The Bunologist

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Feb/March 2010
• • • • • • • • A wee problem! Adopt me! Compassion Art Day Help for nervous or aggressive rabbits Myxo & calici – the facts Life at the Do Hop Inn Rabbits: their part in my downfall Sleeping with rabbits

What’s News?
Melbourne Bunny Get-together
Where: Vegie Bar, Brunswick When: Sunday 11 April Time: 12pm onwards

Police shoot bear for eating pet rabbit
24 February 2010 – news.com.au NEW YORK: Police have shot a 181kg black bear after it ate a pet rabbit in a resident’s backyard in New Jersey. The rabbit had been roaming free in the screened porch and didn’t stand a chance against the predator. The resident called police who shot the bear dead.

Want to meet other bunny lovers and brag about your bunnies?? Then come along to the Vegie Bar, have a The Department of Environmental Protection said, “During piece of carrot cake or munch on some lunch! Let us the cooler months bears have difficulty finding their natural know if you would like to join us. prey so they go after small animals, livestock and
sometimes garbage”.

RSVP: Wednesday 7 April Email: Karen @ askboing@bigpond.com

Speed-dating sessions for bunnies
1 March 2010 – dnaindia.com NEW YORK: Dating is no longer restricted to humans, for bunnies are now practicing the same, thanks to New York’s Rabbit Rescue and Rehab. Two bunnies, Phyllis and Irving, met through Rabbit Rescue and Rehab's dating sessions and now live happily together at home in Manhattan. "They groom each other and snuggle together, and when I announce mealtime, they run around and leapfrog over each other with excitement," the New York Daily News quoted freelance writer Kristen Ott, owner of the rescued rabbits, as saying. Cindy Stutts, a volunteer at Rabbit Rescue and Rehab, the New York chapter of the House Rabbit Society, said that rabbits can live perfectly happy lives as singles, but the social animals prefer being in pairs. Since rabbits are territorial, there is a better chance of having a happily bonded pair if the bunny gets to choose his own partner. Stutts holds speed-dating sessions in a neutral territory and monitors body language to assess if the bunnies, who are all spayed and neutered, are getting along. Grooming and eating together is a sign of instant attraction, but instant aggression means the date is over.

Polish documentary gives rabbit’s view of Berlin Wall
26 February 2010 – yahoo news WARSAW, Poland – Among this year’s Oscar nominees is a Polish film that tells the history of the Berlin Wall from an unexpected point of view – that of thousands of wild rabbits who inhabited the death strip between East & West Berlin. “Rabbit a la Berlin”, nominated for best documentary short, tells the little-known story of a rabbit colony that flourished for the 28 years of the Wall’s existence, a patch of paradise with abundant grass that remained predator-free thanks to the heavily fortified walls on each side. Yet the film is an allegory, with the rabbits in the role of communist-era East Germans, Poles and others who lived day in and day out in an enclosed world that stripped them of freedom but took care of them, providing each individual with equal access to nourishment and a small but safe burrow. When the Wall fell in 1989, a new world opened up to the rabbits. They were suddenly free to roam far and wide but they were also hounded, hunted and served up roasted in restaurants. Many grew homesick for their old meadow in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. Today, wild rabbits still inhabit the bustling, reunited German capital but in much smaller numbers.

