The Bunologist

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January 2009
• • • • Dear Diary Roger Dedication to Fluff Adopt me!

What’s News?
Thrown out with the rubbish!
10 December 2008 - http://www.dailymail.co.uk A student had the shock of his life when he put his bin out for collection - only to find a giant rabbit dumped inside. Dusty the bunny is lucky to be alive after being callously thrown out with the rubbish in Bournemouth, Dorset. The large silver rabbit was found dumped in a wheelie bin by horrified student Joshua Marks as he took out the bins last week. Television production student Joshua said: 'I woke up and took the bins out and just had a quick check in the bin to make sure it was full. 'I opened the bin and thought it was a massive rat - then I went to take another peek and noticed it was a rabbit. 'I was just shocked. I assume someone had put it in there. It was quite a cute rabbit. 'They empty the bin on Wednesday morning so it would have been gone about an hour later - it might have got crushed.' Joshua phoned the RSPCA straight away before heading off for his studies. He joked: 'I was just going off to work to do a film shoot so I couldn't be late - but this could be my new blockbuster.’' Luckily it was a happy ending for Dusty. RSPCA Inspector Graham Hammond took Dusty to the RSPCA Bournemouth Animal Clinic where he was checked over before being placed temporarily with a fosterer. Insp Hammond said: 'It is very lucky that this rabbit was spotted when he was as he could easily have been suffocated in the rubbish or crushed in the jaws of the refuse lorry. 'There is never any excuse for abandoning an animal and I would urge anyone who recognises this rabbit to contact us.’'

Sad time for dumped “gifts”
6 January 2009 – The Leader Newspaper (Victoria) Victorian RSPCA shelters have been inundated with hundreds of animals over the Christmas break. RSPCA Spokesman Ray Lord said the dumping would continue throughout January. "People are away on holidays, and they come back, and suddenly the kids are back at school, and the pet's not a toy anymore, it's an arduous task - it's a real issue. Keep in mind that we'd still much rather people take their animals to a shelter rather than dump them though - that allows a second chance for the pet to be adopted." From November to February, RSPCA shelters and inspectors in Victoria will care for about 16,000 unwanted, injured and abused animals. Mr Lord said it was a frustrating and sad time for staff and the animals. He said it was important to think carefully before buying a pet, and to make sure they are desexed and vaccinated.

Get your dog away from my bunny!
30 November 2008 – New York Times Metropolitan Diary Dear Diary: Most mornings before work, my dog, Mooshi, and I stroll through Columbus Park in Chinatown. Recently, a group of men were playing Hacky Sack there. Mooshi, who is used to seeing elderly Chinese men performing tai chi, was intrigued by this new game, and kept staring at the men. But it wasn’t the Hacky Sackers who had caught Mooshi’s attention: it was the little white rabbit chewing the grass next to them. As a native New Yorker, I’m not surprised by the unusual, but a rabbit? In Chinatown? Mooshi ran toward the unknown creature, barking. Soon, a shirtless and muscular Hacky Sacker jogged toward us. I assumed he wanted to know why Mooshi was barking in their direction, or maybe he wanted to share a laugh about the rabbit. Instead, he stopped a few inches away from me and, with a stern face, looking me straight in the eyes, said, “Get your dog away from my bunny!”

Lillian Baharestani

Topsy Is Comfortable in his Own Skin
25 November 2008 – http://www.petaasiapacific.com/featurenatalie-imbruglia.asp

Meet Vincent
23 December 2008 - http://www.dailymail.co.uk For a moment teenager John Haig thought a guinea pig had found its way into his family of young rabbits. One of the young animals that came bouncing out of a hutch with the rest of the brood was lacking something - a pair of ears. But the little creature was indeed a rabbit, otherwise healthy and part of a family of ten brothers and sisters. He has been named Vincent - in honour of Van Gogh, the painter who cut off his own ear - by 16-year-old John. 'I've never seen one like that before,' he said. 'He's perfectly healthy, he's just got no ears.' The farming student, who lives with his mother Carol, 59, in Burn, North Yorkshire, has been breeding rabbits since he was 11. He spotted Vincent when the youngsters emerged with their mother Rosie for the first time from their hutch at three weeks old. Mrs Haig, who also has a dog, a cat, 12 guinea pigs, and some fish, said that the missing ears could be result of a genetic defect. Another theory is that his ears may have been bitten off by his mother. Female rabbits are known to attack their offspring if they are distressed. I have an earless bunny too, Miss Inga ('missing-ear'). Her mother nipped off her ears shortly following her birth which is probably what happened to Vincent. - Karen W, Ross-on-Wye, UK, 23/12/2008

What's the difference between a full-length fur coat and just a little fur trim? Nothing, says famed Australian singer, actor, and model Natalie Imbruglia, who took time out of her busy schedule to pose for a sexy new anti-fur ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). In the ad, Imbruglia is holding Topsy the rabbit to her naked chest next to the tagline "Tell Him It's Just a Little Fur Trim."

