mini-rex rabbit disabled after an accident injuring his spine. Eventually his hind legs were removed and he received a homemade cart.  As the story says Scooter "was a marvel on wheels."  See his story at: Scooter He also has quite a gallery of animal friends on the website, too.

 

May 21st, - 8:00 a.m. - High Flying Rabbits - "Spending on Pets Spirals Ever Higher" - KATU in Portland, Oregon reported on the rising expense of pets and used a little lop named Luther as their first example.  It seems a couple were being transferred to London and found transporting their pet bunny outrageously expensive.  To get a rabbit to the UK it takes a 6 month quarantine, health certificates, etc. (UK Quarantine) So at one point the couple considered "flying him to Paris, then spending $7,000 on a private jet to get him across the English Channel."   Fortunately, Luther found a way to go via a pet transport service for "hundreds instead of thousands of dollars."  Still the cost leaps into the stratosphere for anyone taking their pet rabbit to the UK.  See the link above on quarantine for more information. (I will never complain about the cost of flying rabbits anywhere in the United States.  There isn't any quarantine within the United States - all fifty states including Hawaii.)

 

Rabbit Nurse in UK wins prize ... Since it's an English kind of Bunny Blog day:  "A veterinary nurse from a Warminster practice celebrated winning the Pet Health Counsellor of the Year title at a national awards ceremony" according to the Wiltshire Times.  She also runs a Summer Bunnies clinic and has done an in depth study into nurse clinics at vet practices in the UK.  (In England veterinary technicians are nurses.)

 

Bunny Cart Designs? If anyone has plans for a cart for disabled rabbits (who don't have rear leg use), please send me an email.  A Bunny Blog reader is looking to build a customized bunny cart for their rabbit.

 

Private Rabbit Rescuers - I'm one of those.  My sister and I take in rabbits informally, rehabilitate them and adopt them out to good homes.  It's easy to get started...the word gets out very fast! There are many, many people out there who do this without any affiliation with a formal rescue group and sometimes they become formal non-profit organizations as their rescue efforts expand.  Several become a House Rabbit Society Chapter or an independent non-profit group.  Having the support from formal organizations is very important and I encourage anyone doing rabbit rescue work to join the House Rabbit Society and consider becoming a chapter.  The individual animal lover who gets hooked on saving rabbits may someday be the next president of a large rescue group.  By the way, the mini-lop, Powder, pictured above is from a private rescuer in New Mexico who has five rabbits she is trying to adopt out to become spoiled house rabbits. If interested contact: pamlarsen73@msn.com

 

Feral Rabbits Multiplying in Anchorage - The Anchorage Press published an article last Friday on the feral rabbit problem in the city.  Someone needs to do the math.  This is a problem that won't hop away on its own.  Read article text

 

May 17th, 8:00 p.m. - Soggy Bunnies Join Flood Evacuation - The Concord Monitor Online in New Hampshire reported last Sunday night that firefighters began knocking on doors advising residents to leave their homes in several neighborhoods. Some of the worst flooding in 70 years forced people and their pets to higher ground.  A rescue bus roamed neighborhoods and picked up people, cats, dogs AND a "pair of white rabbits plucked from a soggy backyard hutch!"  That's a lucky pair of lagomorphs!  Thanks to the kind people of New Hampshire who found all of these animals and brought them to safety.  The picture above is of Linden, a male angora rabbit at the Concord SPCA. Hopefully, he stayed dry during all the rain and flooding in the Northeast this past week!

 

Sad Day for Endangered Wild Rabbits - According to the AP wire the last known male purebred Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit died.  There are only two females left in the captive breeding program that was trying to save them from extinction.  This population of rabbits was known to exist from "before the last ice age in Eastern Washington." (see picture above)

Then in San Joaquin River area in California, wildlife officials are trying to determine how many endangered riparian brush rabbits died during recent flooding.  The rabbit (pictured on the left) has been an endangered species since the Central Valley flood almost wiped it out in 1997.  They also tried a captive breeding program, but the rabbit's natural habitat has been destroyed by urban and farm growth in the last 40 years.

 

On a Hoppier Note - Blue Bunny maybe an ice cream, but they have a very nice logo of a rabbit.  This logo is available on various items like beanies and an antenna bunny at their online store (click on link).  Blue Bunny is made in Le Mars, Iowa, The Ice Cream Capital of the World.

