Believe In Bunnies

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responsibility

Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue

Same Old Story

For the longest time, I wouldn’t tell people I was a teacher. There were just some things about the job (or at least how I was doing the job) that didn’t align with whom I feel I am. Now that I’ve committed to daily personal development, I proudly say I’m a teacher. The job didn’t change; I did.

In most settings when I meet new people, I don’t mention that I am an animal rescuer. On the completely opposite side of why I used to run away from the label of teacher, I hide rescue from “strangers” because the conversation all-too-often goes badly… like it did yesterday.

I was at an event where I met dozens of wellness-minded women and we had tons of fun trying natural skincare and makeup from Young Living. The ladies at our table started to connect and share contact information. In searching for me on social media, one of my tablemates came across the title of my blog. She looked up slowly and said, “Bunnies?” to which I said, “Yes, they are my life’s work. I help run a rabbit rescue.” Her response, “Do you want a rabbit?” Cue the lump in my throat and rage in my heart. Here we go, again.

Why… how… why does it seem like everyone I meet either has a rabbit they don’t want or has some horrifying story about a rabbit that they, their cousin or their neighbor had when they were younger? And why do people think I want to hear those stories?

This woman was very well-meaning and I knew the outline of her story before she even told it, the same story I read in emails 15 times per week (or more). Her daughter came home with a rabbit one day without discussing it with the family. Now, no one takes care of the rabbit. I assumed she was talking about a child, but no, her daughter is an adult with a child of her own. The grandchild is the one who wanted the rabbit in the first place. The daughter is the one who purchased a living being who requires special care and lives 10-12 years without doing any research or thinking about long-term plans. They have 3 dogs at home. Daughter and grandchild are moving and don’t plan to take the rabbit. I quietly listened as I tried not to fling an all-natural face scrub across the table.

When she was done, I made a comment about the 10-12-year commitment her daughter made when getting the rabbit. The woman next to me whispered in my ear that she used to do dog rescue and sympathized. I referred her to rescue groups local to her, gave her some care tips and changed the subject as quickly as I could.

So I struggle with keeping my Rescue life quiet to strangers. I don’t want to hear this same old story from people looking to dump a rabbit. I don’t want to hear about the hutch bunny your neighbor neglected during your favorite childhood summer. I want the neglect to cease. The only way we are going to stop the abandonment and suffering is education but it seems like most (NOT all) of the people who want to rehome their rabbits are just looking to flake on a responsibility they chose. Where’s our sense of integrity? Our follow-through? Our commitment? Maybe I expect too much, in some people’s eyes. But on behalf of our fluffy, big-eared friends, my expectations will never be lowered.

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Bunnies Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

Questions…

The only question I remember asking about rabbits before we got them was about smell.  I used to ask everyone whom I encountered who had a companion rabbit, I think even before Bunny-daddy and I met, if rabbits smelled.  Apparently my pet-cluelessness and curiosity stopped at odor.  Much like your human children, as long as someone cleans the litter box often, my children don’t smell.

As the recipient of most Rescue communication, there are a number of questions people ask that make me sad, like:

  • Can I donate my rabbit to you?
  • Can you take this thing out of my house? My kid doesn’t want it anymore.
  • Can you find a home for my 4/5/10 year old rabbit because I’m moving/having a baby/not interested anymore?
  • Our new dog doesn’t like our rabbit. Can you take him?
  • Our rabbit is aggressive—can you rehome her?

Here are the questions people should ask:

  • Am I ready for a 10-12 year commitment?
  • Am I willing to spend $500-$1,000+ should a medical emergency arise?
  • Can I deal with being bitten, if I or something else in the home stresses my prey animal companion rabbit?
  • Can I deal with being covered in fur all the time?
  • Do I want a pet that doesn’t like to be snuggled or picked up?
  • Can I interact with my pet 2-3 times per day, every day?
  • Can I limit treats and make sure my family members do the same?
  • Can I deal with having pieces of hay everywhere?
  • Can I provide 30-40+ hours of exercise time per week in a rabbit-proofed area?
  • Can I respect my rabbit as much as I respect my human family members?
  • Can I be honest with myself and my level of commitment?

Here’s to responsible pet ownership! Much Love.

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