Tim Gunn’s Plea: Be Fur Free!
21 December 2008 - http://extratv.warnerbros.com "Project Runway's" Tim Gunn is teaming up with PETA to urge designers to just say "no" to fur in their collections. Gunn, the chief creative officer for Liz Claiborne, filmed a personal video for Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan to ask them to stop using rabbit fur in their collections. "Any designer in the fashion industry who does not want to watch the PETA video and see exactly what happens to animals and how they're treated and how the product that they use comes to the marketplace, I believe, is egregiously irresponsible," said Tim in an interview about the video, as reported by Page Six. PETA spokesperson Michael McGraw told the newspaper that Armani and Karan were singled out because "they have both made pledges to be fur-free, but have gone back on their word when it comes to rabbits, as if rabbits aren't fur-bearing animals." In response to the claims, an Armani rep tells the paper, "Despite the fact that we have previously sold products made from animal fur, the Armani Group has now decided to renounce making such items with the exception of those in rabbit fur, the by-product of an animal that is a staple source of food... We must stress that PETA is exploiting our name to stir up public opinion without acknowledging that we actually include very few fur items in our collections, while certain competitors of ours base much of their business on furs." A spokesperson for Donna Karan told Page Six, "There is no fur in any of our lines for Fall 2009, and we currently have no plans to use fur." .

Thai Topiary

A herd of topiary rabbits on the lawn at the king's summer palace in Thailand

Dear Diary…
By Karen The last month has been a busy one at BOING. Nimal has been in & out of hospital & recuperating from his bone crunching seven hour surgery. Now partly the bionic man & happily bouncing around on crutches for the next few months, our bunny litter trays all have to be changed by one person - me! How exhausting to change most of our 22 trays daily (no wonder we need lots of hay & newspaper!!). However, with all these tray changes & used hay, the garden is doing fabulously!! All our paths are now lined & topped with used hay so no more weeds popping up & definitely no mowing!! All the garden beds are benefiting from all that used hay too. Lots of mulch means minimal watering – woo hoo!! The veggies are in pots on the patio in good quality potting mix, getting the water & protection they need (we also have ravenous possums so covers & cages for the veggies are sometimes necessary). Growing chicory was a big hit this month and the celery is back in now for the buns. For us, it’s the tomatoes, cos lettuces & fruits!! We’ve updated our garden website page, so please visit & see some photos – http://www.boingonline.com/our_garden.html We also welcomed two new foster bunnies – Kitty & Bernadette. They arrived after a phone call from a distraught woman looking to rehome her granddaughter’s pets. As we are full up to the ceiling with our own fluffballs, we can only offer advertising but cannot take in new bunnies. As the grandmother did not have a camera, I made a time with her to visit the vacant unit in Ringwood to take some photos of the rabbits. Upon arrival at the unit, it was apparent that this was not going to be a simple photo shoot. Someone had thrown eggs at the front of the unit. The grandma was obviously upset; this was not the first time they had been omeletted. The family had abandoned the unit and taken the two dogs, but the bunnies had been left behind and were only being fed every few days when someone visited. Seeing the squalid conditions these two buns were living in and knowing that there was someone out to seek revenge on the family, I decided that the bunnies would have to come home with me & we would work out housing later! It was surprising to see two unspayed little girls living together and as it turned out it didn’t take long (post spay, with good food, exercise & luxury accommodation) to see that they were barely tolerating each other before WW3 broke out. Kitty, being the rather dim witted fluffball, took her lack of trust & patience out on Bernie and so they were separated for Bernie’s sake. Fortunately Bernie, being the affectionate little girl that she is, has now been adopted by two of our bunny friends.