A Wee Problem
by Maureen, Launceston, Tasmania A wonderful thing happened to me about a year and a half ago, I was asked by a local shelter to foster a baby bunny until he was old enough to be adopted out. I arrived home with a tiny bundle of black fur not much bigger than the palm of my hand. He was two weeks old, I named him Elliot, and it never once crossed my mind to give him back. Elliot spent the first few weeks of his new life with us, tucked warmly and safely down the front of my very tolerant husband’s shirt. He didn’t seem to like my shirt nearly as much as my husband’s, I suspect my squishy bits were too much competition for space. Although we pampered and spoiled this little bun he didn’t grow very much and still remains, maybe not quite as tiny, but certainly a very small bundle of fur and we love him to bits. In our household we have five other rescue buns who all get on very well and sleep in the kitchen area (under the heatpump/aircon) and pretty much have the run of the house. Unfortunately Elliot took an instant dislike to every single one of them and refused to even sleep near them, he preferred to rest on the seat of our large dining alcove as near to humans as possible without actually sitting on our lap. Our house is small and there are few options for a bunny to have space for himself, and even though we put Elliot’s night time house away from the other buns bedtime was a constant drama. When it was time to sleep he’d simply run away from me and believe me I’d get puffed way before he did. One night in sleep deprived desperation I moved his toys into our bedroom and made a little bed for him under my dressing table. He was instantly happy and within two days he’d worked out a routine that suited him perfectly. During the day he’d sleep in his bed and during the night he’d sleep on ours. During the day he’d use his litter tray and during the night he’d simply wee on the bed. A word of advice, if this ever happens to any of you, it is possible to successfully wash a queen-size feather doona in a regular sized washing machine (thank God!). Despite the time consuming doona washing I really wanted to work with Elliot on his wee problem because we absolutely loved having him on our bed at night. He’d contentedly stretch out between the two of us, and there is nothing nicer than being woken by bunny whiskers tickling your cheek or a twitching nose pushing up your sleep mask. Even when my fingers became seriously water-pruned I remained undaunted. I decided to study his night time behavior hoping I could figure out a solution, because oddly Elliot is usually a bit of a neat freak. He stacks his toys in a corner, carries any stray pieces of hay back to the litter tray and keeps his blankets smooth and wrinkle free. He’s so particular he actually gets upset and mock charges me if he catches me touching his things.

So, armed with a torch I tried to stay awake long enough to understand what was going on in his funny, little furry head. A couple of times I almost found myself slipping into a lack of sleep induced version of David Attenborough...‘and then the rabbit shifted slightly to the left and this was the moment we’d been waiting for. If you look carefully you can see…’ And the result of my torch light nocturnal observations? Whilst he was obviously happy sleeping in the middle of the bed, once the light went off he seemed a bit nervous of the edges of the bed. Our bedroom’s not overly dark and mistakenly I’d assumed he could see well enough to make his way about, I was completely wrong. The poor little thing was weeing on the bed because he was unsure about jumping down off the bed in the dim light. Feeling like the worst bunny mother in the world, the next night I placed some pet steps at the foot of the bed and aimed a night light in their direction. While it was still daylight I played a few fun games with Elliot using treats as a reward until we were both confident he would be able to easily negotiate the steps during the night. Now Elliot happily sleeps wherever he likes in our bedroom, but if he has to ‘go’ during the night and he’s on the bed he hops down the steps and heads for his litter tray. The thing with bunnies is their lack of meowing or barking means we have to find other ways to understand and communicate with them. But just by spending a few minutes each day watching how these intensely curious, loving animals interact with the things around them can not only enrich your relationship with them, but also sooth your soul like few other things can. Now all I need to work on is his maniacal, doona hopping/binky bounces in the middle of the night. Nah, truthfully, I love it. My little bunny, Elliot, has me going to sleep with a smile on my face and waking up with a big grin.

Elliot enjoying his snooze on the bed

Adopt me!
Frank Location: Melbourne

New bunny at Edgar’s Mission
http://www.edgarsmission.org.au WILLOWMAVIN, Victoria: Jaime Rabbit is a beautiful white rabbit with a very familiar story - one time carers tired of her and left her to languish in a small barren cage with little to do. Jaime Rabbit now lives at Edgar’s Mission and was named in honour of young Edgar's Mission volunteer Jaime Stroud who was tragically killed in a car accident in January.

Frank is a five year old undesexed dwarf lop. He roams freely during the day and goes in his hutch at night. He is besotted by our two dogs and loves to greet you at the gate when you arrive home. He is used to eating a wide variety of fresh foods as well as grazing in the back yard. I would love to find him a home where he has a safe space to roam during the day. Unfortunately one of our dogs is getting frail and grumpy as she gets older and doesn't tolerate Frank too well. If you would like to give Frank a home please contact Kat at kathi.woods@optusnet.com.au

Come along to the next open day at Edgar’s Mission & meet Jaime Bunny!

