There are hundreds of pet rabbits abandoned on the streets and in the parks of Richmond, B.C. Sadly, there are too many rabbits left behind to rescue all of them. The Forgotten 50 video was created to honor the lives of 50 of the hundreds who were abandoned and perished while struggling to survive. The life of every rabbit matters so please remember the Forgotten 50. R.I.P.
Rabbit and small animal abandonment, rescue, education and advocating for animal welfare are serious and often sad matters. So sometimes it’s good to take a step back from it all and find refuge in the lighter side of rabbits and other small animals.
Rabbit Land Refuge on facebook is a collection of humorous photos, quotes and insights that look into the lives of rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters and other small animals, shared from other f/b pages and websites.
Check it out if you are in need of smile! It’s all for the love of rabbits and small animals.
If you are interested in reading more reports about the abandoned rabbit situation, check out CNN iReports on the topic by contributor “Bandaids”.
No Rabbit Left Behind is on Facebook as well. Check it out for more updates and info!
Rabbits are silent victims. They cannot demand that their rights be upheld. Rabbits need you to speak on their behalf!
A Life Too Short
The first official day of spring is just around the corner now and here in Richmond, B.C. we are already seeing early signs of spring. The days grow longer, the weather feels warmer, daffodils can be seen emerging from the earth, and new leaf buds are showing on the trees. The official start of spring also traditionally marks the beginning of new life. And in the parks and other green spaces scattered throughout the urban community of Richmond, new life begins to be seen. All over the city baby bunnies are starting to appear.
The baby bunnies can be found in parks, behind buildings and in all sorts of unexpected places. Their tiny heads poke out from under bushes and behind trees and they scamper about exploring their new surroundings. As each week passes, more and more of these little furry creatures are starting to show themselves in their new world.
Now Richmond does not have any actual “wild” rabbits. The rabbits found in the parks and on the streets are abandoned domestic pet rabbits. These are rabbits that people bought and tired of, and then decided an easy solution to disposing of their pets was to dump them out into the city. However these pet rabbits know nothing about how to survive and so most of them die from illness, malnutrition, injuries caused by predators or hit by cars. But some of these pet rabbits do survive and as the signs of spring begin, these survivors are now having babies.
The tiny baby bunnies pictured in the photo are the offspring of two of the survivors. Their mother is a lovely young black and white bunny, known as a Dutch rabbit, who was discarded to fend for herself on the streets. She did the best she could to survive and eventually met and bred with another abandoned pet rabbit. However not being an actual wild rabbit, this young Dutch rabbit did not know where to go when the time came to have her babies. So this soon-to-be mom went to the only place she could find. And that place was behind a stack of boards and other clutter piled high in an apartment complex parking garage. She gathered up all the soft debris she could find and made a small nest in the corner by the stack of boards. Then hidden behind the junk pile, this young rabbit gave birth on a cold concrete floor with the smell of car exhaust fumes all around her. And seven sweet, innocent, tiny baby bunnies entered the world.
This young mother bunny tried hard to care for her babies. She daily waited patiently for the electronic parking garage gate to open for cars, so she could quickly dash through and search for food and water. Then she would again wait for the parking garage gate to re-open so she could hurry back inside to tend to her family. There is no doubt that the future of this mother bunny and her babies was grim. Hit by car or die of starvation were the most likely endings for this new life that had been born in these harsh conditions. It was just a matter of time.
But as fate would have it, a concerned local resident discovered the bunny family before it was too late. A rescue was then made by another kind rabbit savvy individual who also would not turn her back on this bunny family, despite already caring for many other rescued rabbits. This lovely young mother rabbit and all her sweet babies were successfully saved from what would have been a cruel and certain death.
The story of this young mother rabbit and her seven babies has a happy ending. But there are numerous other baby bunnies being born and struggling to survive all over the parks and streets of Richmond. Most of them will die before they reach one year of age. Those that survive face an uncertain life of hardship as they search for food, suffer from illness, and guard against predators.
As the first day of spring approaches, it should be a joyful time for all the new life being born. But for most of the babies of the abandoned pet rabbits of Richmond, that new life will be sadly and painfully short-lived.
Easter is a time when rabbits are often portrayed as symbols of Easter and suitable new pets for people to obtain and give away. Sadly many of the rabbits acquired at Easter end up in shelters and rescues, once the novelty has worn off and the reality sets in. Bringing a rabbit into your home is a serious decision and commitment, and should not be taken lightly as part of a holiday celebration. A great deal of research, thought and planning needs to take place before adopting any new pet, including rabbits. The decision you make at Easter to acquire an “Easter Bunny” will forever affect the life of that rabbit.
Valentine’s Day is a month away and is traditionally a time of love and romance for adults.
As for rabbits, often adult rabbits are overlooked in favor of younger rabbits, and they end up spending most of their lives in shelters. If you have been planning on having a rabbit join your family, then consider an older rabbit. You would be giving a gift of love to a rabbit that may have had a difficult past or may have been at the shelter for a long time.
If you can’t adopt or foster an older rabbit in your home, then consider volunteering to give some love to rabbits at a rescue or shelter. Or consider sponsoring an older rabbit at a rescue or shelter.
Your love may be the gift that an older rabbit has been waiting for a very long time.
“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.”
–Henry Van Dyke