Indiana Rex Rabbits

The Indiana Rescue: Hard Work, Lots of Cooperation, But More Work Still Needed!

~ July 16, 3013, by National HRS

In June 2013, Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, responding to a complaint about their care and treatment, confiscated 375 rex and min-rex rabbits from a breeder in the city of Indianapolis. The breeder later signed all but 15 of the rabbits, many of whom were pregnant, over to Animal Control (but once he realized that he could not breed those 15, he left them behind as well), leaving the shelter in a very tight situation.

Indiana Rabbits

Read about it here and here.

How would the shelter care for, much less place, all of these rabbits?
Indiana House Rabbit Society stepped into action. Their volunteers immediately got involved, going to the shelter those first few days, sexing and separating the rabbits, providing immediate care and medical attention, along with assisting veterinarians, and providing hay and food, medicating sick rabbits twice a day, and otherwise providing for all their needs.

Thankful RexIndiana HRS volunteers worked tirelessly, day after day, feeding and caring for the rabbits at the shelter, even as the rabbits grew from the original 375 to over 400, as some of those females gave birth. They also marshaled the help of veterinarians from near and far who began spaying and neutering the rabbits, and started the hard work of calling in the assistance of rescue groups and House Rabbit Society chapters from as far away as Maine and California who stepped up and offered their assistance in adopting those rabbits.

As of Sunday, July 14, all 400 rabbits were out of the shelter, thanks to the groups and individuals named below.        

A very grateful bunny says thank you!

But the work is not over yet.

Through Indiana House Rabbit Society and Exotic Animal Rescue and Pet Sanctuary, there are still 170 rabbits in foster care. These rabbits still desperately need homes, either locally in Indiana, or can be transported to adopters or rescuers in other areas of the country. Indiana HRS’s work is not over by a long shot, so if you can help at all, please contact to offer your assistance.
Indiana House Rabbit Society would like to thank the following groups and individuals for their help in this joint effort:

Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, for giving these rabbits these rabbits a chance to become cherished indoor family companions.

The following groups for taking the “Indiana 400:”

• Chicago HRS (IL)
• Buckeye HRS (OH)
• Cleveland APL (OH)
• Empty Cages Collective (NYC)
• Red Door Animal Shelter (IL)
• The Cat Nap (IL)
• BunnyFeathers Rabbit Rescue (WV)
• For Bunny Sake Rabbit Rescue (NJ)
• Angel Paws (IL)
• House Rabbit Network (MA)
• San Diego HRS (CA)
• Dane County Humane Society (WI)
• Too Many Bunnies Rabbit Rescue (CA)
• Animal Humane Society (MN)
• Brambley Hedge Rabbit Rescue (AZ)
• Friends of Rabbits (Baltimore/DC)
• Lollypop Farm (NY)
• Humane Society of Greater Rochester (NY)
• Save Animals Today (SD, CA)
• Hops and Lops (TN)
• IndyClaw (IN)
• Save the Animals Today (CA)
The following groups and individuals for sending in funds, supplies, or providing assistance with transport:

• National House Rabbit Society
• Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control
• New Mexico HRS
• Buckeye HRS
• Arkansas HRS
• Red Door Animal Shelter
• Oxbow
• PetCo Foundation
• PetSmart Charities
• Specks Pet Supply
• Dupage County Animal Shelter
• Chicago HRS
• San Diego HRS
• Stephen Van Linge and Trina Beatson
Veterinary Clinics for providing spay/neuter support:

• Avian and Exotic Animal Clinic, Indianapolis IN (Angela Lennox, DVM; Heather Goldstein, DVM; Amber Lee, DVM and support staff)
• Bargersville Veterinary Wellness Center, Franklin IN (Cindy Baker O’Dell, DVM)
• Deck Veterinary Clinic, Louisville KY (Tara Gunn, DVM)
• Rosehaven Exotic Animal Veterinary Services, Batavia, IL (Susan Brown, DVM; and Richard Nye, DVM; Macy Cooke; Sarah Dehn, RVT)
• Tippecanoe County Animal Clinic, Lafayette IN (Julia Becker, DVM)

Without the above groups, these rabbits would not have gotten the new lives they now have. If you’d like to help the remaining 170, please contact

Prince Harry – let’s hear it for the Bunnies!