Compassion Art Day 2010
Sunday 18 April 11am – 4pm Edgar’s Mission 365 McHarg’s Road, Willowmavin (via Kilmore) ph: 0408 397 301
www.edgarsmission.org.au Celebrate Edgar Allen Pig’s 7 birthday and see great artwork and photos of animals on display. Even if you don’t enter, come & meet the friendly rescued farm animals, farm tours, enjoy a vegan bbq, listen to music & hear from cool special guests.
th

Entry is free.
Clarence the Super-Spy now lives at www.clarencethesuperspy.blog.com where there are lots of cool photos, spy bunny recipes, past stories and news. You can also subscribe for the Clarence stories sent to you monthly. See you there!
Are you a budding artist who loves to paint, draw or photograph your bunny? Then you are welcome to enter submissions for Edgar’s Mission Compassion Art Day!! To enter, please download a compassion art day entry form here & show everyone how much you love your bunny!!
http://www.edgarsmission.org.au/Compassion_Art_Day_2010_ENTRY_form.doc

Newspapers wanted!!!
Do you have any newspapers??? Are you located in Melbourne??? We need you… & your newspapers! Please contact Karen at askboing@bigpond.com

Help for nervous and aggressive rabbits
By animal behavourist, Dr Anne McBride “Rabbiting On” – Autumn 2009 Aggression is a set of normal behaviours that an animal displays when it is attempting to protect itself or aspects of its environment – such as its food, its home or its mate. It is made up of a sequence of warning behaviours such as stiffening, growling and biting. Breed & individual differences If you compare breeds of rabbit there are differences in the way in which they tend to react to the world around them. Many of the larger breeds, such as the New Zealand White or Californian are more “laid back” – that is less reactive than small breeds such as the Netherland Dwarf. This is due in part to the larger breeds having been bred for temperament as well as conformation. Originally used as meat, for fur and in laboratories, these larger breeds needed to be able to cope with the activities and noise associated with cleaning, feeding and handling and thus animals which were more passive, less reactive and less aggressive were those chosen to breed from. Such selective breeding for temperament has not been such a priority for the breeders of the small breeds where the animal’s colouring and conformation have often been of more importance. In addition, as well as breed characteristics, each individual rabbit will have its own genetic make up and thus even within a single litter some individuals will be more reactive than others. In addition to a rabbit’s genetic make up, its early experiences will also affect its adult behaviour and the level of nervousness it shows. It is known that early experiences and environment can have effects that influence an animal throughout its life, for good or bad. Control from the environment When an animal, including a human, perceives a situation that may indicate danger it has four options: 1. It can freeze, remaining perfectly still in an attempt to remain unnoticed 2. It can display a range of distracting behaviours 3. It can flee 4. It can fight Rabbits are prey animals and in the wild are predated from the air, ground and even when underground in their warrens. So they have evolved to be very alert to danger. Their first response is to freeze, but should the source of perceived danger come too close then they will flee. Only if there is no route of escape do they tend to fight. A common situation where this may occur is the rabbit who is not comfortable about being handled and will attempt to escape from being picked up by running round its enclosure. It may then turn around and bite, because it cannot get away.

