Saturday, March 30, 2013
And check out this fabulous article from our friends at DugDug about rabbits, their care, and their role at Easter time!
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
|A prime example of a rabbit house. The pen door is easily opened to allow the rabbits to run around and explore.|
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I’m often asked about the best way to house rabbits. Of course, indoor housing is a must. But once inside, should a rabbit be caged? Penned? Allowed free-range?
While many bunny owners allow their rabbits to live in a free-range environment 24/7, this decision should be influenced by a variety of factors. First, consider the available space: is there an entire room that can be closed off and completely rabbit-proofed? If not, then keeping your rabbits penned up while you're gone may be a safer option.
Consider also the naughtiness level of the rabbit in question. Some rabbits are less inclined to chew and dig, and these guys are prime candidates for a free-range situation. In others, these behaviors are deeply ingrained and keeping them in some sort of containing structure (dog crate, pen) while they are unsupervised is highly recommended. As long as you allow your rabbits several hours of out-of-cage time daily, using a pen or large dog crate is perfectly acceptable.
|Naughtiness Level: High|
Picking the area of the house to place the pen should be thoroughly planned out. It’s important that your rabbit be kept in a relatively high-traffic area of the house, such as the living room. This keeps the animal from becoming isolated and bored, and also makes giving the rabbit out-of-pen time easier. You should not have to pick up and carry your rabbit to a room where he or she can lounge—the constant chasing around and picking up is not conducive to a harmonious relationship.
It is much easier to keep the pen in an area of the house where you spend the most amount of time, and simply open the pen and let your rabbit out when you're home. When it’s time to pen her up, train her to hop to her pen for a treat. This is much lower stress, and with rabbits, the lower the stress, the better for everyone.
Stay tuned for the second installment in the Housing Series, in which we will explore setting up the perfect rabbit pen!
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
I know all of us bunnyparents look forward to the Easter holiday season and the sudden availability of all imaginable rabbit-shaped objects that comes along with it. But while we’re enjoying the bunny cards and figurines, we need to realize that Easter is also a terrible time for many rabbits. Year after year, unsuspecting parents buy real baby bunnies to put in their children’s Easter baskets alongside jelly beans and chocolate eggs. Weeks later, these rabbits are dumped at shelters or (even worse) released into the wild, when the family slowly realizes that rabbits are not perfectly behaved inanimate objects.As you and I know, rabbits are not toys, and they’re certainly not appropriate gifts for young children. Help spread the word to people in your area by writing in to your local newspaper, putting up posters at obliging shops/malls/grocery stores/veterinary clinics, or simply talking to friends and family about the commitment involved in owning a rabbit. Shelter and rescue volunteers have already begun spreading the word all over the country and I urge you to reach out and educate your local town or city about choosing toy rabbits for Easter, and adopting real rabbits for life.
While Peanut (left) and Jimmy may look like toys, these 3 lb. dwarf Hotots are real-life bunny brothers, adopted for life by Caroline and Matt in Boston, MA.
To read more about a national Easter awareness initiative, check out the House Rabbit Society’s Make Mine Chocolate campaign.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
"As a small animal volunteer at the local shelter, I’m always fighting the urge to adopt. “Our apartment is too small,” “my boyfriend would never agree to adopt a rabbit,” and “how would our cats react?” were typical thoughts that reminded me I was not in a position to adopt a small animal. However, everything changed when Bunnicula, a large New Zealand rabbit, was brought to the shelter. The sign on the window of her cage stated that her previous owners no longer had time to care for her. I opened the door to her cage that first day and Bunnicula hopped right over to me, giving my hand a little nudge to let me know she wanted attention. I remember thinking that she was so calm and gentle, despite her large size. As the months went by, I saw many of the smaller rabbits get adopted, but Bunnicula remained at the shelter. Maybe people we intimidated by her size, or her white fur and bright pink eyes. But to me, she was perfect, and I knew it was time to give this wonderful bunny her forever home.
Bunnicula (or Boo as we like to call her) is the perfect addition to our family. I found out that our apartment could easily handle a rabbit, my boyfriend has a soft spot for bunnies, and that cats and rabbits can be best friends. We couldn’t imagine our family without our Boo!"
What a wonderful story! And it has a great moral too-- to never judge a book by it's cover. When choosing a pet for adoption, sometimes we can get really caught up in certain looks or specific breeds that we imagine for ourselves. Kelly and Boo remind us that personality and character are what really matter when picking a best friend. New Zealands generally have laid-back, outgoing personalities but can have trouble finding homes because of their large size or red eyes (personally, I think they look like beautiful rubies). In honor of Petfinder's "Adopt the Internet Day" and Boo's story, here are a handful of Petfinder profiles of available New Zealands in the midwest:
Whitley, in Brownsburg, IN, via EARPS Exotic Animal Rescue
Louie, in Louisville, KY, via Indiana HRS
Mo, in Louisville, KY, via Indiana HRS
Rosey, in Urbana, IL, via Champaign County Humane Society
Angel, in Madison, WI, via Wisconsin HRS
Floyd, in Plymouth, MI, via Midwest Rabbit Rescue and Rehome
Petfinder.com is so great because you can see pictures and read descriptions of animals' personalities, allowing you to find the perfect match for your family. Hoppy 15th birthday Petfinder and congrats to our contest winner!
Thursday, March 3, 2011
March 15, 2011 will be Petfinder.com's 15th birthday! This revolutionary website has not only helped unite hundreds of thousands of homeless pets with their adoptive parents, it also tirelessly works to educate and entertain the public with their blog, message boards, library of articles on pet health, behavior, training, and much more. To celebrate this exciting milestone, Petfinder.com is staging a takeover of the Internet on March 15. This will entail a massive awareness explosion about adoption and shelter animals by numerous participating pet-centric blogs.
In honor of this momentous occasion, here at The Rabbit Advocate, I am hosting a rabbit adoption story contest. Send in a picture and story (up to 100 words) of how you and your bunny friend found each other and I will post a winner here on March 15th. Let's all get to writing!