Prince Harry – let’s hear it for the Bunnies!

Prince Harry rocks a “bunny tie” while attending a tea party at the White House.  Way to go, Harry!

Prince Harry stole the spotlight fromMichelle Obama during his visit to the White House yesterday for a—what else?—a tea party with one seriously standout accessory. Though the fashionable first lady looked stunning in a feminine Prabal Gurung dress, our eyes were immediately drawn to the dapper royal in a sharp suit paired with a tie decorated with—wait for it—adorable little bunnies!  More…..

Prince Harry

Rabbit rescue responds to recipe in Washington Post

On October 27th, the Washington Post published a recipe for Rabbit Gumbo.

RabbitWise, a rescue group in the D.C. Metro area, submitted a response which was published in the Post today.

RabbitWise’s blog also mentions their response.

What do you think? Was their response effective? Do you think it would dissuade cooks from trying to prepare the recipe?

26 neglected bunnies seized in NY state

Ulster County (NY) SPCA Seizes Neglected Rabbits
Man Sought in Cruelty Case

By Tod Westlake

The Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (UCSPCA) rescued a total of 26 neglected rabbits from a Kerhonkson property on October 21.

UCSPCA Executive Director Brian Shapiro poses with "Freckles," one of more than 20 rabbits rescued in Kerhonkson last week.

The animals were being kept at the home of Juan “Victor” Caniglia, of 18 Foordmore Road, and were living in filthy conditions, according to Brian Shapiro, executive director for the group. Some of the rabbits were in very poor condition, but are now being cared for at UCSPCA facilities.

“The animals are being cared for in our newly renovated barns,” Shapiro said. “They are acclimating well.”

Caniglia, it turns out, had previously been charged with animal cruelty, after it had been discovered that he was keeping more than 100 birds and three rabbits in a small outdoor shed on his property.

Earlier this month in the Town of Wawarsing Court, Caniglia received a $2,200 fine payable to the UCSPCA, and was barred from owning birds or rabbits.

The discovery of the rabbits last Thursday means that Caniglia would appear to be in direct violation of this court order, according to Shapiro. He was not at home at the time the animals were seized.

“We’re going to be pursuing a warrant for his arrest, based upon the fact that he was in violation of the court order,” Shapiro said. “We’re also strongly considering further charges due to the neglectful care of the animals.”

The good news is that all but one of the rabbits survived the ordeal, and the others are now doing well and are receiving medical care as needed. One rabbit, unfortunately, had to be euthanized due to a malocclusion with its teeth that prevented it from being able to eat normally.

“He couldn’t eat, and he was in such poor shape, that we had no choice,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro also mentioned that three of the rabbits are pregnant and that there has been a terrific response from members of the community who are interested in adopting a rabbit.

“The public has been very supportive,” Shapiro said.

Some of the responses have come from groups as far away as Massachusetts, according to Shapiro. This particular group, the House Rabbit Network of Woburn, MA, actually intends to fly a small plane into Kingston Airport this Saturday in order to take three of the rabbits, Shapiro said.

Shapiro said that he had no further information on the status of Caniglia. It is worth noting, however, that the two recent cruelty incidents involving Caniglia are not the first. Back in 1994 the UCSPCA had seized dozens of animals from his property.

Another good bit of news is that many of the rabbits are now ready for adoption. If you are interested in adopting a rabbit, please contact the UCSPCA at 845-331-5377 x-211.

Caring, Confident Youth: Camp Fire Group Burrows In with the Bunnies

As many of you know, Long Beach City College has been dealing with a bunny-dumping situation for quite some time. It’s nice to know that they are getting such outstanding care and love from these kids. What a heartwarming article from the Long Beach Post! – Tamara

The Rabbit Population Management Task Force (RPMT) at Long Beach City College is getting some welcome assistance from the Waku Koda (Giving Friends) Camp Fire troop of Long Beach.

The troop’s community service group, Kiniya, is called on each year to come up with a service project, and the kids wanted to help out with the bunnies. A visit showed them to be having a heck of a lot of fun while they worked hard at changing litter boxes, cleaning cages, sweeping up floors, providing food and water, giving them treats (they like carrots, apples and basil, according to 10-year-old Abigail Rubin) and stroking their soft fur from the ears down to their little cottony tails.

Abigail Rubin doesn’t mind the work involved in rabbit care.