Wacky Rabbit Law - In New York State, it is still illegal to shoot a rabbit from a moving trolley car.  A Bunny Blog reader sent this to me and I haven't been able to verify if the law is still on the books.   If people did this frequently enough to have a law enacted to stop it, then it isn't the law that is wacky.  :)

Bunny Games for Your Kids Online - Here are three games young children can play on the computer:  Online Rabbit Game for Kids, Rabbit Band Game, Lotus Bunny Game

May 14th, 8:30 p.m. -  Great 2006 Rabbit Rescue Helps Vet Students -  Even in the midst of an overwhelming rescue of 1,000 rabbits from a Reno, Nevada backyard, good things can happen.  Four Tufts veterinary students learned the techniques of caring and performing surgery on rabbits under the direction of a highly respected rabbit veterinarian.  A Manhattan vet, Dr. Laura George of Catnip and Carrots Veterinary Hospital in New York came to work at the Best Friends rescue ranch in Reno.  The four Tufts students who also came out to help with the rescue got the opportunity to learn from Dr. George. The rabbit veterinary techniques they learn from this experience will go on to help other rabbits when they graduate and go into practice later on.  For more information on this amazing rescue go to: Best Friends Great Bunny Rescue

The House Rabbit Society San Diego Chapter always seems to have something "hoppening."  Their office will be open from noon to 3:00 p.m. on May 20th.  Stop by to purchase freshly packed hay, pellets, toys, and other supplies for your rabbit. HRS premiums (t-shirts, calendars, books, etc.) will also be available for purchase. Also, bunny's nails can be clipped for a donation.  Visit their website at the above link for more information.

Think Pink (Eyes) - I've heard this: "the rabbit's pink eyes give me the creeps."  I personally love all rabbits no matter what color eyes they have and this attitude is difficult for most rabbit lovers to understand.  It puts rabbit breeds who can have pink eyes at a big disadvantage for adoption.  The San Diego House Rabbit Society has a very insightful article (sorry about the pun) on this problem at Looking Past the Eyes

 

Truckload of Rabbits Dumped!  In April a truckload of domesticated rabbits were apparently dumped in "Lair O the Bear park after dark in Colorado.  There are plenty of predators in this open space that is used for hiking and outdoor recreation.  The officers shined their headlights to ward off potential predators and were able to round up 16 rabbits.  They were neutered and spayed and many adopted out with the help of the Colorado House Rabbit Society.  A few are still available for adoption through the Evergreen Animal Protective League and you can visit their website to find out more.  The rabbit pictured is "Winston" and he is one of the lucky rabbits rescued and now waiting for a home.  Contact the Evergreen Animal Protective League at the link above about Winston.

 

Twin Cities' Rabbit Sculpture I used to live near this rabbit sculpture (on the left) located near the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.  Then one day I accidentally found another large rabbit sculpture in a St. Paul, Minnesota park (picture below).  It is a very large bronze rabbit lounging in a public park.  I am collecting photos of rabbit sculptures to put on Hopperhome just for fun.  If you have some rabbit "public art" in your city or town, please feel free to send me a jpeg with its location  to connie@hopperhome.com

 

May 8th - Even Bunny Bloggers get a vacation - the rabbits and I thought we might go to Rabbit Creek instead of ending up in Lost Rabbit, Florida.  And, we certainly aren't going to Rabbit Hash, KY, although, I'm sure it is a fine community. 

Back on May 14th to blog about all things rabbit.

 

May 7th, 10:00 a.m.  Insuring Rabbits Good Health Care - The Mirror.co.UK reported that “a woman spent £2,000 ($3,700 US) on risky surgery to mend her rabbit's broken leg so it would not be put down.”   The woman who decided to go ahead with surgery on her dwarf bunny, Poppy, said "My husband thought I was mad, but I had to go for it."  I understand how this woman feels about her rabbit.

When a pet becomes part of the family, the level of veterinary care becomes a decision many people must make for their pets and it is getting more expensive. American pet owners “spent $160 million on pet insurance in 2005, compared with just $61.9 million in 2001,” according to Veterinary Pet Insurance (pet insurance company in US).  In Europe about 25% of Britons have pet insurance compared to about 2% of Americans.  After some research, I found that “from 1994 to 2003, expenditures for veterinary services rose 76 percent.”  It comes down to longer lives for pets, the higher level of veterinary care available and pet owners’ desire to get their pet medical care comparable to their own.  For instance, 20 years ago treating pets for cancer was not a common practice, nor were laser surgeries for neutering and spaying. I don't have pet health insurance since my needs have been immediate upon rescuing rabbits most of the time. Normally each pet is insured separately.  For more information see: VPI Pet Insurance, About.com’s Pet Insurance Info, Suggestions if You Can’t Afford Vet Care by the HSUS. 

 

Police Hop to Rescue Rabbit – The Daily Journal in Missouri reported this weekend that “Thanks to the Park Hills Police Department a domesticated rabbit is going to get a second chance at life. The department recently responded to call which reported a rabbit had been mauled by a dog.”  The officer found the rabbit had not been mauled, but had a severe ear infection.  Treated by the Animal Medical Clinic the bunny is going up for adoption as soon as it is healed.  The Animal Control Department representative said, “People buy their kids rabbits for Easter and then when they get bigger just let them go. These rabbits can't survive on their own. They don't have the instincts that wild rabbits have.”   Thanks to the Police and Animal Control Departments plus a kind veterinarian this pet rabbit will get a new home. 

