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• • • • • • • • • • • News around the world Myxo is back! When you’re owned by rabbits! Rabbit helps abused woman 2009 Fuzzly Award Munchkin Award Tacoma rabbit saved Bunny sculptures Adopt me! Rabbits: their part in my downfall Life at the Do Hop Inn
Fast-breeding campus bunnies to be sterilized
24 December 2009 – Times Colonist (Canada)
Rabbits milked to help treat stroke victims
17 January 2010 – Adelaidenow.com.au DUTCH scientists have begun creating herds of dairy rabbits to exploit the medical benefits of their milk. The first commercial milking of rabbits, using specially adapted eight-teat machines, is already taking place at a farm in Holland, reported the Sunday Times. The rabbits have been genetically modified to include a human gene, which means their milk contains a protein called C1 inhibitor. C1 helps control inflammation in the body, and a lack of it can be highly damaging. The milk protein is intended to prevent the rejection of transplant organs and tissue damage in survivors of strokes and heart attacks, as well as helping car crash victims who have suffered traumatic bruising to internal organs. C1 can be harvested from human blood and other animal sources, but is expensive to obtain and carries the risk of contamination and infection with viruses such as AIDS or CJD, the human version of mad cow disease. Such issues do not arise with milk from the high-tech rabbit farm. Hilary Longhurst, an immunologist at Barts hospital in London, said: “I am really excited. This therapy will transform the lives of sufferers.” Further farms are expected to open to meet demand. Sijmen de Vries, the chief executive of Pharming, the biotech company behind the project, said: "“There is a great unmet need for this product. We have the capacity to produce it cheaply in unlimited quantities.” A contented New Zealand white rabbit can produce 140ml of milk per day. (This is not good news! It’s experimental and just another means of abusing rabbits in laboratories behind closed doors.
Dozens of rabbits hopping around Canada’s University of Victoria's campus will be trapped, sterilized and relocated starting early in the new year. UVic has chosen Common Ground, a wildlife damagecontrol company, to launch a pilot project to test humane ways to relocate about 150 feral rabbits said to pose a hazard on the campus's athletic fields. Once the first small group of rabbits is captured -- possibly in food traps or by being penned in, for example -- the animals will be examined by veterinarians, sterilized, and sent to some type of animal sanctuary, according to Richard Piskor, director of UVic's office of occupational health, safety and environment. "This does not involve any re-releases of the rabbits on any public property." UVic blames its wild rabbit population on "irresponsible pet owners" who abandoned the animals on campus. Rabbits can start breeding at six months and have a gestation period of about 31 days. The day they deliver an average of three new baby bunnies (kits), they can start breeding again.
PETA Features Michelle Obama In AntiFur Ad
5 January 2010 – The Huffington Post (US)
When you know you’re owned by rabbits
By Paige Only my bunny friends will get this. I was standing in the queue at the supermarket and there was a packet on the opposite counter that caught my eye. My first excited thought was, "Oh isn't that wonderful, they are making something to promote healthy digestion in bunnies" thinking that I read "New! Healthy Cecal Bars, to promote digestive health."
WASHINGTON — The fur is flying over a new ad campaign by an animal rights group the White House says is using first lady Michelle Obama's image without her permission. The president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Ingrid Newkirk, said her organization wouldn't have sought Mrs. Obama's consent for the anti-fur ad because it knows that she can't make such an endorsement. PETA included the first lady in its Washington ad campaign based on White House confirmation that she does not wear fur. Mrs. Obama appears in the ad with celebrities Oprah Winfrey, Carrie Underwood and Tyra Banks – three others who have shunned fur. The ads are appearing in Washington's Metro stations, magazines and PETA's Web site.
When I said it to my husband, he looked at me as if I were nuts and said "WHAT?" It actually read “Healthy Cereal Bars” That's when you certainly KNOW you are owned by bunnies! (note: the picture above is not a real product!)
Rabbit Shaped Paper Clips
Myxomatosis is back
Myxo is being reported all over Australia at present. Myxo is spread by biting insects (fleas & mosquitoes) or contact with an infected rabbit. Be particularly careful this summer if you house your rabbits outside or let them have a run in the backyard. If you have outside permanent housing, ensure that you insect proof all open areas. This is as simple as buying a roll of insect screen from a hardware store & stapling or taping it to the enclosure. If you let your rabbits outside for a run, avoid early morning or late afternoon when mosquitoes are most active.