“You get to socialize with them,” said Mimi DaSilva, who is thinking of becoming a zoologist. “I like feeding the bunnies and cleaning the cages. It’s hard work, but it’s fun.”

The RPMT began as a task force to spay and neuter pet rabbits that were abandoned at the college and gave birth to countless bunnies who overran the campus.

LBCC employees Jacque Olson and Donna Pringle, with help from numerous bunny-loving volunteers and veterinary and medical services from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, trapped the domestic critters and had them spayed and neutered. Now, with 150 little long-eared creatures treated and adopted out, there are around 80 of them left waiting in the care of Olson, Pringle and a growing number of volunteers.

Last summer, Camp Fire mom Joanne Pon Rubin and her daughter Abigail discovered the project after hearing about it from the Unitarian Universalist church. With enthusiastic agreement from Abby, she decided that volunteer work at the RPMT by the 12 children in the Waku Koda group would be a worthy Kiniya.

Pon Rubin was impressed by the dedication and hard work of Olson, Pringle and the rest of the volunteers and by the condition of the rabbits and their environment: a large space filled with cages, playpens, and lots of donated clean hay, good food and water.

“We chose it because people here are completely devoted to dealing with these bunnies in a humane way, and we wanted to support that,” Pon Rubin said.

Mimi DaSilva takes bunny care seriously.

The RMPT project is humane and loving, providing unwanted rabbits with unarguably more care and caregivers than they’ve ever had. Volunteer Yuki is the bunny yenta; she pairs up rabbits who get along with each other. Volunteer Melinda has a list of names to fit the rabbits with. The entire volunteer staff makes certain that Oliver, Sparky, Elvis, Frank (for Sinatra), Lady Gaga and all the furry stablemates are fed, cleaned, played with and loved.

“And I take out the trash,” Pringle said. 

Daria Raby and Reese share a special moment.

The Camp Fire kids not only don’t consider caring for these rabbits as a chore but also express disapproval of people who do. The depth of their involvement was evident through their indignation over people who buy tiny bunnies for their families and then dump them when the rabbits get too big to be “cute” or don’t want to take the trouble to care for them.

“They should have thought before they got the bunny, because the bunny is suffering now,” Mimi said.

Indeed, Pringle said, rabbits who are dumped at the college do suffer. Besides being hunted and killed by natural predators, they’re at the mercy of wild rabbits. Wild male rabbits go alpha and maim or kill the domestic males, who have been found shuddering in fear and badly injured. The volunteers just took in eight bunnies who were covered with bites from other rabbits. One of them, Reese, had a leg missing, but when we walked into the bunny shelter, Reese had been neutered and was happily playing with Camp Fire volunteer Daria Raby.

Big John and Farina are a loving couple. John likes to snuggle under Farina, who mothers him.

Pringle and Olson are concerned about the ones they don’t find, however, since the program began and was publicized, rabbit dumping at the college appears to have tapered off.

“We still have a few, but it’s definitely decreased,” Pringle said. “Usually at Easter time, and then through the summer, it’s peak [dumping] times, but it’s been very quiet this year. And fewer baby bunnies are being born on campus, so that’s made a difference, too.”

Boots (male) and Peanut Butter Cup (female) make a sweet pair.

The RMPT will gladly accept donations and even more gladly will accept people who want to give rabbits forever homes. This is definitely an unabashed ploy on our part to get you to go down to LBCC and take home a pair of them, but be sure to heed young Mimi’s counsel and know what bunny care involves.

“You need to get ready to give them what they need: space, exercise, protection from predators if they’re kept outside, and interaction with people,” Pringle said. “They like to be in pairs—they’re very social (yeah! Take two!).

Make sure you don’t put two males together—even when not neutered, they can fight. Yes, spay or neuter them; in fact, female rabbits can get ovarian cancer if they’re left unspayed.

Rabbits can be box trained—they’re swell indoor pets—but rabbit-proof your house because they like to chew, and they may chew on electrical cords. Most of all, know before you get them—people get their pets and they’re cute little bunnies and in four months, they’re huge. Then with the cleaning and all the stuff—they dump them. It’s so sad for the animals and so irresponsible of the people.

And don’t buy a bunny—there are so many that need to be adopted, here and at shelters.”