This example can be used to illustrate the role of learning. Should the rabbit learn that trying to flee by running around its enclosure does not in fact stop it from being picked up, but that biting does, then it will learn that biting is successful in that it stops the frightening thing happening to the rabbit. With repeated experience, the rabbit will learn to bite earlier and earlier in the proceedings. Indeed, it may even get to the point that as the enclosure door is opened the rabbit lunges forward, teeth bared like some monster from a horror movie. From the rabbit’s point of view, aggression is an effective means of avoiding something it finds frightening. It will show aggression earlier and earlier as it becomes more confident in the effectiveness of the strategy. From the human point of view the rabbit will appear to be very confident and it may be that they do not consider that underlying this “show of aggressive bravado” is a frightened animal. Resolving fear related problems First, any medical factors must be ruled out by a veterinary examination: for rabbits this may include examination of the teeth and even an xray if any problems relating to the back, for example, are indicated. If a rabbit is in pain when picked up, it is not going to be possible to teach it new, pleasant associations with being handled until the pain is removed. A full case history of the rabbit’s whole life is needed, including its early environment. Full observation needs to be made of the rabbit’s behaviour in both the presence and absence of the situation and the stimuli that cause the fear. This is particularly difficult with rabbits as they have very subtle signals of communication. The rest of the article kind of waffled on without any real action or suggestions! We suggest starting small with your goals. Not all bunnies will become super friendly but most will learn in time that you are their best friend. They may never learn to like other people they don’t know but they certainly can learn to love you with gentle treatment. We find that spending lots of time with anxious or nervous rabbits on ground level without any patting, grabbing or lifting helps them to learn trust. Gradually you can offer treats and over time touch the rabbit and stroke their fur. You may notice that your rabbit is nervous or anxious about being touched on a certain part of its body (eg. the lower back). This may depend on your bunny’s previous life and what trauma may have occurred before they came to live with you. Always talk in a quiet & gentle voice to your bunny and keep your hands & fingers away from an anxious bun. A nervous or anxious rabbit can bite, lunge or attack when feeling under threat. They don’t mean to hurt their new adoptive parents, but it can be the behaviour they have learnt from their previous home to stop someone picking them up. As far as the bunny is concerned, “if it works, keep doing it!” It takes time to get to know your bunny and it takes time for your bunny to get to know you. (BOING)

Myxomatosis
Myxomatosis is a lethal disease that has no vaccination in Australia at present. The disease was introduced to Australia in an attempt to eradicate introduced wild rabbits. Myxomatosis is transmitted between rabbits by fleas, mosquitoes and in the air (across short distances). Mortality rates are as high as 96-100%. As there is no cure or vaccination at present for Myxomatosis in Australia, the only means of prevention is to use flea and mosquito control. Ways to reduce chances of myxomatosis: • • • house your rabbit indoors do not exercise your rabbit outside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active insect proof all outdoor accommodation

Calicivirus is a highly contagious virus and up to 90% of affected rabbits may die. Calicivirus is easily transported on clothes, shoes, carriers, people, dogs, predators, tyres, birds, bowls and enclosures, etc. The virus is also hardy, surviving both heat & cold. Rabbits that are kept inside are also prone to catching the disease if not vaccinated. The virus itself is very resilient and lasts a long time in the environment. Ensuring your rabbits are kept in a hygienic environment is imperative to preventing the spread of the virus. Large numbers of rabbits kept in small enclosures are at risk. Ways to reduce chances of calici virus: • • • • 2 initial vaccinations 2-4 weeks apart revaccinate your rabbit every 12 months house your rabbit indoors if you have been in contact with an infected rabbit, disinfect hands & clothes/shoes before touching your own bunny insect proof all outdoor accommodation

Clinical signs of infection occur 2-10 days after infection. The initial signs of myxomatosis in rabbits are swollen eyelids, ears & genitals. Death normally follows 12-14 days after contracting the disease. All housing, bedding, trays and human clothing that has been in contact with the infected rabbit should be carefully disinfected. Any new rabbits should not be brought to the house for at least 4 months after the occurrence of myxomatosis.

Infected households should remain empty from rabbits for at least two weeks during warmer weather and two months in colder seasons.

In short:
• • • • • If you have wild rabbits in your area, there is a very high chance of calici Calici is very easily transferable on clothes or shoes Large numbers of rabbits housed together can succumb to calici without any initial symptoms There is a yearly vaccination Calici is very contagious and there is no cure

In short:
• • • • If you have wild rabbits in your area, there is a very high chance of myxo There is no cure and no vaccination in Australia Myxo is very contagious Victoria is suffering one of its worst seasons of myxo this year

Calicivirus
Calicivirus is a viral hemorrhagic disease that was accidentally introduced to Australia in 1996. It is a fatal disease but there is a yearly vaccination available. Calicivirus can appear in three ways: Peracute – rabbit dies quickly & unexpectedly Acute – bunny becomes lethargic, depressed and off food. Bunny dies in the space of 1-2 days, shows uncoordination and signs of pain before death. May show clear or bloodstained nasal froth or discharge & suffer high temperatures. Subacute or transient – rabbit may show signs of illness and then recover with lasting immunity. These rabbits become carriers of the virus and shed the virus through urine and faeces for 30 days (& possibly longer). This form is most commonly seen in rabbits less than 4 months of age.