 

Bunny Dances Aren’t just for Rabbits  Remember the Bunny Hop? It started in 1953 at a San Francisco High School . Ray Anthony’s band recorded a song of the same name (Hokey Pokey was the B side) and then the “Bunny Hop Mambo” was recorded by Duke Ellington in 1954. The original Bunny Hop was a big hit at school dances. The Bunny Hug was also popular around this time.  Of course, now we have “Hip Hop” and that name came from Love Bug Starski, who used to use it in their rhymes back in the 1970’s.  “Hip Hop” . . . that would be a great name for a rabbit for those of us who are always using cutesy flowers names for our rabbits (guilty here).

 

May 3rd, 9:30 p.m. - Travels with Bunny  -  Last summer I got an email from gentleman who called his rabbit "Hobo" since the bunny traveled all over the United States with him in his RV. 

An AP article recently reported that  "according to the Travel Industry Association of America, more than 29 million Americans took trips of more than 50 miles with their pets during the past three years.  Almost 80 percent of those travelers took dogs. About 15 percent took cats, while the rest took birds, ferrets, rabbits or that quietest traveler of all, fish."  I have taken my own rabbits 1,600 miles in the car across country and they were great.  Also, a rabbit doesn't require any quarantine flying into Hawaii (just a health certificate and a reservation on the airplane).  Perhaps taking your rabbit to the beach in Hawaii is going too far, but a weekend at the cabin might be okay. For tips on traveling with your rabbit see: Will your Rabbit Stay Home or Travel or Traveling with Rabbits

 

A BunnyFest in Sunnyvale, California will be held on Sunday, May 21st at the Other Living Things Store - This is an event for current and prospective bunny guardians. Plus it is an adoption opportunity, a fund raiser for Rabbit Haven, and an outing you can attend with your healthy bunny! Call (408) 739-6785 for more information.

 

Buns in the Sun  Don't let your rabbit loose it's cool this summer.  Take the necessary precautions to make sure your rabbit is cool. Since wild rabbits seem to tolerate heat some people think their domesticated cousins (our pet rabbits) can, too.  Wild rabbits are acclimated to the weather and the heat. Domesticated rabbits are descendants of the European Rabbit and would normally live in a warren that's cool underground in hot weather. For more information see these articles online:

House Rabbit Society FAQ on Heat & Rabbits

San Diego HRS: How to Cool Down a Hot Bunny & Ears as Air Conditioners, Rabbit Advocates: Hot Bunny

By the way the picture "Diving Rabbit" is by Clint Grant who was a staff photographer for the Dallas Morning News from 1949 until 1998. He was also the "official" photographer of the Dallas Zoo.

 

"Leave Bunnies Be" was the headline in the Winnipeg news last week.  Apparently many "Manitobans with good intentions dropped off 50 infant rabbits at Glenlea's Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre since April 3rd, said president Dan Diawol yesterday. Most wrongly assumed the babies were abandoned."  The article made a good point... "the vast majority are unnecessary orphans."  The centre treated 300 rabbits out of 2,000 animals in 2005.  Remember those shallow places in the yard might contain a rabbit's nest when starting spring yard clean up. Unlike domesticated rabbits, the wild rabbits dig very shallow burrows as nests. 

 

Bunny Abode Apartment -My sister and I have 3 of these single level rabbit homes from Leith Petwerks. Excellent for a rabbit that is not spayed/ neutered and litter box trained. The bottom is a 3" tall galvanized pan so litter can be used over the entire bottom.  I put a litter box in a corner and still have an easy to clean area should a rabbit have an "accident" outside of the litter box.  See more of their products on my Bunny Digs page.

 

Molar Munchies Go to “Goodies” link on Zooh Corner’s Store – This store has terrific healthy treats for rabbits including the Rabbit Dental Health Kit developed by Dr. Sari Kanfer and Alexandra Logsdon.

 

 

April 29th - 8:00 p.m.- A Visit to Bunnies by the Bay... this morning my sister and I drove the bunnymobile up to Bunnies By The Bay, the whimsical home of one of a kind plush rabbits, cuddly baby clothes and comfy robes. We were treated to a Tulip Festival special of Tea & Cakes. We got to keep our "Haremones" cups for tea.  (I got Misty Moody Blues, Dr. Esther Chin's Laughable Prescription for ''Many Paws.")  Bunnies by the Bay occupies two houses located in the small picturesque fishing town of La Conner, Washington.  One house is the General Store for the Bunnies by the Bay Baby and Baby Me, Too (for women) and next door is Hareytale House which is full of  their famous plush rabbits and the tea room.  The entire house is decorated in a fanciful style. This is where they hold Nettie Confetti Birthday Celebrations for children.  Needless to say, we were in bunny heaven because everywhere we turned there were gifts like carrot jam, bunny slippers and  bunny-themed clothing for children.  We enjoyed every moment of our visit sipping our tea while sitting on a big overstuffed sofa and chair. Of course, we came home to our "real" rabbits who wondered where we were all day. If you can't hop out to Washington to visit, go online at Bunnies by the Bay.

