Companion animals are banned in many apartments in Nagoya, Japan. As a result, pet-themed cafés that allow patrons to eat, drink, and interact with animals, have become popular. 

The cafés are usually cat-themed, but the Usagi-to-Café is All About Rabbits: 18 resident bunnies are available, in a separate room, for patron interaction.

The café charges 900 yen, or about $11, for 30 minutes inside the café (includes one drink). There is also a fee of about $1 per minute to cuddle bunnies. People may “BYOB” (Bring Your Own Bunny”) which is promoted as a way to “socialize” bunnies.

For about $35 per person, the café offers a 2-hour special that includes one drink, a “random salad”, rabbit pizza (and I do hope they mean rabbit-shaped pizza…), rice and dessert.

Personally, I’m skeptical about any benefit that rabbits might get from “socialization.”  Especially if the bunnies are not spayed or neutered. In fact, I imagine it to be something like the bunny version of the old Wild West.

As most rabbit-savvy people know, the bonding process (introducing two bunnies to each other) is both an art and a science. And it rarely happens in 30 to 60 minutes.

My own bunnies would be unhappy about leaving their familiar surroundings, and being forced to see, much less, interact with other rabbits. 

“Hot and cold like the child dying” ?
The café Web site does emphasize that it is not responsible for fighting or “trouble.” It also warns against “mounting.” I don’t know if the café rabbits are spayed and neutered. It would be interesting to learn more.

If you read Japanese (or know someone who does), please check out the Web site and let us know what you find.

I tried to use Google’s language translator to find out more from the café Web site, however the results can be hit and miss, generating some nonsensical translations (see the photo/description below):

Name: Ramune
Gender: Female
Date of Birth: May 5, 2008
Type: Banifaraion

Feature: hot and cold like the child dying ♪


Do you think a Bunny café would do well in the U.S.? Would it be a good way to educate people about rabbits in an entertaining way? Let us know what you think!

Five bunnies in the U.K. saved from “bored” family

March Pet Shop wants Christmas homes for five rabbits after rescue last night
From the Cambs Times24

A RESCUED rabbit got a new home today after six were collected from Chatteris, a town in the district of Cambridgeshire, England, because the owners got bored with them.  

Caroline Bates, of Parson Drove, came into The Pet Shop, in March, this morning to pick up some supplies for her dogs, cats and rabbit, but left with festively named “Holly”.

Caroline Bates with Holly

She said: “I will take her home and put her in front of my pets and will introduce them to their new friend. In the summer, I will let all my pets go out in the garden together to have some fun.

“My husband daren’t take me to a rescue home as I normally want to take something home with me.”

Shop assistant Debbie Kowbass with one of the remaining bunnies

The Pet Shop manager Rob Phipps collected the six rabbits, all in good condition and aged between one and three, last night after the owner tried to rehome them, as RSPCA Block Fen Animal Centre was full. He said he would like to find new homes for the remaining five pets before Christmas.

Rob said: “They’re nice looking rabbits, I just can’t see them left on the street.

“The owner did the right thing and tried to get them rehomed but the other animal centres were full so we took them in.”

Shop assistant Debbie Kowbass said why they were the perfect pets: “They’re just so cute, absolutely gorgeous, and fluffy.”

Update: Happy ending for Amos the dumped bunny

On September 10th we reported this story about Amos, an abandoned bunny in Scotland.

We’re happy to report that Amos’ story has a happy ending:

A badly injured rabbit dumped in a cat carrier outside a pet health care centre has had a happy ending.

Amos was found trapped in the container with a deep wound to his face and overgrown teeth by staff at the Scottish SPCA’s Angus, Fife and Tayside Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre last month.

However, as soon as resident Ann McLeod heard about the bunny’s plight, she decided she wanted to be the one to take him in – which she has now done, renaming him Louie in the process.

“Now he has a whole double bedroom to share with Floyd, who enjoys having another rabbit for company. Louie is a real character and is so laid back, despite what has happened to him in the past,” she said.

Graffitti rabbit threatened with extinction

ROA, a secretive Belgian street artist who, like Banksy, has showcased his work in east London, painted a 3.5m (12ft) rabbit on the side of a recording studio in Hackney last year which could be painted after being declared as a blight on the local environment.

Beauty or Blight?

The building’s owners had granted the artist permission to create the piece, but they have been served with a removal notice by Hackney council, warning that unless they “remove or obliterate the graffiti” within 14 days, a council contractor will paint over the wall and charge them for the service.

“It’s quite the opposite of what they’re saying it is,” said Julia Craik, managing director of Premises music studios and cafe. “It’s not a blight – it really adds to the local area.