New calici strains set to be released
16 February 2010 – ABC news Graziers in parts of western Queensland say rabbit numbers are the biggest they have seen in more than a decade. Henning Kath, from Mount Leonard Station near Beetoota in the state’s south-west corner, says calici virus nearly killed off the rabbit population in the late 1990s, but the subsequent drought did not stop the numbers from building up again. Rabbit researcher Glenn Saunders from the New South Wales Invasive Animals CRC says scientists are working on a new biological control. “What we are going to do over the next three years is look at testing and importing new strains of calici virus into Australia as a replacement for the existing strain,” he said. He says up to 10 different strains will be tested to find the most effective control.

Life at the Do Hop Inn
By Karen Sadly, we lost our beloved Pancake last month. Her kidney failure caused huge weight loss and weakness. We were really sad to have to step in & make that horrible decision but it was only a matter of time before she was going to leave us and we didn’t want her to suffer any longer. Ally, Pancake’s long term partner, couldn’t understand why his girlfriend of six and a half years couldn’t walk anymore without assistance or needed a silly rolled up towel to lean on. He would pick up the towel and throw it aside, which didn’t help Pancake, but made him fell like he was helping. On the day we made the decision for euthanasia, we told Ally to give her a kiss goodbye. He kissed & kissed her. When we brought her body home, he kissed & kissed her some more. Ally now has a new roommate to keep him company. We have set up a double barrier between him and Tinkerbelle. Tinkerbelle was once bonded to Pumpkin but since their spat, she has been living a single life. She’s a bit feisty and can be aggressive but she’s already behaving much softer towards Ally as she can see how lovely and friendly he is. We hope they’ll become great friends in the future.

Poppy Popstar has again excelled herself with more naughty antics. She’s obviously aiming for the 2010 Fuzzly Awards already. This last month she bit my upper arm after pushing open a barrier to start a fight with Lulu (both were okay), then she hurt her foot and was limping (still don’t know what happened there but okay now) and then she ate all but two buttons off the remote control (real fun trying to figure out what the buttons do now!). We were very fortunate to recently have the lovely Dr Narelle Walter over to visit all our bunnies and give them all their yearly calici vaccinations. It was quite a task vaccinating everyone but we’re so happy and relieved to know that they are all now safe from such a fatal virus. The moulting season has definitely started on the BOING bunnies! There is fur exploding everywhere! Peanut looked like he was doubling in size as all this fluff was coming out in one go. Our latest rescue bun, Ginger, is doing very well. His loose & matted fur started to come off by itself which was great. I just helped a little. Unfortunately, I don’t think Ginger was at all pleased or comfortable with all the new attention which did cause him a bit of stress. He looks great though & it must be much more comfortable for him.

Ginger after the “great moult of 2010” Ally (left) gets to know Tinkerbelle Our latest couple, Tessie & Rex, are doing fabulously well. Tessie has been showing her dominant side lately but they are just wonderful little buddies. It’s so wonderful to see Rex with a girlfriend as he had never had a bunny buddy before in the 6 years before coming to live at BOING and he’s besotted with Tessie. She loves to snuggle and rest her head on Rex’s back. The recent giant hailstones that plummeted down in Melbourne recently were something we hoped would not upset the bunnies. Luckily, they all took it in their stride without a care in the world. Novelty factors this month included a visit to the White Rabbit Brewery in Healesville. If you like dark ale (naturally brewed and no additives), lots of bunny references and soft squishy couches, you’ll love this place http://www.whiterabbitbeer.com.au/The-Brewery/ Just so happens, you can also get a wonderful Shiraz from Bunn Vineyard in Western Australia. This wine is really nice, all naturally fermented and contains no additives or preservatives! This wine can be found at selective bottle shops (or request it!).