 

Hare Coursing Banned in Solano County California.  These cruel races were being held in fields near Fairfield, California for years and it came as a surprise to Solano County Supervisors and local law enforcement. But the County Supervisors took decisive action and banned this so called "sport" by enacting an ordinance.  This is a  "blood sport in which dogs race to catch and kill jackrabbits." The news reported on KGO also stated that "the battle over coursing moves to the California Assembly next, where the Appropriations Committee takes up a statewide ban in two weeks.

 

Bunnies and Bathing -  Rabbits are very clean and rarely if ever need a bath.  I get about three or four emails a week concerning "baths" so I thought I would mention it.  Rabbits clean themselves an average of five times a day top to bottom.  (They are cleaner than cats.) I have never bathed a rabbit except twice because of outdoor rescues and these rabbits were heavily soiled.  I wash the part of the rabbit that is soiled like a messy bottom if it is absolutely necessary. For more information read Dana Krempels article, Bathing A Rabbit’s Messy Bottom. Also, read a good general article on grooming by Zooh Corner called The Well Groomed RabbitRemember to keep your pet rabbit out of the sink and bathtub!

 

Fire Crew Frees Three Year Old Boy From Rabbit Hutch - Alice in Wonderland found herself stuck in the White Rabbit's hutch in a fictitious tale, but last Saturday it happened to a little boy. The poor youngster got wedged in the hutch about half way according to the local newspaper in Manuden (United Kingdom). His mother was unable to free him.  A fire crew dismantled some of the hutch to free the boy who apparently just wanted to be with the rabbits.  The firefighters said the child was wailing, but unhurt by the ordeal.  I suspect the commotion of the six firemen and the crying boy also scared the hutch occupants.

 

Speaking of White Rabbits - musical talent Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane fame has reinvented herself as a painterly artist.  Her subjects vary, but she has done several  paintings of rabbits.  Her work as limited edition prints and engravings have become popular with art collectors. To see her art go to Peabody Fine Art where several of her rabbit paintings are shown online .


April 26th - 9:30 p.m. It's in the Genes! That's Max from the San Diego HRS.  He's a small neutered male with "agouti" or wild coloring that makes him look a lot like a cottontail rabbit.  I posted his photo not only because he's very sweet, but because he also demonstrates how some domesticated rabbits are mistaken for wild rabbits.  While all 60 breeds of domestic rabbits (oryctolgus) can interbreed, they cannot breed effectively with cottontails (sylvilgus).  They might be able to "breed," but the resulting embryo will not survive.  A domesticated rabbit has one more chromosome than a cottontail.  A "cross" rabbit won't happen. Your pet rabbit has 22 pairs of chromosomes while those wild rabbits eating your garden this spring have 21 pairs of chromosomes (cottontail is pictured on the right in the grass).  Hares have 24 pairs. My sister and I rescued "Miss Dill," a Dwarf Hotot domestic breed, from the outdoors.  Just prior we witnessed her being attacked by a cottontail who bit her ear when she tried to be social.  By the way, Max (above on the left) is available for adoption for more info:
email hes@sandiegorabbits.org

BUNS of Santa Barbara Offers Clicker Training for Rabbits
Learn the basics of operant conditioning in a hands-on workshop using shelter rabbits and guinea pigs. Offered
June 11, 2006. Tuition $75. For more information contact buns@silcom.com

Heartland Rabbit Rescue: Bunnies in the Funnies Links  This rabbit rescue website has a page with links to several rabbit cartoons featuring Butterscotch.  My favorite is Butterscotch as a bunny in love with a pair of rabbit slippers.  Visit the link above.

I Brake for Bunnies - I have been looking for a way to scare rabbits out of the road for years.  I am one of those people that swerve to miss rabbits (and any other living thing on the road).  I read about about something that might work.  It is a Screaming Hawk Deer Whistle and it's available online for $4.95 each.  The ad says that at road speeds, "air moving through the channels of this deer whistle creates a screaming sound that ... keeps small animals off the road."  (Supposed to work for deer, too.) It would make sense that a screaming hawk sound would scare a wild rabbit.   See it for yourself online at Source for Screaming Hawk Deer Whistle

April 23th - 8:00 p.m. Post Easter Hit Already Starting - a few newspaper articles show the post Easter rabbit dump is already showing up in some places.  An article in the Dallas Morning News reported on the work the folks over at the North Texas Rabbit Sanctuary are doing to save rabbits.  "On Monday, the Grapevine animal shelter already had its first casualty of impulse buying: a small, frightened female rabbit with a broken leg."  The rabbit is going to the vet for care and then to foster care. The Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio also reported that animal shelters in nearby counties as well as in Cleveland have more than 30 rabbits available for adoption. "Officials fear more are coming, as Easter gifts mature into adults."  It seemed like there were so many articles this year in the media across the country warning people about buying rabbits as gifts for Easter and it fell on some deaf ears. It is just more motivation to keep getting the message out.