Some of the many adoptable rabbits are pictured below. They need lots of care and love in a forever home. Remember that the Camp Fire kids are watching.

“Don’t drop them off at LBCC, or anywhere,” Abigail Rubin admonished.

Breaking news: Toilet paper changes could impact bunnies everywhere

OK, this isn’t a joke.

BNN reader Tina sent in this story from USA Today, which could have serious implications for those of us who entertain our bunnies with cardboard TP rolls. Time to start conserving those rolls….

Kimberly-Clark rolls out tube-free Scott toilet paperThe toilet paper roll is about to undergo its biggest change in 100 years: going tubeless.

On Monday, Kimberly-Clark, one of the world’s biggest makers of household paper products, will begin testing Scott Naturals Tube-Free toilet paper at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores throughout the Northeast. If sales take off, it may introduce the line nationally and globally — and even consider adapting the technology into its paper towel brands.

No, the holes in the rolls aren’t perfectly round. But they do fit over TP spindles and come with this promise: Even the last piece of toilet paper will be usable — without glue stuck on it.

Suddenly, there’s news in the $9 billion — but stagnant — toilet paper market. More important, it’s got a “green” halo.

The 17 billion toilet paper tubes produced annually in the USA account for 160 million pounds of trash, according to Kimberly-Clark estimates, and could stretch more than a million miles placed end-to-end. That’s from here to the moon and back — twice. Most consumers toss, rather than recycle, used tubes, says Doug Daniels, brand manager at Kimberly-Clark. “We found a way to bring innovation to a category as mature as bath tissue,” he says.

He won’t disclose the tubeless technology used but says it’s a special winding process. A similar process is used on tissue the company sells to businesses but not to consumers.

Behind the marketing push is a growing consumer demand for environmentally friendly products.

One environmentalist applauds the move. “It’s a positive example of how companies are seeking creative ways to reduce environmental impact,” says Darby Hoover of the Natural Resources Defense Council. But more relevant than nixing the tubes would be more recycled content in its paper, Hoover says. While Scott Naturals normally has 40% recycled content, this test product does not — but future versions will, Daniels says.

Bunnies do not approve of tube-free TP

Hoover says she hopes other toilet tissue makers follow Kimberly-Clark’s lead. How soon that may happen is unclear. Procter & Gamble, maker of top-seller Charmin, declined to comment.

Pygmy rabbit to remain on endangered species list

Good news for the tiny Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit!

The Associated Press has reported that the tiny rabbit will remain an endangered species as threats to the animal have increased in the past five years.

Still protected

That’s the conclusion today of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s five-year review of efforts to save the animals.

The study found increased risk from disease in captivity; the rabbits getting used to captive conditions and becoming less capable of surviving in the wild; and loss of genetic uniqueness due to interbreeding.

In recent weeks, there was doubt that the pygmy rabbit would be allowed to remain on the Endangered Species list.

The pygmy rabbit is the smallest rabbit in North America, and can fit in a man’s hand. It is one of only two rabbit species in North America that digs its own burrows.

Arizona hospice therapy pets

Hundreds of animals have given of their time – and that of their owners – to share a friendly paw or cold nose with people dealing with end-of-life illnesses, as part of the Hospice of the Valley Pet Connections Program.

Most of the pets making visits are dogs, but there have been cats, a bunny and even a miniature horse. The program, which began in 2006, now has more than 170 people and their pets regularly making patient visits that are arranged by the non-profit organization.

“In this serious time of life for the patient, the end of life, something as small as the warmth of a dog makes a difference,” said Charis Williams, who manages Pet Connections. “You can’t underestimate the power.”

Stormy the Rabbit (retired from service)
Stormy wasn’t one to hop off patients’ laps without first spending a little time, hanging around. His owner said at the time that he loved to cuddle right up to a patient and drift asleep.

"Stormy Wagon" - adorable!

In 2007, while still in service for Hospice of the Valley, the rabbit was 3 1/2 years old and in his third year of helping patients. Stormy had a close call early in life. He was found soaked during a rainstorm and nursed back to health.

His owner took him in, and her cats took over raising him. She said he became “a goofy bunny.” Patients gravitated to Stormy because he was so soft. A lot of times, his owner said, patients just wanted something to hug and cry with.

Click here to read the original article, and see photos of other Hospice of the Valley therapy animals.