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November 2010
• • • • • Life at the Do Hop Inn Medicine time! Summer care World Vegan Day Christmas gift ideas

What’s News?
Tell Donna Karan Executives to Ditch Fur!

A Hutch is not Enough campaign
23 November 2010 –

In the light of the current outcry about a controversial John Lewis television advertisement showing a neglected dog, the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF) is drawing attention to a wider issue: the silent suffering of a much larger number – possibly hundreds of thousands – of pet rabbits. Despite knowing about the suffering that goes into every fur-trimmed coat, hat, and bag, Donna Karan has made the cruel decision to use the skins of dead rabbits in her clothing lines. One of the best ways that you can help animals who are beaten and tortured for their fur is to tell Donna Karan executives that you'll boycott the designer's collections until she stops using fur. Many top designers—including Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Liz Claiborne—have chosen to create wonderful work without using animal fur. Ms. Donna Karan Donna Karan International, Inc. 550 Seventh Avenue New York, NY 10018 phone 212/789-1839 fax 212/789-1856 The ad, which shows a child hanging a Christmas stocking on a kennel for the family dog, kept outside in the snow, has generated support from almost 2500 people on Facebook and a great deal of media interest. The controversy stems from the fact that the dog is kept alone, outdoors, in inadequate accommodation: this, says the RWAF, is the norm for most pet rabbits in the UK, yet pet rabbits are no more suited to this than pet dogs. “Rabbits deserve the same level of responsibility as a dog or a cat, but they are so often the forgotten pet.” Anne Mitchell, who runs the RWAF helpline. agrees. "I receive a huge amount of calls in the winter from distressed owners who have found their rabbit frozen to death in its hutch. People think that because they have fur coats they’re fine in the cold, but the truth is that in the wild they live underground where the temperature only varies a few degrees between winter and summer, in large groups sharing body warmth. Rabbits are not designed to live alone, and they're not designed to live in a small wooden box in the garden." ** This also applies to rabbits in Australia over summer. Death rates of rabbits living outside rises dramatically in hot weather. Please see the article on summer care.

Life at the Do Hop Inn
By Karen We’ve had another busy month. Happily we haven’t lost a bunny this month but gained one instead. This is “Peter”. He’s a little bunny who lost his partner and was looking for a friend. We have taken him in to see if he wants to bond with one of our buns. Currently he’s living next to Stuart (who lost his buddy Peanut) on one side & Isabelle on the other side. Things are going well so far and we hope that Peter finds a friend soon.

We’ve had quite a few hot days recently so it was time to give the angoras a good clipping for the summer. Our clippers are still working well (probably need a new blade) but they are such an excellent piece of equipment when faced with long haired bunnies!!

Missy & Charlie after their haircuts for summer. Still have lots more fur to trim around their tummies & feet!!

Medicine Time
Peter rabbit
Our Ginger buns (far left) needed to visit the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic recently when one night we noticed that he wasn’t able to eat his dinner. He seemed fine but his chin was wet. He tried to chew on his veggies but he just couldn’t and sat under the bed looking quite miserable. We took him to the clinic the next day and it turned out he had a very nasty molar spur. The spur was so pointy that it had cut into his tongue. No wonder he couldn’t eat!! Do you have difficulty giving your bunny medicine?? Does your bunny hate being caught, held and have syringes inserted into their mouths? Here’s an idea that works for us and it could work for you too. If one of our bunnies requires long term medication, we mix the medication into mashed banana (or another fruit) on a little low plate or bowl (bunny size).

This method works only for buns who love fruit and are happy to lick the fruit off a bowl. This is where you can train your bun before they may require medication. As a special treat, mash the fruit of their choice on a little bowl and tempt them to lick it up. In the future, if they then require medication at some point, you can incorporate that into the mashed fruit mix and serve! To see a video of Lulu enjoying her banana & medicine pudding, please visit: Ginger’s molar spur (it’s that really pointy thing). You can see the cut in his tongue next to the spur! It must have been so painful!!
** don’t give banana to a rabbit with kidney problems.

Summer care for your rabbits
by US House Rabbit Society – It is very important to keep an eye on your rabbit during the summer months. Rabbits do not tolerate heat well and can die from being overheated. Each rabbit will tolerate heat differently and it is important to observe your rabbit daily.