The rabbit pictured above is Piper a wonderful friendly rabbit for adoption at the North Texas Rabbit Sanctuary. At some point in Pipers life, someone removed her ears.  Amazingly, this sweet rabbit still loves and thrives on attention.

 

Micro chipping Your Rabbit - Most people don't think of it, but rabbits can be micro chipped just like cats and dogs.  And, if you have a cat door where that little scamp of a rabbit can escape through to the great outdoors consider micro chipping.  I still can't believe the spots rabbits can wriggle into and out of including small openings in fences. See this article at the San Diego House Rabbit Society on Micro chipping

 

What Predators? An email I received the other day prompted me to add this to the blog.  When taking a rabbit out to the garden to enjoy the spring weather even in a fenced yard, remember there are predators out there.  I once had to throw myself over a small lop rabbit to protect it from a hawk and it was so close I felt the wings flapping at my back.  I was being careful and supervising the rabbit's outdoor exercise, but the threat came from above.  I learned a (close) lesson.  Even if it doesn't seem like there are predators in your suburban yard, many of our yards are now located farther and farther out toward wilderness areas.  Predators are coming into our cities like the coyote that was in Central Park in New York a couple of weeks ago. Here are a few predators in North America: Coyotes, Wolves, Lynxes, Bobcats, Mountain Lions, Wolverines, Minks, Foxes, Owls, Hawks, Eagles, Opossum, Raccoons, House Cats, Dogs and of course, cars if the rabbit gets into a driveway or road.

 

Homemade Bunny Cart -  That is Tools who will be 9 in May. He is blind and has lost the use of his back legs due to arthritis. But Tools is enjoying the flowers in Kym's backyard.  Here is how they made it:  "The cart is made of C PVC pipe. It is even lighter than PVC pipe and the wheels are courtesy of a young friend who gave us a Lego toy he no longer used. There is also a small Lego wheel in the front center of the floor board to improve stabilization. The very back pipe has fishing leads in it for weight. Tools was used to his harness because we have walked (hopped) him around the yard in his younger days. That made it an easy choice to use it for his cart. The sling that he rests his body on is vinyl fabric."  As many of us begin to see our rabbits grow older and many wonder about their quality of life see this House Rabbit Society article: Quality of Life: How to tell if your disabled bun is still enjoying life

 

April 20th - 8:30 p.m. - Philippine Mall Bunny Giveaway  - James Cromwell, an American actor (best known as Farmer Hoggett in the movie "Babe") tried to stop a bunny giveaway promotion at a mall in the Philippines.  According to INQ7.net the "Makati City mall Easter promotion drive was planning giving away 1,000 bunnies as prizes to customers."  James Cromwell  "took a break from filming Spider-Man 3 to write Nestor Padilla, president of Rockwell Land Corp., which owns the mall, last April 14 to urge him to call off the plan."  His letter said in part, "It's natural for kids to get caught up in the excitement of this kind of promotion, but inevitably, the novelty of getting a free rabbit quickly wears off." The mall responded that the giveaway would go on despite the efforts of James Cromwell and local animal rights activists.  I hope it didn't, but I haven't heard the outcome yet.  Many thanks to James Cromwell for his efforts on behalf of the rabbits.

Bunny Hugger - Kate Ford who stars in Britain's most popular soap, Coronation Street, posed with an equally beautiful white rabbit in a new anti-fur ad. And, I think they both look stunning in red.  Online retailer, RedEnvelope, recently decided to allow bunnies to wear their own fur instead of creating earmuffs and other accessories with it.  Also, the Olan Mills company is removing rabbit fur trimmed props from their photo studios and will use only artificial fibers from now on.  My rabbit, Mr. Hops, who looks a whole lot like the the white rabbit on the right approves.

Rabbit Poop in the Movies - The  documentary film "Flight of the Dodos" debuting at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York at the end of April takes on the  Evolution vs. Intelligent Design debate.  At one point in the film it shows a rabbit eating it's cecal pellets I suppose to question if this is "intelligent design."  The cecal matter isn't feces to begin with since it is material that contains vitamins produced by  intestinal bacteria. Since rabbits don't absorb the vitamins (especially B vitamins) through the intestinal wall they eat their cecals primarily at night (sometimes they are called "night feces" for this reason). They get more nutrients this way from their diet and it is essential to their health. Sounds smart to me even if it looks yucky to humans.  For an excellent article explaining all about it see The Mystery of Rabbit Poop by Dana Krempels PhD.