It looks rather like a Tic-Tac case full of bunnies! The clips work great holding papers, but they also make fantastic findings for inexpensive jewelry projects, or the perfect embellishment for scrapbooking and card-making projects celebrating our long eared friends.
Price: $7.99 Buy from:
Rabbit helped woman survive domestic abuse
16 December 2009 – USA today In November, Joy Gioia, head of the St. Louis chapter of the House Rabbit Society, which takes in and re-homes some of the growing number of pet rabbits landing in animal shelters, got a heartbreaking call. It was from a woman who'd been abused by her husband for a very long time and had finally screwed up her courage in October to flee … with nothing but her rabbit.
A volunteer went to collect Ruby on a cold day. The woman she found clutching a rabbit wore no coat; her one blanket was wrapped around the animal. The scars from years of beatings were obvious, the bruises from the last one faded but unmistakable. Ruby, the woman said, had been her only reason for surviving. It was painful beyond words for her to give up the companion that had meant so much to her for every minute of the four years they'd spent together. But she did it. Ruby Angel is now safe, basking in loving attention at a foster home. Her front teeth, knocked out by the woman's husband in one of his rage-filled moments, have grown back. (Rabbits' teeth grow continually.) But that's not the end of this story. There are at least two holiday-season wonders connected to the events that transpired after that cold-day phone call. Because Ruby gave a desperate woman hope, now, perhaps, she can move forward through a violence-free future. She's working hard on making that happen. The woman's escape timing was fortunate for Ruby, too. The rabbit was saved not just from more abuse, but from cancer. When Ruby was spayed two weeks ago, as is the practice when HRS accepts rabbits, she was found to have uterine cancer. The cancer had not yet spread, so Ruby has a future. But miracles have a way of snowballing forward, and this one seems to have done just that. The woman's story inspired members of the House Rabbit Society in St. Louis to help others like Ruby's owner. They've collected vast amounts of clothing and other necessities for the women who seek crisis-center refuge, often with children, usually without notice or means or a single possession. The numbers are escalating, and the center has an ever-growing need for the essentials that allow the residents a little dignity. Things such as toothpaste and a decent sweater. Every few days, HRS volunteers have been delivering mounds of donations. "So many women will benefit from Ruby Angel's story," says Gioia. "She has truly touched peoples' hearts." And the outpouring has meant the world to the women and children at the shelter. "This kind of support is just wonderful," says shelter director Jessica Brandon. There's yet another twist. The woman who stepped forward to care for Ruby, unbeknownst to society members, had escaped domestic violence herself. She and her family will give the rabbit a loving home while Ruby's owner tries to extricate herself from the horrors of her history and set a new course. If she's unable to take Ruby back, the bunny's current home will become permanent, a place where she'll always be warm, well-fed and loved. Which is how it should be for a rabbit who has already inspired so much goodness for so many people.
She'd lived on the streets for a time, she told Gioia, making do with handouts. When food was scarce, she made sure there was enough for the dark-furred bunny she had named Ruby Angel because the white mark on her nose resembled an angel. Every night, when they were huddled in the dark, the woman would stare at the angel shape on the rabbit's nose, something that, for some reason, gave her hope. She'd found a place to hole up. There was no heat or running water, but there was a roof and four walls. The gashes and bruises from the last beating were beginning to heal. She was feeling a little more secure, a little more capable of thinking ahead to more than just the next morning. But when a sudden cold snap hit, she knew there were time pressures that couldn't be ignored. She worried about the rabbit — her only friend, really — wouldn't survive months of hard winter. She had to figure out a way off the streets, something more permanent. She had contacted a crisis center for abused and battered women and saw the place as something of a beacon, a chance to start a new life, but the center doesn't accept pets. And that's why she was calling the rabbit rescue group that day. She'd take the crisis-center opportunity, she told Gioia over the phone, only if Gioia could provide a haven for Ruby Angel. If not, she'd stay on the streets and do her best to keep herself and the rabbit safe and warm. "House Rabbit Society chapters rarely accept pet rabbits from individuals because there are so many abandoned, homeless rabbits facing euthanasia at animal shelters needing to be rescued," Gioia says. "There is always a waiting list" for foster care. This, however, seemed a case worthy of exception-making.