Kitty & Bernadette in our laundry After recently losing their beloved bunny, Fluff (see dedication), they decided to adopt Bernie (brown bunny on the left) & give her the love & attention that she never had in her previous home. Nick & Karen were two of the first people we ever met that had an indoor bunny. We are so happy that Bernie has a new home with two wonderful & caring people. Kitty on the other hand needs quite a bit of rehabilitation before we try & find her a new home. She doesn’t seem to trust people at all and bites anything and everything. Super cute to look at but watch your fingers (and your nose, as I found out recently when she wrapped her teeth around the end of my nose when I was placing some food in her enclosure)!! Having so many bunnies in our family, we can only take in one boarder bunny at a time now. The lucky bunny that stayed with us this Christmas was Willow. Willow lives in Tasmania but took the boat over, as he required double cataract surgery by an animal eye specialist in Melbourne. Willow was such a good boy & obviously very happy to gain his sight back again. By the time he went home he was very confident and running around like mad which made us feel very happy for him. We’re now looking after Rose. We’ve been looking after Rose for years now & he’s just such a brilliant bun. I’m very impressed with the amount of hay he’s eating now & the wonderful size of his poos (I’m a poo girl!!). With all that moulting that bunnies do over the summer months, we’ve had our hands full with fluff. It’s all over the place but mostly in my eyes & up my nose. Two bunnies (Tinkerbelle & Peanut) both had minor tummy upsets due to their moulting but both buns bounced back after a few hours which was great! Princess is pooing strings of pearls at the moment so we have to keep an eye on her. Talking about Princess! She pushed open her door last week & ended up in the territory of Missy & Charlie. After a nasty scuffle, Princess ended up with a bite in her side & Missy has hurt her toe. There’s now a lock on Princess’s door so that she’ll never be able to open it on her own again! Missy is doing fine & Princess’s injury has nearly healed but what a lesson to learn!! Talking about Missy!! She turns out to be a terrible patient and hates Metacam (pain relief). I now have an injury of my own where Missy’s warning nips turned into a deep bite in my index finger (oh well…. another scar!). We’ve also updated the “our buns” section so you can meet a few extra buns that came to live with us last year. http://www.boingonline.com/our_buns.html

Roger (an illegal bun)
My name is “Mary” (not her real name). I am 21 and live with my partner and a whole array of pets in Queensland. When I first moved here in 2006 I wanted a bunny, but after doing some research I discovered they were illegal and so I forgot the idea. Recently though, earlier this year, I came into contact with a lovely person who rescues rabbits and I met her bunny. I fell in love instantly and gave her my number in case she got any bunnies handed in to her, and lo and behold only a few weeks later I was at her place meeting Roger.

Dedication to Fluff
A determined and much loved rabbit who overcame physical handicaps to enjoy a fun filled life and who was much loved by her family. We will miss you waking us up in the morning, your medication dance and your love of a pat and a feed. You changed our world and brought us into yours. We really miss you. Nick & Karen

Roger was found cold and wet, huddled under a woman's car. Had she not noticed him he would have no doubt been run over :( He was scared and alone, but well kept - he had obviously been someone's pet. The woman who found him had the sense to take him to the rescue person, rather than the government or the RSPCA who are legally bound to destroy him immediately :(and thus he came to us). I was expecting a scared, shy little animal who would need lots of work before trusting us. Not Roger, from the get-go he was the most affectionate, loving little guy who loves snuggling with us and grooming our hands and noses. He loves sultanas and will climb on your face to get them. He has the biggest heart and I love him to pieces. Luckily, although we live in a relatively small unit, most of the house is tiled, so Roger fares pretty well in the heat .. preferring to spend most of the day lying flopped out on the tiles under the couch. He house trained himself within 2 days of being here and now only uses one litter box along with kitty litter we fill it with shredded paper and hay for him to play in, which he loves. He does have an indoor enclosure but he is only in it at night to sleep, although I leave it open for him during the day and sometimes I find him chillin' in there .. it is his safe place. I just wanted to share Roger's story. Even though he is illegal, we love our baby and would do anything for him. We even got a vet here in Brisbane who will treat him, and thus got him desexed and vaccinated a few weeks after getting him. . Queensland is the only state in Australia that bans rabbits as pets. The Queensland Government can legally seize pet rabbits, fine the owners $30,000 & destroy their pet bunny. Please sign our petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/bunny/petition.html

Adopt me!
Who: Where: Rabbit Rescue Wanneroo (Western Australia)

Rabbit Rescue is a not-for-profit organisation run by a mother and daughter team that rehabilitates and rehomes rabbits that have been abandoned, mistreated, or are unwanted. To visit bunnies looking for homes, visit http://www.petrescue.com.au/member/827 Here are two of Rabbit Rescue’s buns currently looking for homes.

Name:

Brandy
Brandy is a very gentle Angora cross bunny. He needs regular brushing to keep his gorgeous coat in good condition. He is 12 weeks old and comes vaccinated. Adoption fee is $35.

Name:

Bandit

Bandit is a sweet dwarf bunny approx 2years old. His adoption fee ($10) includes vaccination and vet check. He is very smoochy but be careful if you have buttons on your clothes when you cuddle him as he likes to nibble them off!

Christmas bunny (Melbourne Rabbit Clinic)
Thanks to everyone who called or emailed about the little bunny that was in need of a new home over Christmas. Apparently she is still too small to be spayed & has been staying with one of the vet nurses. After she has been spayed, we will advertise with a photo for a permanent home.

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