Lop Rabbit is Lucky Charm on Deal or No Deal Monday Night - Did anyone catch the cameo of a very cute lop rabbit owned by Erin Birch a contestant on Deal or No Deal last night?  The bunny video clips were shown while Erin won well over $160,000.  Erin planned to donate 50 percent of her winnings to Special Olympics Tennessee.  Congratulations to a bunny lover for winning!

 

April 16th - 8:30 p.m. "Golden Bunnies" - That is what one website calls "older rabbits" over six years of age.  They take special care.  Just like people, things can start to need repair or just breakdown.  Bumble pictured on the right (taken when he was young) is my oldest rabbit at 7 years and his girl, Rosemary, isn't far behind in bunny years.  My sister, Bonnie, has Mr. Basil and Miss Sage, both dwarf rabbits that are at least 6 years old, too. We make sure our rabbits get annual exams at the vet and watch them closely.  That's the key to catching a problem early with any rabbit no matter what their age - be observant of their behavior and notice changes.  Bumble has cataracts and has always run into things, but he does this more often now and follows Rosemary closely. Their litter box is lowered on one side and they lounge more.  For more information see the San Diego House Rabbit Society – Article on Elderly Rabbits and also visit a website dedicated to rabbits over 6 years of age at Golden Bunnies Website  After all, we all want to end up with old buns.

 

Rabbits & Guinea Pig Roommates - There was a clever ad by Blockbuster aired on TV sometime back depicting the two species as pals. (see them on the left) I have seen a guinea pig and rabbit devoted to each other as much as two rabbits would be.  I have also seen a poor little guinea pig housed in a pet store with a very large male rabbit that was not neutered. (I took the rabbit home for his sake and the guinea pig's, too.)  Rabbits and guinea pigs have different nutritional needs and then there is the difference in size which can have bad results in a pairing of these two species.  It can work, though, and for two resources on pairing rabbits and guinea pigs see these links:

House Rabbit Network Article on Rabbits & Guinea Pigs

Should Rabbits & Guinea Pigs Be Housed Together

 

 Rabbit Horse Show Jump - I'm not horsing around.  Click on the picture on the left and see the larger version.  That is a horse show jump.  Sometimes the photos I get in Hopperhome's email mystify me.  I have no idea where this jump is located, but the horses do need to hop like a bunny to get over this large wooden structure.

 

Paper Rabbits - This Origami Rabbit Website has several complicated paper folded rabbits like "Rabbit eating a Carrot" by Akira Yoshizawa. I looked at the instructions at a website for Running Rabbit Origami Instructions and my fingers started to cramp just looking at it. Visit and see for yourself at the link.  

 

Ten Year CommittmentApril 13th - 9:00 p.m. -

The Rabbit Advocates

in Portland, Oregon are running a great campaign for Easter that shows the difference between an "Easter Bunny" and a live rabbit (see photo on right).  This difference is very apparent after the Easter Holiday when shelters and rescue groups fill up with unwanted pet rabbits.

Some of the common reasons people give as to why they can't  keep their rabbit are: allergic to rabbits, behavior problems (most likely the bunny isn't spayed or neutered), no time, new baby or husband or wife or dog, too expensive, new landlord won’t allow, too high maintenance and can’t afford to neuter or spay.  The Massachusetts House Rabbit Society – Can’t Keep Your Rabbit for Life is an informative article if someone truly needs to find another home for their pet rabbit. 

 

Colorado House Rabbit Society is giving away free compost.  Their bags of compost contain paper litter, hay, rabbit urine and droppings.  Bags are free to anyone who will get them at their Broomfield, Colorado facilities.  What a great idea! If you in the greater Denver metro area and are interested, email at co-hrs@comcast.net

 

Hippity Hoppity Bunny Day (Cleveland area) will take place this Saturday, April 15, from noon to 4 p.m. at Geauga Humane Society's Rescue Village (Russell Township, Ohio). The Buckeye House Rabbit Society will answer all of questions about rabbits.

 

The North Georgia House Rabbit Society is having their Third Annual Bunny Fest on April 23rd, from 3pm to 7pm in Sandy Springs, Georgia.  Go to their website to email for more information.

 

Vinegar The Wonder Cleaner - That's right plain old white vinegar.  It cleans up rabbit litter boxes and trays.  It is safe for rabbits (and you), non-toxic to the environment and very inexpensive. I gave up searching for anything else safe for my rabbits a long time ago, since most household cleaners are harmful to rabbits in one way or another particularly to their sensitive skin and respiratory system.  The Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society – Vinegar Article explains the virtues of vinegar in more detail. 

 

April 11th - 9:30 p.m. - Big Bunny Terrorizes Northern England - Several news outlets have reported on a large rabbit eating his way through communal gardens in northeast England.  Sound familiar? It reminded me of "Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit" movie featuring a large rabbit that destroys prizewinning vegetable gardens.  Apparently, the monster rabbit in real life is black/brown with one ear larger than the other. And, this bunny is hungry and munching his way through carrots, parsnips and other vegetables.  It is "hare"raising for the gardeners who are trying to protect their vegetable patches. I suspect a Continental Giant was let the loose in their neighborhood.

