2012 Year in Review

Helping Rabbits and People

This year, our chapter rescued 85 rabbits and found homes for 60. This was possible because of the commitment of our existing volunteers and the infusion of fresh energy from new volunteer foster homes. Some volunteers helped one time for one rabbit, some loved it and kept going after the first rabbit was adopted. Our foster volunteers provide our rabbits with love, understanding, and a temporary home until their foster rabbit finds the right adopter.

HRS volunteers work to counteract the misconceptions about rabbits and to elevate their position in people’s eyes (see the video below!). We’re reminded of these misunderstandings when we take in a rabbit described as “mean” who then turns out to be super sweet and smart. Sometimes, all it takes is neutering or spaying while providing a safe, loving environment with enough room to run. Sometimes, it takes more understanding and an adopter who appreciates an assertive personality.

It seems like only yesterday, but our Chapter has been incorporated for 15 years. We are committed to the rabbits that we rescue for their lifetime. Here we share some highlights from 2012.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation or signing up to volunteer. Thank you so much for your support!

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Sometimes a rabbit, like the beautiful and sassy Dominique, will be in foster care for a year or longer before finding their forever home. We give them time for that special someone to come along.

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On some sad occasions, the special someone doesn’t work out. We fostered Angela (Jelly) for 2 years before she was adopted and later bonded with another HRS rabbit. Sadly, that bond fell apart when Jelly was hospitalized. Last Christmas, Jelly’s adopter lost her job then Jelly came back into foster care. She was nursed back to health by a volunteer after she fell ill again. Older, in somewhat frail health, blind in one eye, and hard to match up – Jelly’s prospects for adoption were slim. However, we wanted her to have a home with love and companionship.

Sanctuary rabbits Tinkerbelle and Clancy accepted Jelly and her bossiness. She later lost the vision in her other eye (cataracts). However, she has friends, a stable environment (where we don’t move the furniture around), and acceptance of her just the way she is, special. She can often be found with her back feet stretched out, under her tent, or piled up with Tink and Clancy.

national-hrs-160pxWe help rabbit people as well as rabbits. We provide information to the public through the House Rabbit Journal, the website, our classes, videos, and handouts. In addition, our volunteers spend countless hours connecting with people – on the phone, through email, and on Internet mailing lists and listserves – answering health and behavior questions for sometimes desperate rabbit people one-on-one.

Recently, we received a request regarding two rabbits. She needed to find them a home. She loved watching them race through the house with her dog and cats. But she had concerns – they were starting to hump each other and they smelled. What about disease? Litter and food was expensive. We provided information about neutering and some money-saving tips on litter and food (we’re thrifty with your much appreciated donations!) Rabbits are LESS likely to transmit disease than dogs and cats.

“Thank you so much, I did not know all of this information, even though you can’t take them you have certainly been a great resource.”

Each time, we hope that we helped stop some rabbits being surrendered to a shelter and improved their quality of life.

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One stereotype of rabbits is that they are “boring” pets who just sit in the corner of their cage all day. Well, Fiona shows how busy a rabbit can be when there is room!

This video is a timelapse of 4,000 images taken throughout the day on Christmas, 2012.

These kinds of projects are entertaining but also combat the negative images that some people have about rabbits as companion animals. We all know the joys of seeing rabbits flop out, leap into the air (aka “binky”), toss their toys, and snuggle with their friends. Now, we just need to share that with the rest of the world!

** These stories were shared first in our email newsletter. Sign up here – http://eepurl.com/iIc31 **