“If it was some horrible graffiti then they’d have a point, but it’s a thing of beauty in Hackney Road, which is not the greatest area in the world. Among the bingo halls and shops you’ve got a really nice artwork, which really adds something.”

ROA, who is in his early 30s, has risen to prominence over the last two years after starting out painting animal forms in a disused warehouse close to his native Ghent, in Belgium. His work can be seen in Manhattan and Brooklyn, in New York, and across Europe from Norway to Italy, while an upcoming commission will see him travel to São Paulo, in Brazil. His first solo show in the UK was staged at the Pure Evil gallery in Shoreditch, east London, this year, and he has had exhibitions in Paris in the last 12 months.

Charley Edwards, who runs the Pure Evil gallery, said: “It was the most successful show we’ve ever had in terms of people coming. You could hear the gasps as people walked in and saw his pieces.

“Banksy’s obviously more famous, but I think ROA’s work at the moment is really pushing it. What’s interesting with ROA’s work is how it interacts with the space it’s in – he’s done certain pieces where animals have been wrapped down the side of buildings.”

Edwards was with ROA when he painted the threatened rabbit, and described it as typical of his work. “He talks about repopulating the city with animals and bringing them back into the city,” Edwards said. “I think people really, really dig the rabbit – there’s a certain character to it that people just love.”

Hackney council said in a statement: “The graffiti … is clearly visible from the road and, whilst it is not the council’s position to make judgments call on whether graffiti is art or not, our task is to keep Hackney’s streets clean.

Last year, Hackney was criticised after it painted over a Banksy cartoon of the royal family that had been present on a block of flats for more than eight years. In October 2008, Westminster city council removed a mural from Newman Street, in central London, after the council’s deputy leader, Robert Davis, said keeping it would be “condoning” graffiti.

Mark Rigney, who runs a walking tour featuring ROA’s work, said: “Hackney council should realise that this art movement is a huge tourist attraction and people are crossing London and the globe to see the art upon the streets of Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets – areas which are often referred to as the epicentre for London street art.”

Article from The Guardian

Hail to the Veronicas!

Ah! As if I needed a reason to like the Veronicas, an Aussie twin sisters singing duo, even more than I already do, news surfaced from Down Under that the singing sisters have come out swinging against the use of rabbit fur in the fashion trade.

It certainly brightened up this bunny girl’s otherwise mundane Monday.

According to the Brisbane (Australia) Times:

Pop-rockers the Veronicas have sung out against fur in a new campaign for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The ad features twins Jess and Lisa Origliasso each holding a shockingly realistic skinned “rabbit” with a caption reading: “Here’s the rest of your fur coat.”

The bunnies in this photo are FAKE...but it does make a point

The twins launched the ad campaign outside Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building today, both wearing PETA T-shirts branded with the slogan “Mean People Wear Fur”.

They condemned Australia’s continued fur imports, most of which come from China, saying they are unnecessary.

Jess explained the campaign was to “discourage people from buying fur and educating them from where it came from”.

PETA says the campaign is aimed at the world’s leading fur exporter, China, where animals on fur farms are often skinned alive.

It says dogs and cats are killed in China for the international fur trade but with Chinese fur often processed and relabelled in other countries, it’s difficult to identify where the fur has come from.

“For us, fur is barbaric and unnecessary,” Jess said. “There is no need for fur.”

The Origliassio sisters have always liked PETA’s strong visual campaigns and are very proud to be part of their campaign against fur.

Because of their involvement in fashion design they felt it was the right campaign for them.

Thanks, Jess and Lisa – you girls are the best!

If you’re not familiar with the Veronicas check out the video below:

The art of “hopnosis”

A few words from Cliff Penrose, and even the most badly-behaved bunny is like putty in his hands.

For he is Britain’s only rabbit whisperer, a master of the little-known art of hopnosis.

Cliff lulls a bunny into a trance-like state, its legs in the air

His technique is guaranteed to place the patient in a trance, lying flat on its back with its paws in the air for up to ten minutes at a time.

A big bunny girl relaxing after a treatment with Cliff

Mr Penrose, a 60-year-old grandfather, uses his skills to prepare sick rabbits for surgery or simply to calm those showing signs of stress. This has placed him in great demand among his local vets in St Austell, Cornwall.

After making a high-pitched squeak to get the rabbit’s attention, Mr Penrose strokes it and applies a little pressure to the body, giving a gentle massage.

Having relaxed it in this way, he ‘bows’ to the animal by lowering his head so it does not feel threatened. He then closes its eyelids, leaving it perfectly still and in a trance-like state.