Rabbit Postcards - send a free rabbit postcard at the House Rabbit Society Website.  There is a wide variety of pictures from lops to Netherland Dwarfs to classic black rabbits and more. The photos to chose from are really "ear"sistable.

 

Headlines Discourage Rabbits as Easter Gifts - Just look at a few of the headlines in the newspapers across the country this past weekend.  Rabbit rescue groups, human societies, shelters, veterinarians and other concerned rabbit lovers are trying very hard to get the message out.  Even the nationally syndicated column,  "Hints from Heloise," addressed the problem of people buying baby rabbits on impulse at Easter in the Saturday column.

Easter spurs run for baby bunnies

This Easter, think chocolate, not live, bunnies

Easter bunnies: More than candy

Rabbits for the right reasons

If you give your child a bunny, stick with chocolate

Think Twice Before Buying A Bunny For Easter

 

Clicking with Your Rabbit is a new book being released as an electronic book at: www.clickertraining.com Next month the bound book will be out and available for $16.95. Clicker training is one way to teach rabbits good behaviors.

 

Hop Down Memory Lane and visit this web page about

Capt. Kangaroo’s Bunny Rabbit  I received an email asking me about this television rabbit the other day.  (I get all kinds of questions about rabbits both real and fictional.)  What a blast from the past!  Bunny Rabbit wore glasses even though he ate all the carrots he could trick out of Capt. Kangaroo.  For some reason Capt. Kangaroo carried lots of carrots in his big pockets.

 

April 7th - 8:00 p.m. - Eat Your Stems  Oxbow Hay has a new “Academy” section at their online store.  It includes articles on picky bunny eaters, “my bunny won’t eat what’s good for him,” etc.  They also have an article that explains why the less tasty “stems” of the hay are the best part of the plant for your rabbit.  See the article at the link above.

World’s Most Expensive Bunny – I actually thought this was my rabbit Mr. Hops, but Harrod's is featuring the world's most expensive bunny. The rabbit is designed to look like a Lindt chocolate rabbit wrapped in gold foil. It is the same size, but made of 24-karat gold. Inlaid with diamonds, rubies, citrine and topaz, and is valued at over $35,000.  They have this golden rabbit on display until Easter in the Candy Room at the Harrod's Knightsbridge store in the UK. I still think Mr. Hops is a 24-carrot rabbit.

Spanish Lavender, aka, Rabbit Ears has ears that seem to bloom as you can see.  It grows like crazy in its second year and spreads everywhere including sewing its seeds quite a distance from the original plant.  Grows in zones 8 through 10 (give it some shade in zone 10)  Instead of flower pedals, the ears are actually large sterile bracts that give it the rabbit look.

Earlier this year John Stossel of 20/20 reported on The Bunny Test for Guilt.  Suffolk University professor Jane Bybee ran an experiment to see “how guilt played a role in kids' decisions.  A few  5- and 6-year-old kids were brought into a classroom and told that a bunny in the room was hungry." The children were told there might be carrots in the room. (No wonder people still think this is the best food for rabbits – good grief!)  They also had toys available.  So the question was would the kids “play with the toys or would they look for the bunny's food?”  Apparently, the deciding factor between kids who looked for food for the rabbit and those who played comes down to guilt.  “A child who feels guilt will feel responsible for the rabbit's hunger, and will make a real effort to find carrots.”  Most of the kids looked for food for the bunny, rather than playing with the toys. Some comforted the bunny.  According to the story, one girl practically tore the place apart looking for food for the rabbit. A few of the kids did play with the toys. When asked why they didn't look for food, the kids said they were too busy playing.  I always feed my rabbits first when I come home from work and this confirms what I already knew.  All of my rabbits are expert beggars and yes, I feel guilty.   Enough with the "experiments" already!  I could have told them that.

 

April 4th - 8:00 p.m. Make Mine Chocolate - Really Good Chocolate! For the past few years the House Rabbit Society has campaigned at Easter to break the cycle of people buying rabbits at Easter and then relinquishing them only a few months later.  After Easter many, many  shelters and humane societies receive unwanted, former Easter rabbits.  Those are the lucky ones since many pet bunnies are abandoned outdoors.  So this year get a chocolate rabbit and here are my best picks for really delicious chocolate rabbits! 

Lake Champlain Chocolates Mr. Goodtimes Easter Bunny Over 16 inches tall and about 3 lbs. Hollow milk chocolate for a gourmet price of $75.00.  He is pictured above.