BOING Fuzzly Award 2009
The Fuzzly Award is a prize recognizing outstanding achievement in the field of bunny mischief. Each year our bunnies commit any number of stunts and pranks to bamboozle, alarm and amuse us. The best efforts are nominated for the prestigious Gold Fuzzly. The nominees from 2009 are:
And the winner is…
Congratulations to all our nominees, but only one bunny can take home the Gold Fuzzly. And the winner is…
Missy and Charlie
Our old shopping trolley was clapped out and falling to bits, so we got a new one. A nice, sleek, shiny new red one. It was a real beauty, gliding proudly over the bitumen of shopping centre carparks like a Rolls Royce. However, not long after we had got the new trolley we suddenly noticed that it was no longer traveling so smoothly. A quick inspection revealed the cause: Missy and Charlie had eaten the wheels. That’s right, we had made the mistake of leaving our new pride and joy in the dining room at the mercy of those two fluffy rogues and they had spent the night nibbling away the rubber tread! Missy and Charlie are repeat offenders, having been nominated in 2008 for urinating in Karen’s shoe! Will they go one step further this year and bring home the Fuzzly?
for amassing an outstanding portfolio of naughty antics during 2009!
The Munchkin Award recognises websites contributing to positive & responsible care for rabbits. This month we award the Advocate.
Rescued farm bunny Poppy’s exuberance knows no limit and she found plenty of opportunities to create mayhem in our lounge room. She unplugged the light from our terrarium and severed the cord; bit the head off a wooden turtle; punctured a bottle of eye drops; devoured several magazines, ran off with a piece of chocolate, chewed a hole in a library book and, in one of her finest moments, jumped on Karen’s head! I should point out that Karen was lying on the floor at the time, but it still came as a considerable surprise when Poppy launched herself from a standing start, leapt gracefully high in the air and came down with a splat square on Karen’s face, which promptly emitted a resounding shriek!
The Rabbit Advocate is a fantastic website full of fabulous advice, interesting stories & provides excellent help to bunny lovers. We are proud to present the Rabbit Advocate with a Munchkin Award.
“The Beast” showed that she has lost none of her belligerence over the years. Her attempt to tangle with rival heavyweight contender Missy “Bruiser” Fluffy was thwarted by the timely intervention of Karen’s hand between the two would-be combatants. Not to be denied, Princess promptly sank her teeth into the wrist of said hand and held on like a bulldog! Karen had to pick up Princess, still attached by the teeth, and carry her back to her room before she could be dislodged. Judging by the screaming and wailing, it hurt quite a bit…
Doomed Tacoma rabbit becomes world news
22 November 2009 – katu.com TACOMA, Washington US - A local rabbit is attracting lots of attention - and sympathy - from around the globe as word spreads that it is about to be put to death, even though many people have volunteered to give it a home. The Pierce County Humane Society decided to euthanase the rabbit after it bit a shelter volunteer a few days ago, sparking a controversy that has taken on a life of its own. Darcy Webb of the Pierce County Humane Society says Copper's bite was so severe that it has to be euthanased. (The rabbit in the cage behind her is a different bunny that is available for adoption.) Calls and e-mails are coming in from as far away as London, pleading with Pierce County Humane Society Director Kathleen Olson to spare the rabbit's life. But so far the shelter refuses to back down, saying it must euthanase animals that bite – although it has never faced this issue with a rabbit before. The controversy began after the rabbit, named Copper, was taken in by the Humane Society earlier this month. According to shelter officials, the rabbit bit a volunteer in a way that was so harsh that the worker had to go to the emergency room. Copper was quarantined, and Humane Society leaders say it has shown such aggressive behavior, as they describe it, that it has to be euthanased. Now local rabbit rescue groups say the shelter isn't giving a fair chance to the bunny - and they believe the animal should be rehabilitated, instead of killed. "We just feel that he's probably just fine," says Matthew Parsons of Rabbit Meadows, a Redmond-based rescue organization. "It just happens to be an incident that was unfortunate - nothing more than that." But Darcy Webb of the Pierce County Humane Society says Copper's bite was no ordinary case of a nervous bunny nipping at someone. "Rabbits will sometimes bite and break the skin, but not to this degree," she says. "This was pretty amazing. But it is the policy of the Humane Society that an animal that is ... going to cause damage to people, then it can't be released." Shelter officials say the publicity has been so intense that they have hired extra security to make sure shelter workers and volunteers remain safe.
