Archive for the ‘How to Help’ Category

Veg out!

April 18, 2018

Weekends in April are kind of tricky. With the wild weather shifts we’ve been having, we might spend Saturday cleaning out our flower beds and Sunday cleaning the ice off our windshields!  It’s enough to make us throw our hands up in the air and collapse on the sofa with a bag of Cheese Curls. But we’ve got a better way to veg out!

Join us at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi on Sunday, April 29, for VegMichigan’s annual VegFest! It’s a celebration of all things vegan.

Save your skepticism, Carnivores! A vegetarian/vegan diet isn’t all lettuce and flax seed. See for yourself, as you make the rounds of VegFest’s food court and try your free samples. Attend cooking demonstrations put on by three well-respected vegetarian chefs, and taste the incredible variety of meat-free meals available to you.

And the v/v lifestyle isn’t just for reed-thin millennials. Just ask Theo Riddick, a very vegan Detroit Lion. He’ll be there to explain why he switched up his nutrition protocol, and the benefits he’s enjoyed as a result. You’ll also hear from PBS contributor Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author and medical researcher Dr. Joel Kahn, diabetes specialist Caroline Trapp, NP, and a host of other experts.

GLRS will be among 150 exhibitors on hand to promote their animal-friendly, cruelty free, ecologically oriented products and services. Here’s your chance to “try before you buy”. Ask as many questions as you like, enjoy free samples, sign up to win cool stuff. Bring the kids! VegFest will have a special section with toys and games just for them.

VegFest runs from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission is $17 at the door, but save $3 by ordering your tickets on line at VegMichigan.org for just $14. No raking, no shoveling, no cooking–just a day of free feasting and fun. See you there, snow or shine!

 

 

 

 

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What happens in Vegas…

April 4, 2018

…isn’t always as thrilling as slot machines and Celine Dion. Sometimes it’s a cautionary tale for everyone who owns or cares for rabbits.

You may have heard the story on national news, or followed it on our Facebook page. A children’s medical facility in Las Vegas decided it would be fun for their patients to watch wildlife in action. So they released their in-house “patient support” rabbits into a field out back to fend for themselves. Problem is, domestic rabbits aren’t wildlife.  And none of them were fixed.

You might be surprised how many people don’t realize that domestic bunnies aren’t built to survive on their own. Most rabbits who are “set free” have very short, unpleasant lives before succumbing to disease, starvation, attack by predators, or winding up as roadkill.

But what they are built to do is multiply. Rabbit reproduction is remarkably efficient. Male buns start sowing their oats by the time they’re two months old. Each doe can have a litter of up to 14 kits, every 30 days. Talk about a payout!

The rabbit total grew into the hundreds, and neighbors were irate. One dreadful night someone decided to take
matters into his/her own hands and set out lettuce laced with antifreeze. Almost 180 rabbits were found dead the next morning. It was time to fold. Rescue workers swooped in and captured as many of the 800+ survivors as they could. Eight of them came to us.

Those of us in rescue are already well acquainted with the “Easter dump”. Do you know someone, a friend or neighbor, who isn’t quite as enamored of their kid’s “basket bunny” as they were the day they brought him home from the pet store? Please encourage them think twice before they make a regrettable decision like the Vegas medical center did. Please help us spread the word!

Water works

February 28, 2018

You’ve heard the phrase “drinks like a fish”? That’s not particularly logical, or accurate for that matter. It’s more realistic to say someone “drinks like a bunny”! Despite only being the size of a football, rabbits can consume enormous amounts of water in a day. This is something we want to encourage. Hydration = health.

Providing water seems simple enough—turn on the faucet, fill ‘er up. But there’s more to consider than just convenience. Many of us eschew tap water for ourselves because it “tastes funny”, has too many chemicals (look at the lime build-up on that faucet!), or smells like that old Easter egg no one discovered until August. We turn instead to filtered or bottled water.

