Found but still Lost

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I am the initial point of contact when someone emails information@longislandrabbitrescue.org.  This month, the number of “finder” emails we have received is more than double the number we receive in a typical month. We define a “finder” as someone who has either spotted a stray domestic rabbit or has rescued an abandoned domestic rabbit and is reaching out to our group for resources and recourses.  I have typed the following sentences an alarming number of times this month: “We don’t have a shelter facility; all of our rabbits are fostered in private homes. If you or someone you know can provide an indoor foster home, we can…”  And it’s not even Easter yet.

We get at least a hundred emails to the aforementioned address per month—only three times in my almost three years of being at the email helm has someone reached out because their rabbit had actually gone missing. So I can safely conclude that these “found” rabbits are abandoned, dumped, neglected.

Abandonment happens one of two ways, from my perspective.  There are the scarily misinformed, who think their rabbit, who no longer serves a purpose in their family, will survive in the woods or in a park because other rabbits live in the wild.  Yeah… those are wild rabbits.  Not domestic rabbits.  Domestic rabbits will not survive and will face the harsh elements of the seasons and starvation, and predators.  A horrible fate.

Then, there are the heartless, who just don’t care, who need this “thing” out of their house.  Sometimes these people try to seek help before abandoning their rabbit, but most town shelters aren’t equipped to handle rabbits and most rescue groups are overloaded, no matter the animal on which they focus.  For these, about whom “careless” is the nicest word I can muster, the living being they once chose to care for has passed his/her expiration date and must be tossed out.  Just a note—if caught abandoning an animal, one faces $1,000 fine and other legal consequences.  If you see something, take pictures. Send them to me.  I’ll turn them in for you.  I’m not shy.

We need:

  • Stores and breeders to stop selling rabbits.
  • People to make more informed decisions before adding any living being into their families.
  • Foster homes, donations and volunteers to save the abandoned animals.
  • You to speak up, if you know someone has dumped an animal.
  • Compassion for all things living.

As a rescue group, our resources are limited but trust that we use them to their maximum potential!  Thank you for being one of our resources.  Spread the reality about rabbits as pets—10-12 year commitment, specialized veterinary care, bunny-proofing (As I hear my chief destruction worker bunny Tater Tot tearing in to what I hope is his cardboard tunnel in the next room…).  As awareness is heightened, I hope there are far fewer rabbits out there to save.  But for now, many rabbits are found but still lost, as the number abandoned far surpasses the number of foster homes and adopters.

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Release your feelings, not your animals.
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Abundance & Gratitude

You have resources for whatever is important to you, whatever has value to you. Whether those resources are time, money, love, listening, supplies… when something truly has value to you, you find a way (or the Universe helps you find a way) to give and to make it happen.

I give freely and often: time, money, whatever I have. I’m grateful that I can and I’m ever so grateful for all those who came out to our annual fundraiser for Long Island Rabbit Rescue at Still Partners yesterday. We raised a fantastic amount of money during a fun afternoon. Still Partners has the most delicious veggie burger I have ever eaten, so I was content enough to be there for that! Beyond the deliciousness, my soul felt the bliss emanating from the dedicated volunteers and generous community members in attendance.

Big bunny boy Maurice and special needs bunny Edith played on the bar’s stage throughout the event, while our directors and volunteer team educated about rabbit care and about the outstanding work our group does. People made beautifully generous donations—yes, the monetary factor is what helps us rescue and care for abandoned and neglected rabbits across Long Island, but the gesture of giving… that’s what created this abundance of gratitude.

Events like this reignite our passion. Rescue work is difficult. We are often faced with people who aren’t supportive, who don’t honor and respect the furry lives we work tirelessly to save. Yesterday’s event reminds us that we have support, renews our purpose and brings us more comfortably into our “busy season” of post-Easter… but that’s a topic for another day. Right now, I want to bask in the abundance of the love and support we collected at Still Partners yesterday.

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Speaking of Abundance… one of my favorite scents!

Boundless gratitude to our benefactor Mark, to the staff at Still Partners, to our volunteer team and of course to the community for supporting our cause.  Long Island Rabbit Rescue is run solely on donations, 100% of which go directly to the rabbits.

And while I have you, check out my article on One Green Planet… give it a “like” and let One Green Planet know that you want to hear more from me and the rabbit rescue community!

