Believe In Bunnies

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long island

Believe Bunnies Healing Purpose Rescue

Paddington

For everyone celebrating something today, I wish you and yours a happy one.

I had the honor of spending yesterday with a very special boy, local celebunny Paddington.

 

In a town in central Nassau county, about two months ago, a woman found a domestic rabbit in her yard. She was able to pick him up and bring him inside. She bought him food and cared for him the best she could for a few weeks. In the interim, and completely unrelated to Paddington’s arrival, this kind woman lost her job. She reached out to us at the Long Island Rabbit Rescue Group when she noticed she was running low on food for the rabbit she found. We coordinated a volunteer to bring food and other supplies she may need while she was fostering. We also planned to start the process of finding this rabbit a forever home.

Our volunteer went to the finder’s house that evening. She texted me shortly after she arrived there and said, “I’m taking him.” I hope she doesn’t get mad at me for sharing this… but she was crying. And this is a volunteer who works in animal rescue and rehabilitation professionally, someone who sees extremely tough stuff on a daily basis. One look at the rabbit we now know as Paddington brought her to tears… because of his ears.

Our volunteer remarked to the finder about the rabbit’s ears and the finder acknowledged that they are very short (I love and protect her innocence… she didn’t realize why). She found Paddington that way. By the time she found and saved him, his ears healed from being crudely chopped off. Sorry to hit you with such a stark reality on this Sunday, and for some holy, morning.

Paddington

In case you are wondering if this wasn’t a result of human cruelty… in Rescue we seeing plenty of ear injuries caused by other animals, endured before rescue and safety. Check out Shark, for example. Then compare his ear to Paddington’s ears. This is what moved our volunteer to tears and to take him with her. The finder was very grateful as she was struggling to care for the rabbit she found.

Despite the trauma he endured, Paddington settled in quickly and comfortably at his foster home. When I put out the call for a spokesbunny for an education and photo event at Pet Supplies Plus in Deer Park yesterday, Paddy’s foster mom volunteered him… and what a great choice he was! He was comfortable, even when three St. Bernard’s pounded into the store, and friendly with all of his fans. He enjoyed snuggles from store patrons and staff and even showed the Easter Bunny who is the boss!

Paddington 2

From her plans to drop off food and assess supply needs to becoming Paddington’s foster mom in a blink of time, my incredible colleague and her family have embraced this dear little one with pure love. I suspect, after Paddington’s neuter surgery tomorrow, that they just might make him an official part of their family.

LIRRG Family.

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Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue

We Won’t Stop

Around this time every year, I publish a story that I wrote in 2016… a reminder to some, new knowledge to others, about why Rescue exists.

We won’t stop until they are all safe and loved.

Found but still lost

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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Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

Equivalent Advantage

Members of our Rescue team were on two missions today: one squad was out on a catch and another squad was conducting adoptions.

The catch was unsuccessful and the adoption didn’t happen. The abandoned rabbit was super scared and elusive. The environment in which he’s been abandoned is complicated. The adopter came to meet adoptable rabbits but decided to wait before making a decision. She left with an empty carrier. It would be easy to feel defeated, to feel like we lost today. We didn’t lose. We are experiencing temporary defeat.

The only way we lose is if we stop.

In Outwitting the Devil, Napoleon Hill asks and the “Devil” answers:

Q: Is failure ever a benefit to man?

A: Yes. Indeed, learning from adversity is the third of the seven principles. But few people know that every adversity brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage. Still fewer people know the difference between temporary defeat and failure… If they knew the difference between temporary defeat and failure, they would not quit when they meet with opposition from life. If they knew that every form of defeat and all failures, bring with them the seed of unborn opportunity, they would keep on fighting and win. Success usually is but one short step beyond the point where one quits fighting.

My fellow volunteers are the most persistent people you’ll ever meet because they work with purpose. They experience emotional and physical hardships in our work. They push through heartbreak, through thorny bushes, through dismissive comments, through bitter winds.

They lean on each other, they regroup and they plant the seed of equivalent advantage acquired through each temporary defeat. Conversations tonight have not been ones of frustration. They’ve been about fresh approaches to catching this terrified little rabbit and about best practices for communicating with potential adopters.

When you need inspiration to persist against all odds, look to our team. I am honored to work with them, to organize and communicate while they are on the frontlines, impressing the stuff out of me seven days a week.

