Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Buttercup the Shelter Rabbit
Hubby and I as a Christmas tradition visit our local animal shelter before the Big Day to deliver toys for rabbits and to visit the current rabbit residents. This year we got delayed because of the blizzard that hit us on the Saturday before the holiday. But we stopped by nevertheless yesterday and met two special rabbits, Mr. Bunny and Buttercup. Mr. Bunny is a black and white Dutch, very sweet and friendly, and was turned in because "children no longer want to take care of him." Buttercup is a Rex and a very heavy Rex too, we noted. She is a stray though I can't help wondering what her story really is. I wonder if she was being overfed to become someone's meal. No doubt if that were the case, she would have been kept outside in a hutch and happily she must have escaped from it. A beautiful girl who loves to have her head rubbed, she growled at us when we gave her some carrots and my heart filled with sadness. I have no doubt part of that reaction could be hormonal--it is highly unlikely this rabbit was ever spayed. But I knew that such aggressive behavior would make her almost unadoptable, unless someone with great patience and rabbit knowledge comes by and decides to take her in. What are the chances of that? And though the shelter refuses to admit it, they will kill her if she proves to be unadoptable and if they run out of room to keep her. Human irresponsibility will have claimed yet another innocent life. When will this end?
As for Mr. Bunny, as we were spending time with him, a shelter volunteer advised that the people who dumped him were coming back for him. Seems the parents just wanted to teach their children a lesson. Some lesson. Put a rabbit through stress by abandonment because you won't be responsible enough to understand that rabbits are NOT good pets for children (something the parents would have realized had they bothered to do any research before getting their kids a bunny in the first place). Too bad people never ever seem to think of the rabbit first. Rabbits are beings, not household decorations. Not toys for kids to play with. Will we ever learn this simple lesson??
As we roll into a new year, I hope and pray that people will get wiser and smarter and learn to educate themselves before adopting ANY animal, especially high maintenance exotic animals like rabbits. There are plenty of resources out there to go to for self-education, www.rabbitwise.org, for one, House Rabbit Society (www.rabbit.org), for another, and many rabbit rescue groups that are all around you if you care to do the research. Ignorance is no longer an excuse. In the meantime, I will pray and hope that someone understanding enough and patient enough will come along and save Buttercup's life. We gave her as much love as we could while we were there, as we do all the rabbits we see at the shelter each year. A little love from a stranger is better than none in their short little lives.
The Hoppy Vegan