Captain

One week ago Saturday, I covered a “bunny chores” shift at our main foster home, changing litter boxes, vacuuming, feeding and the like. This foster home houses most of our adoptable rabbits and volunteers visit daily to tend the rabbits. Captain, a Dutch mix, has been on our roster of adoptable rabbits for about six months. He was rescued from a neglected outdoor hutch, where he and multiple other rabbits were left in the extreme heat of the summer with no water and no food. When found, the rabbits were eating “wee wee pads” (is there a technical name for that product?). Some of the rabbits in the hutch did not survive the heat and neglect. Captain, along with Beaux, who was adopted a few months ago, and Lola, who is still waiting for her forever home, were brought to safety.

Captain quickly earned the reputation of being “tough” to handle amongst the volunteers. Rabbits are never aggressive—any behavior they exhibit that people interpret as aggressive is a rabbit doing all he can to survive. These prey animals are only aggressive toward Romaine lettuce, not toward human beings. Captain typically lunges and even bites sometimes; his behavior precipitates from his past neglect and trauma. While he has made progress over the past six months, he was still holding the title for feistiest bunny…

I reached into his pen slowly to take his litter box which was in need of changing. Despite employing my best techniques (I am the mother of a Lionhead rabbit who thinks he’s a lion!), Captain still perceived a threat in my approach and bit my right hand something fierce. The result of the bite looked much worse than it felt! I posted a picture of my hand on Facebook, playfully asking my fellow volunteers to guess who caused these marks. It didn’t take many guesses to reach the right answer. Then, a message appeared in my inbox that has quickly proven to be life-changing for our Captain.

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My hand 3/5/16

Volunteer and epic bunny mom Lisa messaged me, asking if she could take Captain home to foster for a month. She expressed determination to make more progress with him. As aforementioned, his previous and current foster families have helped Captain become more comfortable with human interaction but there is definite room for growth! I checked with the directors of our group, got the approval and let Lisa know that after her shift of bunny chores on Thursday, Captain was hers to foster.

Within hours of being in Lisa’s home, Captain seemed to shift personalities. My inbox exploded with videos and pictures of Captain sitting on Lisa’s shoulder and accepting loving snuggles from Lisa’s nine year old daughter. The change of scenery, the change of energies… whatever it is, Captain is letting down his guard and letting his true bunny-self blossom. I and the rest of the team are so grateful for Lisa’s caring efforts and determination to help Captain trust and love. After only a weekend, he’s a totally different rabbit. Paws crossed that, after his month-long visit with Lisa’s family, Captain will be truly ready for the love of a forever home.

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Captain, showing the softer side we all knew was there!!

Olivia and Gretchen

Arthritis (noun): painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints.

My paternal grandmother had some serious arthritis in her hands—could barely grab or touch at some points. I had the opportunity to share some Reiki energy and love with four-legged arthritis sufferers this week (and they don’t complain like grandma used to!).

I worked on big, beautiful Olivia first during this session. Her frustration with her mobility issues is increasing so I spent the majority of our time together sending peace and healing as well as incorporating some Young Living lavender oil for relaxation and connection. Olivia was on high-alert while I shared energy with her head, front legs and spine. Her white ears stood straight up and I felt a tightness in my own crown—a message from her that the energy is needed to soothe her frustration and combat her longing for the days when she hopped with less difficulty! I worked on her back legs and hips for the remainder of our session, sending the aforementioned peace and healing to those aching joints. Olivia signaled to me that she was appreciative but done for this session by hopping away into her litter box and munching on some hay.

On to Miss Gretchen… Gretchen, an American Bulldog, also suffers from arthritis. We sat on the living room couch together for our session. She soaks up the love, light and attention like a puppy! When I worked on the back of her neck, connecting to the throat chakra, she “showed me” (see previous posts for more on how I receive and interpret messages) waves of light blue fabric. Gretchen craves more conversation and loves when people talk to her. She enjoys the activity and variety that comes with living in a busy household and she feels like the manager of the place—makes sense, since she’s the biggest animal of the many in the house! When I worked on her hind legs and hips, she wagged her tail against the couch in a pattern of three-three-five, which repeated for the duration of our session. I’ll have to ask Gretchen’s mom Mary Ann if those numbers have any significance!

I closed our session with some sweeping pats and some cleansing Thieves spray on my hands. Sending love, light and comfort to Olivia, Gretchen and all who deal with arthritis, today and always!

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Lavender oil and Thieves spray