A few of the neglected Rabbits that have come through our rescues.
Basil Bunny – One of the inspirational Buns behind the fight for improved rabbit welfare.
Basil was a beautiful French Lop Rabbit who, according to specialists at a local small animal rescue hospital, survived one of the worst cases of neglect they have ever seen.
Basil was taken to Paws Here Animal Shelter after being treated badly in his previous home. He had been kept outside in a tiny covered hutch that was too small for him to even move properly and caused several problems for Basil. The hutch was just covered enough to keep him warm and survive, but Basil suffered from scalded and raw feet from standing on urine-soaked ground for too long. His lungs were also badly affected from the ammonia in the air, which eventually lead to chronic pneumonia.
When Basil was first rescued, his eyes could not cope with natural sunlight after so long in the dark. He needed extensive veterinary treatment costing over £1500, including three hours in surgery to remove part of his damaged jaw and teeth from years of a poor diet. Basil continued to need this kind of care for the rest of his life, and was then considered a permanent resident of Paws Here Animal Shelter living with foster carers Marie and Andy.
Basil’s health problems could all have been avoided if he had been cared for correctly. Luckily, his story is now a happy one full of hope and love.
Sadly Basil eventually succumbed to his various illnesses and lost his fight for life towards the end of the summer of 2012 when he passed over the Rainbow Bridge.
He was able to thrive in his new home while he gradually recovered from the bad experiences of his past, touching people’s lives and had a strong following of Facebook fans around the world.
the following ‘case’ text on the rescue bunnies mentioned below, was taken from our former dedicated rabbit rescue’s webpage prior to their closure
Murphy was rescued by an angel and taken to Buddies Bunny Rescue after she found out the people who had got him were keeping him in the cardboard box he came home in from the pet shop and only feeding him from time to time on human food!!
He also was never given hay and grass and generally was not being looked after in the slightest.
On arrival at Buddies Bunny Rescue it was clear to that Murphy had suffered – his teeth were the worst we had seen at Buddies and were severely overgrown.
He was booked in for major dental work and after a few Ops it was decided to remove his front teeth entirely, we are pleased to report that his back teeth are now coping fine and he has not needed any further dental work but will be checked on every 4 months for life.
Murphy is now a fit and happy, pain free young man who lives as a house bun with a wonderful bunny mummy and helped raise funds as a sponsor bunny for our now closed rescue, Buddies Bunny Rescue.
Sophia came to Buddies Bunny rescue after being returned to a local garden centre / pet store where she was purchased as she was un “manageable” by her new owners due to her lovely long coat of fur!
She was described by staff as a wonderful, sweet friendly and loving girl who had not even reached her 1st birthday when she was ‘surrendered’.
But with lots of TLC she is doing really well here and has a fabby nature – she really seemed to enjoy a good groom getting most of the matts off her.
She has now found a wonderful new furever home after receiving treatment for her matts, neutered, vaccinated and health checked.
Daisy had been rescued by the Scottish SCPA after being seriously neglected by her previous owner – when she was found, she had no hay, food or water in her hutch.
She also had 4, three week old babies to look after too. Luckily Daisy was taken away from this horrible situation and arrived at Buddies. She was really really hungry and malnourished, as were her babies, but the lady who looked after them couldn’t feed her huge quantities all at once as she would’ve eaten it too fast and given herself an upset tummy as she really wasn’t used to eating much at all, so they had to take it very slowly at first.
“The day after arriving at the Shelter, I gave the lady there a real fright, when she opened up our hutch in the morning to find I’d given birth to another 7 babies overnight!! It was a constant battle to keep me well nourished so I could feed my babies, but not overfed and sadly a few of my babies didn’t make it. I kept having repeated bouts of gut stasis, where my tummy just stopped working and moving along as it should. At one point I didn’t pass any poos for 5 days and was nursed round the clock. On day 6, I heard the vet say to Natalie, the nice lady at the Shelter, that I had 24 hours to improve or I should be put to sleep on welfare grounds as I was so unwell. Well, after I heard that I decided to pass some poo at 6am, much to the delight of Natalie! I went from strength to strength, although some more of my babies didn’t make it through this rough time, but the ones that did found loving homes. The only boy I had, Casper, stuck to me like glue, through all the bad times – so when the time came for homing, I was informed by Natalie that Casper would not be going anywhere as we were so bonded and she couldn’t part with him or me! We will thankfully stay at Buddies forever, and now live in a very happy bunny commune – 6 of us all together, running around in the sunshine and freedom to play all day and truly are spoiled rotten!”
Chip was four-years-old and came to into the rescue at three-weeks-old with her Mum and older siblings in a cardboard box – as a result of over-breeding!
Chip was suffering from alopecia but in generally good health. Chip was initially sexed as a girl but as she developed, her testicles appeared!?! Thinking the vet had just made a mistake, Chip was booked in for castration, the vet then discovered she had both male and female genitalia. Chip was castrated and the vet admitted he had never seen a female rabbit with testicles! Therefore there was the slimmest chance Chip could have actually made herself pregnant!
Chip copes well, but has issues with squint peeing and soils herself so regular monitoring and cleaning is needed – but otherwise she is a very content bun and lives very happy with her girlfriend Polly Pocket.
Pogo came into the care of Buddies as she was due to be put to sleep because of her aggression. Pogo had probably been dumped due to this and had been picked up by the SSPCA, she was deemed un-homable due to these issues.
Since being at Buddies, Pogo has been neutered, has plenty of space, therefore she does not feel territorial. She is still living on her own but the plan is to pair her up eventually. She is now touchable and enjoys a pet – she just panics a little when handled so this is kept to an absolute minimum.
In general, Pogo is a happy girl who is now enjoying her stress-free life where she will stay forever.
Star was an example of ‘too much loving’ in her former home and came into Buddies care extremely overweight.
She started her weight loss programme initially weighing in at 5.61kg during her 1st health check at the Vet.
Care has to be given with any rabbits when it comes to shedding those pounds – she will visit the vet every couple of weeks to access her progress and that she doesn’t loose her weight so quick as to cause liver problems.
Obesity is becoming an increasingly common problem with rabbits due to overfeeding, usually too many pellets. It can contribute to many other health problems:
Stomach and urinary tract problems because the animal doesn’t get a chance to move around, which helps keep his intestines and urinary tract moving at a normal rate.
Pododermatitis (foot problems) because there is more weight resting on the feet than there should be.
Aside from making your animal unhealthy in these ways, it can also make it so your animal is less able to survive a trip to the vet when it becomes necessary. A rabbit that has had no exercise has a weak heart and is prone to heart attack at the time of a trip to the vet and is more likely to die under anesthesia if this becomes necessary.
A rabbit that is too fat also has difficulty grooming itself and you may have the joy of cleaning your rabbit’s rear end frequently to prevent conditions called urine scald (where the urine that the animal can not clean off his fur, burns the skin underneath) and fly strike (where the feces that can become matted in the fur attracts flies which lay their eggs). You then get maggots eating the unhealthy flesh of your rabbit’s behind.