Copper the Rabbit is saved
23 November 2009 – Tacoma news The Humane Society agreed to release Copper to Rabbit Haven Sanctuary. Rabbit Haven, which has worked extensively with the Humane Society in the past, agreed to care for Copper in a sanctuary setting, and it was agreed that this would be the best outcome for him. The Humane Society maintains its policy of not releasing animals who have bitten or who are deemed to be aggressive. However, every animal is considered on an individual basis, and euthanasia is undertaken only after serious consideration. “We are really happy that the staff, volunteers, board members and caring rabbit groups could all work together to bring Copper’s story to a happy end,” said Executive Director Kathleen Olson. “We are also grateful that Rabbit Haven is providing a place for him.”
Copper’s new life at Rabbit Haven
He’s a killer all right!
Copper is settling in and starting to really love life here at Rabbit Haven. He's learning what it means to live in a place where he feels safe, secure, understood, and loved. He is indeed a handful, and will never be a good 'beginner bunny,' but one day we're sure we'll find him the perfect home with an experienced rabbit aficionado who will love his sassy personality as much as we do http://rabbithaven.squarespace.com/successstories/2009/12/20/copper-aka-mr-famous.html
21 December 2009 – The Korea Times
In contrast to the rabbits, Park's egg sculptures, with their realistic eggshell texture, have an air of mystery. “The reason I made these eggs is because when I was in the U.S., I felt like I broke through the shell and came out. But when I went back to Korea, it felt like people kept saying I should go back inside the egg … I already experienced freedom in the U.S., and now I felt like I should hide myself again,'' she said. However, working on the sculptures for the exhibition proved to be a cathartic process for Park. “To thine own self be true' means that no matter what the obstacles, we must stay true to our beliefs and values ― to be honest with ourselves in the face of adversity. No matter how much we may suffer and be beaten, we can always have a rebirth like the phoenix, or in a gentler way, like the rabbit and the egg,'' she said.
Looking at the white and gentle-looking rabbit sculptures inside Art Link gallery, one might be tempted to exclaim, ``How cute!'' For artist Park Ad-jong, the furry animal holds a special meaning for her that does not have anything to do with its cute appearance. ``When people talk about bunnies, they think of rebirth. Bunnies make a lot of babies, so it's about new beginnings. For me, bunnies represent new life. And this is the same for me, it's about starting over and rebirth,'' she told The Korea Times at the Art Link Gallery, Anguk-dong, Jongno, Wednesday. Park is showing her rabbit and egg sculptures at a solo show “To Thine Own Self Be True.'' The title, a line taken from Shakespeare's "Hamlet," is sort of a mantra for the artist, who has had a difficult last two years. As problems weighed heavily on her mind, Park, a professor at Ewha Womans University, decided to work even harder by putting all of her energy into art. “I had some legal problems last year. There were some trust issues with some people at school. (Through my art) I just wanted to say what the truth in life is. I know the truth. God knows the truth, but other people just won't tell the truth,'' she said. In one sculpture, the rabbit is shown with one paw up, as if to say, “Hi.'' But what Park actually intended was to show a scene from a courtroom. ``It's funny that people think the rabbit is saying, `Hi,' but actually it's like being sworn in before the court,'' she said, recalling her own experience in court. To the ordinary observer, the bunny sculptures might have benign, if not, sweet expressions. For Park, the bunnies' expressions range from anger to frustration, reflecting her own emotional turmoil. She added some whimsical touches to them, like a funky pair of eyeglasses or a bow tie. There's also a “sweet'' dark brown rabbit, which Park painted with a thin layer of real chocolate. A sugary scent lingers in the air, almost tempting visitors to pick up a piece of the chocolate candy scattered on the floor.