‘You can tell when a rabbit is under because his back legs completely relax,’ he said.

‘The creature is unable to move. They emerge from a trance a happier, more relaxed pet.’

The seven-year-old bunny is relaxed and calm after her treatment

Mr Penrose, who has 50 bunnies of his own and does not charge for his services, continued: ‘You have to be confident when holding the animals

‘If you are scared or nervous or stressed then the rabbit will sense that  –  they are extremely intelligent animals. Once I’m holding the animal, it is only a matter of seconds before they are totally relaxed.’

Mr Penrose began developing his hypnotising skills when he retired from his processing job at a China clay firm and spent more time with his pets.

‘I discovered that if I was in a bad mood the rabbits would react to that and become fidgety and unruly, but if I was having a good day they would be calm and no trouble.’

Since mastering his technique, Mr Penrose has put hundreds of rabbits under his spell and even has a dedicated telephone hotline for troubled owners.

Apart from preparing animals for surgery, he also deals with ‘problem’ rabbits which display behavioural issues and insists a little ‘hopnotism’ can have a strong calming effect on hyperactive or aggressive pets, even extending their life expectancy.

Read more:

‘We are in a war zone,’ says woman who ordered Victoria rabbits shot

Susan Vickery of Common Ground wildlife refuge on Saltspring Islan, left, and Wendy Huntbatch of the World Parrot Refuge in Coombs, feed a rabbit at the parrot refuge in Coombs, B.C. About 240 rabbits were brought to the property this month from the University of Victoria, where the bunny population had become a serious issue. But on Sept. 28, about 30 rabbits broke out of the refuge, and several were shot by a neighbour. Photograph by: Brian Wilford, Oceanside Star

By Judith Lavoie, Postmedia News

VICTORIA, B.C. (Canada) — The woman who ordered the killing of escaped former University of Victoria bunnies says her farm is under siege by feral rabbits and she is now also coping with furious bunny lovers.

“We are in a war zone. They are very dangerous people. They chased the trapper off my field,” said Barbara Smith, who lives beside a government-approved rabbit sanctuary in the Vancouver Island community of Coombs that is taking bunnies removed from the university campus.

Smith, a retired lawyer, who has horses on the nine-hectare property, said she had no idea a rabbit sanctuary had moved on to the grounds of the neighbouring World Parrot Refuge until she returned from a trip and found at least 90 feral rabbits on her hay field.

The rabbits are an introduced pest, said Smith, who contacted a trapper who shot at least 30 animals.

“I am a farmer and these things are inherently dangerous. They are akin to rats. They are not harmless creatures, they are an actionable nuisance,” said Smith, who is incensed that the B.C. Environment Ministry would allow feral rabbits in an agricultural area.

“They have dumped UVic’s problem on us, created an environmental disaster zone and walked away,” she said.

Smith contacted Wendy Huntbatch at the World Parrot Refuge Tuesday afternoon, but the trapper started shooting about two hours later, before rabbit-rescuer Susan Vickery had a chance to catch the escapees.

Smith said the rabbits had been out since the weekend, so there had been plenty of time to catch them. “She’s responsible for containing those rabbits.”

All the rabbits killed had been tattooed and sterilized after moving from the UVic campus. The death toll included some of Vickery’s pets.

On Thursday evening, Smith said she could see about two dozen rabbits in her field and another four dozen in a neighbouring field, but she has no intention of allowing Vickery on her property to catch them.

“I will deal with the rabbits on my land in whatever way I have to,” she said.

That has Vickery in a quandary as she fears the survivors will meet the same fate as the dead ones. She also worries that injured rabbits could be lying in the field.

“This was just so unnecessary. This was just someone being angry,” she said.

Vickery said it is possible some rabbits escaped a couple of days earlier, but she does not believe 90 hopped away.

“Anyway, why didn’t they contact me?” she asked. “I find their behaviour completely unacceptable.”

RCMP and ministry officials have been on site. But the officials say that as the feral rabbits are wildlife, they can be legally captured and killed, provided a firearm is not used in the vicinity of a home and the animals are killed humanely.

Penny Stone, B.C. SPCA Victoria branch manager, said shooting rabbits is considered humane, but she is saddened the property owners did not give sufficient time for the rabbits to be recaptured.

“I would have hoped people would have had a little more patience, especially knowing what these rabbits have already been through,” she said.

Meanwhile, Smith said she is receiving threats from people angry about the rabbit killings. “It is just a horror show,” she said.

Huntbatch said she delivered a bale of hay to the gate outside Smith’s home Thursday morning.

“I put a note on it saying, ‘We paid for this with our lives’ and I signed it from the murdered bunnies,” she said.