Tessie & Rex snuggling

Rabbits: their part in my downfall
By Nimal

Isabelle, Lulu, Poppy and Zoe (part 3)
Adopted May 2009 The loss of Zoe had been a depressing setback in our plans to rehabilitate the rescued farm bunnies. Now with Poppy recovering from abdominal surgery, Lulu on antibiotics for an unspecified complaint and Isabelle sneezing and snotting all over the place, the futures of the three survivors seemed far from assured. Zoe’s demise had also broken the only partnership we had managed to establish, that between her and Isabelle. Of the remaining bunnies, Poppy seemed to have a dominant, forceful character that did not bode well for her chances of bonding with another rabbit, while Lulu’s erratic behaviour – nervous and nutty in equal measures – also did not seem suited to a settled relationship. Isabelle was clearly the most calm and docile of the three - or so we thought. Our attempt to introduce Izzy to Pumpkin ended with our resident bachelor boy receiving a particularly nasty bite that eventually required surgery! So the three big beauties remained single and their own individual personalities shone through. Isabelle was a laid-back sloth, a great square-headed lunk of a thing who stretched out lazily across our kitchen tiles, happily blocking off access to the fridge or putting herself right in line with the oven door. We gave her an old washing basket, turned upside down with a doorway cut in the side. Izzy loved to snooze inside her basket. Sometimes her big square head would emerge from the opening and she would blink up at us blearily like a giant pink-eyed wickerwork turtle. Occasionally the “turtle” would hump and bump its way across the kitchen floor! Izzy’s other favourite spot was our paper-recycling box, where she liked to nestle down among the supermarket receipts, advertising brochures and mushroom bags. There was only one thing that got Isabelle well and truly fired up: food. She loved it and couldn’t get enough, munching her way through vast quantities of hay and vegetables, which she industriously converted into poops the size of cannonballs! Lulu’s persona alternated between highly relaxed and highly on edge, with very little in between. She had a habit of lying in the most uncomfortable-looking, contorted positions, her body going one way and her head the other, half propped up on the side of her tray or twisted awkwardly around in her box. If she had been a human she’d probably have been the type to wear a hair shirt and sleep on a bed of nails. When Lulu started having bouts of illness that made her feel unwell in the mornings, we took to opening the kitchen door to let her run down the hallway and into the lounge room. This gave us the opportunity to appreciate the full extent of her insanity. She would scream down the hallway, sliding around corners and crashing into walls and furniture with alarming force. In between these kamikaze runs Lulu would pause to pose picturesquely atop some suitable vantage point – on top of her box, or at the summit of the pile of pillows that had been stacked up like the fortifications of a castle in an attempt to stop her from worming her way behind the couch.