Location: Melbourne (Pets at Home Plenty Valley)
Louise is 12 months old and is a mixed breed agouti female (she will be desexed before rehoming). She is very inquisitive and always comes running up to you when you enter her enclosure to see what you are up to and try and wrangle some pats. She is quite affectionate and really enjoys her nose being patted. She is used to eating a wide variety of fresh foods and while she was in the store she was very good about using her litter tray. Louise has been fostered out with a client of ours who is very rabbit savvy but unfortunately they are moving and Louise needs to find her forever home. Louise would make a great indoor rabbit and would be good with older children who know how to handle rabbits as she is very playful and affectionate. If you are interested in Louise, please contact Stacey or Kerrie at Pets at Home on (03) 9407 2001 or email email@example.com There is no charge for this rabbit. Stacey & Kerrie are just interested in finding Louise the best home
Rabbits: their part in my downfall
Isabelle, Lulu, Poppy and Zoe (part 2)
(adopted May 2009) Our four rescued “meat rabbits” had little time to settle in – we wanted to get them desexed as soon as possible and then preferably bonded with each other. At first we had quarantined the new bunnies in outdoor enclosures, but after they were spayed we brought them indoors to recuperate in the warmth. It was apparent when they were operated on that all four of the girls had given birth to multiple litters – in other words, they had been used to churn out babies that were taken away to be fattened up and eventually served on a plate in some pretentious restaurant or on a Styrofoam tray in a “gourmet” butcher shop. Isabelle, Lulu and Zoe were done first and Poppy followed a week later. After their surgery Isabelle and Zoe seemed to be on good terms and were able to share the run of our kitchen and laundry, while Lulu was at first relegated to the less salubrious environs of our toilet! Lulu was as nervous as ever and reluctant to engage in any social discourse with either rabbits or humans. She fled from sight whenever we entered the toilet, but while our attentions were occupied elsewhere she was emboldened to emerge from behind the throne to nibble our shoes! Indeed, nibbling was very much on the agenda for these former farm girls. They had lived all their lives in metal cages and now suddenly found themselves surrounded by all manner of organic objects. The desire to investigate this wondrous new world was irresistible and the bunnies threw themselves teeth-first into a frenzy of exploratory chewing! Doors, cornices, shoes, towels, yoga mats, books, magazines, my wooden walking stick – everything was sampled and apparently it all tasted good! When Poppy was spayed we moved her into the laundry, which was divided from the kitchen by a moveable barrier. Isabelle and Zoe had the run of most of the kitchen, except for the far end, which was barricaded off to provide a separate spot for Lulu. This subdivision of our kitchen created an impediment to movement within our house that persists to this day. Now, instead of taking the few steps required to walk from kitchen to bathroom, one must follow a circuitous route through the dining room, living room and hallway and, given the number of barriers that often obstruct this path, it is sometimes an easier journey to go outside via the back door, around the side of the house, in through the front door and down the hallway – all to get to a spot that I had been only 2 metres away from in the first place*! *Since I wrote this, Karen has replaced the kitchen barrier with a gate. It may be that she was shamed into doing so by reading this article – I certainly like to think so!