Our work is rarely easy, but always rewarding—the reward is saving and protecting animals and building character and community beyond expectations.

Local? Join us: Volunteer with LIRRG

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angels Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

Ashley

You bought a rabbit.  I don’t know why.  Maybe your kids were begging you for one, promising they would take care of her.  Maybe you thought a rabbit would be an easy starter pet.  Maybe you didn’t think much about it, just bought her on a whim—she was cute.  Or maybe someone bought her for you—thank them for me and be sure to share this with them.

Less than two months after Easter 2017, likely when you got her, you decided you didn’t want her anymore.  You decided the responsibility that you chose was over.  So, you set her “free.”

On the first of June, 2017, a stray rabbit was brought into a local animal shelter.  White, black and near death.  This rabbit, a little girl, was emaciated, anemic and infested with parasites.  She couldn’t hop.  She couldn’t hold her head up.  Because you set her “free.”

The shelter called April, one of our most dedicated and compassionate volunteers, as the shelter isn’t equipped for rabbits—but they absolutely do their best.  April went to the shelter with supplies and care instructions.  Upon seeing the dire condition of this little rabbit, April recommended immediate veterinary intervention.  The shelter brought the rabbit to an emergency veterinary clinic where she stayed for four days.  She was given fluids, medications and critical care food.  Because you set her “free.”

When she showed some signs of gaining strength, the hospital released this rabbit into April’s care.  April named her Ashley, a tribute to the caring director at the shelter.  Ashley the rabbit’s condition was still critical.  She couldn’t eat on her own.  She could only move a bit.  But she was finally feeling love and support—you know, the stuff you promised to give her when you bought her.  But you were done with that.  So, you set her “free.”

Our team showed up for Ashley in such a beautiful way.  April got Ashley to eat some greens on her own.  Jacey and Bryce visited her daily when April had to go to work.  Lisa drove well over an hour (maybe 2?) one way just to meet Ashley and give her some love.  When Lisa arrived, Ashley was having a very difficult time.  Lisa called the talented team at Catnip and Carrots Veterinary Hospital, who said to bring Ashley right in.  Dr. Miller and staff cared for Ashley, assessed her needs, ran blood work and some other tests.  With their magic and skill combined with the love from our team, Ashley was sitting up on her own that night.

Lisa, Maria and Ricky cared for her overnight before her odyssey back to April’s house (I can’t help but joke about the distance—our team spans the entire 118-mile length of this island).  Dr. Miller called me the next morning with the blood work results.  Nothing was good.  At all.  Despite that, April and her family, with the support of the other volunteers, committed to doing ANYTHING it took to give Ashley a chance at life.  This included syringe feedings multiple times per day and many other demanding efforts.  But April was willing.  We create a fundraising page to help with the costs of Ashley’s care, which raised over $500 in less than a day.  The time, love, energy, financial support, good wishes from so many people—that’s what it takes to counterbalance your decision to set her “free.”

Last night, I was smiling big time.  I came home from my godmother’s 65th birthday party.  My other half and my favorite of his friends were outside putting together our beautiful new gazebo and patio set.  80 degrees, sunny and we were dancing on the deck.  My phone rang.  It was Jacey and Bryce.  They had a call in to the 24-hour emergency service for the vet.  Ashley was limp.  She wouldn’t take her syringe-fed water, as she typically would.  Her temperature had dropped to 93 degrees.  They had her on heat and poured love on to her.  Maria and Ricky got in their car right away, heading to Ashley’s side.  April left work.  I was standing by, relaying messages from the veterinary team.

Jacey called again.  Ashley began to have a seizure.  We knew her time in this dimension was coming to a close.  Bryce and Jacey held her, loved her, told her it was ok to let go.  You know, like how you let her go, set her “free.”

Ashley passed away before April could make it home.  Jacey and Bryce stayed.  We are truly a family in this group.  Ashley suffered.  Immensely.  She was starved to near-death and infested with parasites when she was finally brought to safety.  She had liver damage among many other issues.  And if you’re saying “it’s just rabbit,” tell that to April, Lisa, Jacey or Bryce.  Look in their eyes and say it, please.  Just a rabbit to you— a precious, innocent soul to all of our team.

In case you ever wonder what happened to that little rabbit whom you set “free”…

Binky free, sweet Ashley.

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