University officials in Victoria have been trying to clear the campus of about 1,400 of the estimated 2,000 abandoned former pets and their offspring.

About 400 rabbits have been captured so far and are heading for sanctuaries as far away as Texas.

The sterilization/relocation program followed an outcry from rabbit enthusiasts when the university was considering culling the bunnies.

Victoria Times Colonist

Tragic news: Over 30 UVic bunnies shot after escaping from safe haven

By: Christine Tam, 

Dozens of rabbits who narrowly escaped a cull by the University of Victoria broke out of their safe haven in Coombs, B.C., Tuesday, only to be shot dead by a neighbour. 

Rabbits on the University of Victoria campus


The beleaguered bunnies were living at the World Parrot Refuge when they escaped from the compound and hopped onto an adjacent property, according to refuge owner Wendy Huntbatch.  

Huntbatch told that she received a complaint from a woman who lives beside the refuge that the bunnies were trespassing on her property. 

“She was very irate about it and she said they were pests and they were eating their grass and they have to go right away,” she said. “She was in a vicious mood.” 

Conservation officers and refuge employees were on their way to catch and remove the rabbits when they heard gunshots. 

 World Parrot Refuge employee Yvette Abgrall said it was very frightening. 

“We heard gunshots – pow pow pow pow – we started screaming and went running. There were over 30 of them shot,” she said. 

 Huntbatch said the neighbours were unhappy about the parrots and the rabbits at the refuge. They could not be reached for comment. 

“They said it was because the bunnies were eating their grass. I mean how much grass can bunnies eat? They have about 25 acres of grass,” she said. 

Huntbatch called the killings unnecessary. 

“They have as much right to life as anything. They only live eight years and they’re all spayed and neutered,” she said. 

These unlucky rabbits were among hundreds that were relocated to refuges in B.C., Texas and Washington after UVic announced plans for a mass extermination to control the population. The project was a result of animal activist groups and refuges stepping in to save the bunnies. 

Susan Vickery, spokeswoman for Ears, which heads the relocation project, told she is in shock. 

“Personally I find it outrageous and just deplorable really. We responded quickly in two hours and they didn’t even give us a chance. It was too late,” she said. 

 Cpl. Richard Van de Pol said RCMP are investigating the incident but criminal charges are not likely. 

“If a rabbit is being held captive and they leave the area they are held in they are considered to be a wild animal,” he said. “Right now there is nothing to suggest any criminality.” 

While there may not be any legal implications to shooting the rabbits, Vickery thinks there will be backlash from the community. 

“A lot of people are very angry,” she said. “I’m in shock and just wondering how I can minimize any future incidents.” 

Dr. Martinez helps rabbits find their way to Texas

By Tiffany Crawford 

Posted at The Vancouver Sun 

Dozens of rabbits from the University of Victoria campus are bound for a new home at a ranch in Texas, after they were spayed or neutered by a Steveston veterinarian in preparation for travel. 

Joseph Martinez, owner of Little Paws Animal Clinic, is one of three veterinarians permitted by the Ministry of the Environment to help with UVic’s rabbit problem by relocating them to the Wild Rose Rescue Ranch in Texas. 

Dr. Martinez with two UVic rabbits he plans to sterilize. Photo: Steve Bosch


Martinez said he volunteered his time to spay and neuter as many rabbits as possible so they won’t have to be killed. 

“It takes about an hour per bunny, but we are very efficient so we can do about two bunnies per hour. But I’ll work 16 hours a day to save as many as I can,” Martinez said. “Bunnies are my major interest … If we don’t try to save as many as we can, then they will probably slaughter the rest.” 

In August, the Environment Ministry approved a permit to transport and export up to 1,000 rabbits following an outcry from animal rights groups about a university plan to euthanize more than 100 rabbits. Rabbits fall under the B.C. Wildlife Act, so groups that want to adopt the animals must obtain permits. 

The permit to move the rabbits to Texas was granted to a not-for-profit group called TRACS (The Responsible Animal Care Society), which can ship up to 96 animals at a time. The group is trying to raise enough money to ship all 1,000 to the ranch. 

The rabbits travelled first to Washington on Monday night, where they were to be monitored for a few more days before the journey south. 

An Italian immigrant who has lived in Canada for 20 years, Martinez said he grew up on a farm; his family raised and ate rabbits and other farm animals. 

But he developed a passion for all creatures at a young age and by 10, he said, he decided it was wrong to eat animals. He then became a vegetarian and pursued a career in animal medicine in Israel and Italy. 

UVic’s rabbit overpopulation is thought to be the result of abandoned pets who began breeding on campus.