Rabbits react in much the same way. If it tastes bad or smells unpleasant, they’re not going to drink it. And all those trace minerals have a much bigger effect on a tiny bunny body than they would on a human. This is especially true for rabbits at risk of kidney disease or bladder sludge. These buns should avoid calcium at all costs, and tap water is usually rich with it.

Now, lugging home a case of Dasani every few days for Furdinand isn’t exactly cost effective. Or necessary. We recommend a one-time purchase of a water filtering pitcher, like a Brita. Just fill it up in the sink, wait a few minutes, and you’re all set. You don’t even have to give up precious refrigerator space, as many rabbits prefer their water at room temperature.

Try to get in the habit of emptying and refilling your bun’s water bowl at least three times a day. You’ll find hay, toys, poop, and heaven knows what else sneaking in there! The cleaner and fresher the water, the more appealing it will be to your rabbit.

Two things to remember: don’t be alarmed if Furdinand seems to drink a lot one day and very little the next. This is normal. What you’re looking for is a consistent average amount. But if you notice that he’s always draining his bowl dry no matter how often you fill it, it’s time for a vet visit to rule out kidney issues.

 

 

 

Hoppy days are here again

February 7, 2018

Here we go again. It’s frigid. It never stops snowing. We’re all going through decongestants and tissues like water. Valentine’s Day reminds us we’re (still) single. And that sinking feeling when we realize we’ve eaten our body weight in guacamole during the big game? At first glance, February sure seems like the Month of Misery.

But we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: there’s no problem in this world that a bunny can’t solve. Which is why we consider it perfect timing that February was named Adopt A Rescued Rabbit Month! Think about it. When have you ever needed somebun more?

Cold? You won’t find anything warmer, or softer, than a bunny belly! Lonely? A rabbit roommate means you need never come home to an empty house again! Too sick to get off the couch? You won’t even need to fumble around for the remote, not when fuzzy four footed acrobats are putting on a floor show in your living room!

Discard the stereotypical image of a bunny as a glorified shelf sitter! Many people are surprised to learn that rabbits have distinct personalities. It’s magical getting to know your new adoptee and watching his or her individuality emerge.

Thinking of adopting? Take your time to ensure your choice is a good fit with your situation. How much space do you have? How much time? Are you looking for an energetic, outgoing rabbit, or would you prefer a quiet, reclusive sort? Research the pros and cons of adopting young vs senior buns, and spend as much time as possible with your potential new mate before signing any papers.

Our free Bunny Basics booklet is a valuable tool. Read and download at our website, www.rabbitsanctuary.org. Think of this as a sort of Rabbit Driver’s Ed! Bunny Basics covers the minimum information every rabbit parent needs before bringing home their new addition.

The Resolute Rabbit

December 27, 2017

It’s that time again—time to reevaluate, reset, and refresh our lives for the new year. No more empty promises—starting in January we really ARE going to lose that spare tire, learn to line dance, find Mr. Wonderful, get that suspicious mole looked at, call Mom once a week…

Be honest. If you’re like a lot of us here, your 2018 pledges might just look exactly the same as the ones from 2016, 2008, even 1987! Humans are profligate procrastinators. Can you think of any resolution you’ve actually been able to cross off your list? Neither can we!

So how about trying a twist on the old saying, “If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for someone you love”? Make that “somebun” you love! Here are five of our most common resolutions, all of which are equally important for our rabbit friends.

Get in shape/stay active. Encourage Fureddie to make the most of his magnificent muscles! This means lots of play time out of his cage. We’ve never met a rabbit who didn’t relish a challenge. Set up an obstacle course using old boxes and play tunnels, or dangle fresh veggies above him so he’ll stretch to snatch them.

Eat healthy. Yes, we know Furina is partial to her bedtime banana chunk, and we’d never advocate going cold turkey. But will she really notice if that chunk gets a tiny bit smaller each night? Try wrapping the morsel in a leaf of lettuce or cilantro sprig as it shrinks. Is she less than enthusiastic about her hay? Sprinkle dried herbs or flower mixtures over the top of her Timothy.