Karen warmed to Lulu very quickly, but I found her a particularly hard bunny to figure out. When I approached her I never knew if she was going to cringe and flee or leap forward to attack my shoes, and I wondered if she was psychologically damaged by her time at the factory farm. Then one day Lulu discovered that she liked being patted on top of her head. This seemed to be a life-changing revelation for this troubled bunny. Now she will make a beeline for an outstretched hand, lying quietly as long as the top of her head is gently stroked. Withdraw your hand and she will follow it, ending up with her head resting tenderly on your leg, eyes closed in a state of total bliss. As for Poppy, or “Pop Star” as we took to calling her, there was never any doubt about her true nature. Outgoing and vivacious, she had a talent for mischief rivaled by very few bunnies. Unfortunately, this exuberance was occasionally curtailed by a malady of unknown cause that struck intermittently – usually manifesting itself in the mornings. You could tell she was unhappy, squirming about and shifting position frequently, in obvious discomfort. We thought she might have been straining to urinate, although a test cleared her of urinary infection. Increasingly we began to bring Poppy out of the laundry and into the lounge room where there was more room for her to run. This seemed to have positive results and soon she would be performing the most outrageous binkies, complete with headshakes and sidekicks, before throwing herself into an attack on Karen’s collection of magazines. We began leaving Poppy out in the lounge overnight in order to circumvent her early morning blues. Week by week Poppy was spending less and less time in the laundry until, by degrees, it became the case that the lounge was now her home. This was great for Poppy, but less welcome for our other bunnies, who now found that their lounge room access privileges had been greatly reduced. Lulu’s area had already been expanded to include not only her end of the kitchen but the bathroom and hallway. Now that Poppy had laid claim to the lounge room, these two bunnies had taken over half the house between them! I couldn’t quite figure out how or why this had been allowed to happen. I mean, these guys had come from a place where they were kept behind metal bars in little boxes with barely room enough to turn around. Compared to this, our laundry was luxury five star accommodation – yet here they were flagrantly demanding more! I deemed it outrageous, but at the end of the day anything was better than seeing these bunnies sick and unhappy, so we had no choice but to make the best of the new arrangements. I suggested to Karen that we might as well have the title of our house transferred to co-owners Poppy Pop-Star and Loony Lulu! Although taking on the rescued bunnies put additional pressure on our requirements for space and money for vet bills, hay and food, we were happy to help in our own small way to contribute to the emancipation of farmed rabbits. Lulu, Poppy and Izzy serve as a constant reminder that there is no difference between the animals we cherish as companions and those that are exploited for food and other uses. As for the practice of factory farming, this evil industry thrives due to the greed, ignorance and indifference of humans – the sooner it is abolished the better.

Name: Poppy

Sleeping with rabbits
By Phyllis O'Beollain (Dayton Small Pets Examiner) Last fall, we were without electricity for over a week due to damages caused by the tail end of Hurricane Ike passing through. As the weather was beautiful (once the 60 mph winds went away) this was more of an inconvenience than a hardship for us. The second night without power, I awakened at 1 a.m. with chills and the suspicion that I was coming down with something. I got another blanket and went back to sleep. A couple hours later I knew I was sick: I was chilled so badly I was shivering. I wrapped up in a thick robe, took some Tylenol and was able to go back to sleep. Oddly enough, after I got up the next morning, I felt fine. I figured the Tylenol must have done the trick. Going to bed that night, I realized the cause of my symptoms: a severe case of non-functioning waterbed heater. The mattress was like ice! I had no choice but to sleep on the sofa. I thought it might be kind of nice, going to sleep surrounded by my sweet house bunnies. HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHA The rave party began about 12:30 am. The rabbits were up all night. They're like little vampires in fur coats. They shook their rattles made of metal canning rings and their giant jingle bells. They picked up their ceramic food and water crocks and banged them on the ground. Repeatedly. They drank noisily from their water bottles and gnawed on their lava rocks. They rearranged the hutch furniture. All. Night. Long. I have gone past the living room at night after lights out, and none of this non-stop party action was going on. Apparently they figured as long as I was in the same room with them, I should be doing something for them: fetching food, handing out treats, petting their heads... It was horrible. After two nights of this, I threw every blanket in the house on top of that cold mattress and slept in my room anyway. Blessed silence! Although, now that I was no longer sleeping in the living room, it had gotten pretty quiet in there.

Nicknames: “Pop Star”, “Big Bird”, “Destructo-bun” Personality: Extrovert, friendly, excitable, mischievous Favourite song: Pop Star by Cat Stevens Favourite food: Better Homes & Gardens magazine

Name: Lulu

Nicknames: “Loony”, “Luli-loo”” Personality: Erratic, sooky Favourite song: Maniac by Michael Sembello (from the movie Flashdance) Favourite food: Shoes

Name: Isabelle

Nicknames: “Izzy”, “The Tank” Personality: Laid back Favourite song: Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood Favourite food: Foooooooood!!!! Gimme gimme gimme!!! More more more!!

I think the old time mobsters had it wrong. I think the saying was, “Don’t double-cross us or you’ll be sleeping with the rabbits”. This newsletter is dedication to our ever happy & enthuasiastic Pancake who lost her battle with kidney failure. We will always miss you, Karen, Nimal & Ally xxxxx

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