My outrage at being forced to engage daily in numerous partial circumnavigations of our property was soon overshadowed by the realisation that all was not well with our new bunnies. It turned out that Poppy and Zoe both had infections at the site of their spay surgery. This was a new one for us. Over the years we must have had over two dozen bunnies desexed, the majority of them girls, without encountering any problems. Now suddenly we had two with post-surgical infections. It seemed unlikely that this was a coincidence – could it be that the appallingly inhumane conditions of the factory farm had predisposed these bunnies to infection? Zoe and Poppy were put on antibiotics, but the infections had resulted in internal abscesses that would have to be removed surgically. Zoe went in first and her surgery appeared to have been successful. However, when we got her home she seemed listless and within half an hour she was gone. Zoe’s death seemed to us to be a great injustice. What had been the point of liberating her only to have her die just three weeks later? It felt so unfair that her freedom was so short lived. But then, it was hardly fair that her only alternative was to be used as a meat-producing machine until, exhausted, she suffered the same fate as her children. We were determined that Poppy, of whom we had become especially fond, would survive to live a long and happy life. However, we were not given great cause for optimism when Poppy’s surgery was postponed because she was found to have a heart murmur. She stayed on antibiotics for a few weeks but eventually we had to take the risk of surgery to remove the abscess. Luckily, she came through it with flying colours. Meanwhile Lulu (left), while not exhibiting any signs of infection at the site of her surgery, started having episodes of illness. Usually we would find her in the morning, hunched up and looking uncomfortable. We would open the kitchen door and let her out into the hallway and living room to try and encourage her to run around. Eventually she would perk up and return to her usual madcap self. Lulu’s bouts of illness persisted and she too ended up on antibiotics. I’d love to be able to say that Isabelle had been completely free from any problems during all this, but the fact of the matter is she had snuffles and regularly sneezed her way around the kitchen. She also experienced the most prolific case of ear mites we have ever seen. And so the trials and tribulations of the ex-farm bunnies would continue, culminating in a bloodless coup that saw Poppy and Lulu seize control of our house and our lives… To be continued…..
Life at the Do Hop Inn
By Karen Happy New Year everyone! It’s been a busy month at the Do Hop Inn. Holiday buns have been coming and going, Pancake is still with us and Pumpkin has had his abscess removed. Our most recent issue has been picking up a bunny that was rescued from the cooking pot. The little ginger bun was bought from a market with the intention that he was to become dinner at some stage. Well, two years on and the family who bought him apparently changed their minds (though we can only guess there have been others in between). Maybe this little ginger bunny was too cute? Perhaps the little ginger bunny was too scrawny and never gained enough weight? Perhaps the family kept the bunny too long and became attached? Who knows???? Anyway, after juggling a few phone calls & arranging a rendezvous in the streets of Melbourne, the little bunny is now living with us. He’s a cutie but his fur is badly matted, his nails are very long and he has an irritation under his chin. His veterinary checkup revealed that he’s pretty good otherwise and his teeth aren’t too bad (even though he has a number of uneven teeth around the front, indicating a bad diet, the back teeth are not bad). Funnily enough, I originally thought the bunny was a girl but it turns out that she’s a he as the stress of his previous life caused his testicles to go north. Hopefully with some love and a better diet, the little bun’s testicles will venture further south soon! We’re planning on looking after the bunny in the meantime and will book him in for desexing when he’s ready.
Our Mr Pumpkin (left) has had his neck abscess surgically removed (after an altercation with Izzy the “tank”). He’s much happier but it did take him a few days to get over the surgery. The lovely Dr Kay at the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic looked after our Pumpkin and she said that the abscess came out very neatly as it was localised.
Pancake (right) has been struggling with her kidney failure for three months now. She’s very thin and her back legs have mostly given out. We really don’t know how long she’ll be with us and whether we’ll need to intervene but she’s still enjoying her treats and eats her greens and hay. She seems okay but her quality of life is fairly limited.
Rexie (back) & Tessa (front) A bit of great news…..we have a new glamour couple!!!! Tessa & Rex (small little netherland boy that was surrendered to us last year) are now an item!!! Rex is the cutest & friendliest little guy who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Tessa is a little more nervous and has rejected all other attempts at bonding her with other buns. Rexie and Tessa have been living next to each other for months and the day came to introduce them in person. Rexie tried his best to hump Tessa but with his one disabled leg, he fortunately couldn’t keep up with her. Tessa realised that Rexie really wasn’t too much of a threat & before long the two of them were living a contented life together. It’s really sweet seeing them bonded finally. One change has been in Tessa’s eating habits. Alone she was never interested in greens but as Rexie is a real foodie, she has been running to the greens & sharing the meal, otherwise he’ll eat it all!
We’re calling the little guy Ginger at the moment and he should be ready for adoption by the end of February. If anyone is interested in adopting this little bun and can give him a permanent and loving home where he can be appreciated and loved, please let me know. Preferably, we would only be looking for indoor accommodation where there are no small children or dogs.
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