What do I do if my rabbit experiences heat stroke?
DO NOT submerge him in cold water. This could place the rabbit in shock. Dampen his ears and body with cool water. GET HIM TO YOUR VETERINARIAN OR EMERGENCY CLINIC IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT WAIT!

What other concerns arise in warm weather?
Fly Strike As the weather warms, flies can strike and kill a healthy animal who has temporary loose stools, but at particular risk are aging, disabled, long-haired or overweight rabbits who are not able to clean themselves. Within 24 hours, rabbits can enter a terminal state of shock due to maggot infestation. Moisture, warmth, and odor attract flies. If open sores are present, or if thick fur is dampened with urine or feces, flies will head toward these warm incubation areas to lay their eggs. The chances are greater if the rabbit is outside, but it only takes one fly indoors to do the damage. Maintaining a watchful eye, keeping your bunny dry and (if needed) short-even-shaved are the most critical preventative steps.

How do I keep my rabbit cool?
• Make sure bunny is out of the sun. If they are confined to a cage or small room for part of the day, be sure that there is plenty of shady space for the bunny to rest. Set up a circulating fan that will breeze past your rabbit without blowing directly on him all day. You can also drape a damp towel over part of the cage so the fan will blow through the towel and create cooler air. Be sure to bunny-proof the fan cord! Place a ceramic tile or marble square in the cage or in bun's favorite place. The marble or tile stays cool for them to lie on. Place a few ice cubes in their water crock so the water is tempting and they can also lie against the cool crock. Mist the rabbit's ears. Rabbits dissipate heat through their ears and misting them will help keep the rabbit cool. Brush out excessive fur. Who wants to wear an extra fur coat in the summer? If you have a long haired rabbit, consider cropping your bunny's coat short for the summer months. Fill 1 or 2 liter soda bottles with water and freeze them. Once frozen, put the frozen water bottle in Bun's cage so he can lean against it to keep cool. Keep a few of these on hand in your freezer. Be sure Bun is getting his fair share of veggies to help keep him hydrated. Be especially watchful of rabbits over 5 years old or ones who are overweight or incapacitated. These rabbits tend to be more sedentary and may not get up to drink water if they are too hot. This can quickly lead to dehydration which can lead to death or other health problems.

What do I do if my rabbit experiences fly strike?
Don’t try & remove the maggots yourself.


Bring your bunny indoors on hot days. If you are hot outside, so are they!

Radical Rabbit @ World Vegan Day 2010
by Karen World Vegan Day at the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne was a fantastic day!! Around 4,000 people braved the weather to see what World Vegan Day was all about. Our Radical Rabbit table was a wonderful success. The video of our ex farm buns was a great way to show people how wonderful and intelligent “meat” rabbits are as house buns.

Christmas gifts that help rabbits
Please donate good quality fresh veggies & hay to your local shelter for the rabbits. Rabbits are sadly one of the most neglected pets and many are surrendered to shelters before the holidays. Numbers are high, the temperatures are hot and they need your help. In Melbourne, we recommend donating fresh veggies & good quality hay to: Lulu was handed in to a rescue centre weighing a third of what a healthy rabbit of this breed should weigh. She lived alone in a small hutch outside, was rarely able to exercise and was ignored to the point of almost being starved to death. Her owner admitted to 'forgetting to feed' her and it was the all too common story of a single rabbit being bought as a children's pet and then becoming unwanted at around a year old. The best thing Lulu's owner ever did for her was hand her into a rescue centre to give the chance of a good home. (courtesy of

One of our happy customers! This little guy loved our “Kiss My Buns” lips balms.

Radical Rabbit wine Goodwill wines and Radical Rabbit have teamed up to offer sensational wines socurced around Australia. Radical Rabbit’s aim is to show the community how affectionate and caring rabbits can be and how many cruel, misleading and unnecessary abuses rabbits face behind closed doors. Your purchase of Goodwill Radical Rabbit wine goes a small way to helping educate the wider community and find homes for the long term care of rescued rabbits. Radical Rabbit chooses to be supported only by the sale of wines where no animal products were used in the making. ** and yes, that’s our Poppy Popstar on the label!!

Even Lola McFuzbottom from Rabbit TV was there! To see Lola’s video of the day, please visit

Lola McFuzbottom

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