Harbor Sweets Assorted Rabbits by World Famous Robert Stohecker  You get a map to the flavors like toasted almonds, butter crunch, caramel, etc. - in milk or dark chocolate for $16.75

 Mr. Chocolate Easter Bunny  Chocolate master Jacques Torres creates these terrific hollow chocolate rabbits that are about 10 inches tall in both milk or dark chocolate at $18.00 each.

Calico Hand Painted Rabbits from Moonstruck Chocolate Company  The sweet bunnies at 2.25 ounces are beautifully done in dark and white chocolates and only $6.00.

French Chocolatier Michel Cluizel Easter Bunnies 

Made with Michel Cluizel’s wonderful cocoa dark chocolate.  This is a  classic Easter Bunny. Includes a hollow dark chocolate Easter bunny and three chocolate bonbon eggs.  $15.00

 

Rabbit Wedding - The BBC ran an article about two Continental Giant Rabbits (Roberto & Amy in BBC pic on right) who got hitched recently.  The RSPCA called it "belittling" and "said it sent out the wrong message about animals."  I agree rabbits are not toys to dress up.  I'm partial to my  rabbits "au naturelle" and besides they are wearing perfectly fine fur coats.  Apparently, the "wedding" was an Easter season stunt for a company that hired them temporarily. The owner of the newlyweds said "these animals are totally spoilt and very well looked after."  I am sure they are, but they look like they'd rather hop away from all the fuss. 

 

No More Large Pet World Records - A while back I wrote about Roberto and his Guinness Book of Records record as the longest rabbit in the world.  It seems the folks over at the Guinness Book of Records have "stopped accepting records for large pets in an attempt to stop owners overfeeding them."  Thank you Guinness Book of Records!

 

Snow Bunny proves winter isn't over yet.  A Bunny Blog reader sent in this ski bunny photo just for fun.  I am amazed this white rabbit isn't melted yet.  It's spring where I live.   If those were snowshoes instead of skis, it would be a "snowshoe" hare.

 

April 2nd - 10:00 a.m. Mighty Mites - Mr. Hops, a Californian who came home several weeks ago (adoption returnee) was found to have Cheyletiella, fur mites, also known as "walking dandruff" at the vet appointment.  (He is also down to a svelte 9 lbs!  The diet worked.) We declared war on the mites. This involves a lot of bleach, carpet cleaning, and loads of laundry.  Cheyetiella is not tough to treat.  Hops got an extensive combing, all the rabbits got treated with Invermectin and the place got a really good "spring cleaning."  We get to repeat again in awhile to be sure the life cycle of the mite is broken.  Vets don't agree on how or where this came from ... it could have been there all along and once Hops got too heavy to groom himself properly it may have gotten out of control, or he got too stressed or the mite found him via hay or another rabbit.  (Our other rabbits don't seem to have it.)  The mites live two days, but lay eggs. Our vet said that every rabbit he has seen lately has fur mites!  It looks a lot like heavy dandruff and your vet can diagnose with a skin scraping, or collecting a sample with tape and checking it under a microscope.  Here is a link to a photo of the yucky creatures and more information:  Rabbit Fur Mite  See more about Hops in the February 5th Bunny Blog

 

You Don't Know Jack - Have you ever wondered how those hares differ from your pet rabbit.  Here is a link to a website on Jack Rabbits (they aren't rabbits - hares instead). Jack Rabbit They got their name Jack rabbit" since the ears supposedly look like those of a jack ass. "Jack Hare" would have suited them better. Mark Twain talks about it in his book Roughing It: “...We saw the first specimen of an animal known familiarly...as the 'jackass rabbit.' He is well named. He is just like any other rabbit, except that he is from one-third to twice as large, has longer legs in proportion to his size, and has the most preposterous ears that ever were mounted on any creature but a jackass.”  

 

Petkeeping with Marc Marrone  I enjoy this quirky, fun pet television show primarily because of Harvey.  Harvey is part of Marc Marrone's cast on the show.  Harvey is a Flemish Giant Rabbit.  According to the website for the show Harvey was found "out in the backyard. As soon as Marc saw him, he knew that Harvey would become an essential member of the Pet Squad."  And, Harvey is one of the largest at 13 lbs.!  Harvey is always perfectly calm.  Hey and why not, he came in from the cold and now he is part of a TV show cast.  See show times at the link above for your area.

 

Two Ohio Dogs Killing Pet Rabbits  - I am glad my rabbits are indoor house rabbits when I read newspaper stories like this.  According to the Times Reporter online, "New Philadelphia police are warning residents ... to be aware of two large dogs that have killed pet rabbits ..."  The article notes it started two weeks ago and one of the dogs was seen "chewing a hole in a rabbit cage and taking the rabbit."   The police say the dogs have collars and tags.  They are also pets.

 

Bunny Graphics  This web page has a lot of rabbit graphics. Even though it doesn't look there has been a lot of updates lately, it still has tons of web friendly graphics.  You can get lines, animations, sets, etc. for web use.

 

 

 

 

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