Reduce stress. Rabbits don’t like fuss and bother any more than we humans do. Loud noises and exuberant visitors will fry Furedo’s nerves as quickly as they will yours. Make sure he has an escape hatch like a burrow box or a quiet room. And do your best to keep his daily routine as stable as possible.

See the doctor. When’s the last time you had a medical check-up? We thought so! Don’t let your bun fall into the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset. For one thing, with rabbits, it’s pretty hard to know what’s broke without a full exam! Schedule a vet visit at least once a year, more often if Furappachino has any chronic conditions or is over age 6.

Find love. Loneliness hurts our kind, and it’s none too healthy for rabbits either. Rabbits are social creatures. They need each other for comfort, affection, and companionship. We haven’t heard of OKCupid for lagomorphs, but we can offer the next best thing! Bring Furancie to a rabbit sanctuary like ours for some speed dating and let her choose her own BFF.

Black Bunday

November 22, 2017

While you’re scouring the Thanksgiving weekend ads, don’t forget to check out our GLRS Facebook page! 

No need to bundle up and head out to fight the hordes of overly-caffeinated deal-hungry ninja shoppers for the best Black Friday deals! You don’t even have to fully emerge from your turkey coma. Just drag that second piece of pumpkin pie over to your keyboard, sit back, and discover the true meaning of “Black Friday”!

We have some fabulous black bunnies looking for forever homes this holiday season. Much like black cats, black rabbits are often overlooked because of their color. However, we think they are beautiful and definitely deserve a second look. Black bunnies are the ultimate in practicality and luxury. Kind of like rich dark Belgian chocolate, except our rabbits won’t melt all over your fingers. (We can make no guarantees about your heart, however!)

Take a look at some of the beauties just waiting to join your family this season!

 

Pascha is a plush velvet Rex who prefers to hang out at the adult table. No kids or other animals for him! Shy, gentle, and oh so soft, he’s the perfect choice for a laid-back, quiet household.

 

 

His sister Kira is the social butterfly of the family, a whirling dervish who never stops moving. Give her plenty of room to romp and explore, and you’ll never need to turn on your TV for entertainment.

 

 

Nibbler was nabbed while sneaking around a college campus. Was she searching for a party or just a place to chill out with friends? We’re betting the latter. Nibbler’s a true snuggler who’ll take all the affection you have to give.

 

 

Raymond is the epitome of an introvert. Here’s a rabbit who’s happiest sprawled out on the carpet. Maybe beside you, watching the football game?

 

 

Merry is just that, happy to be alive and not willing to waste a minute. He’s a high-octane bun, and as such, he doesn’t have a lot of patience for down time. Active, free-spirited adopters may find Merry to be the four-footed soulmate they’ve been dreaming of.

 

Interested in any of our Black Friday Buns? Contact adoptions@rabbitsanctuary.org. Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall in love in fall

November 8, 2017

Who says springtime is the best season for love? We think crispy autumn leaves and fat pumpkins set the stage quite nicely! If your fairytale fantasies focus on the fuzzy and four-footed, put down that romance novel and head to our sanctuary.

No more lonely nights in front of the TV, sipping your cocoa alone! What could be more appealing than curling up on the sofa with a warm, purring partner on your lap? Rabbits are living, breathing radiators! A fluffy bunny belly feels more toasty than the thickest fleece gloves. (And you never have to worry about dropping one in the grocery store!)

Don’t just take our word for it. Ask the many proud new bunparents who’ve embraced destiny and surrendered their hearts and homes to the partner(s) of their dreams!

Partners like Curry, one of our Belleville buns, and his sister Quinn. And Butters, whose new home comes with a bonus—a new mate! Polar Bear and Spots stole the hearts of a family in Ohio, proving that love knows no boundaries. Facebook brought River Road rescue Jasper together with a Chicago family.

Even the socially awkward among us can take heart. Little Clover, who’s been at the sanctuary since she was a kit, needs a little more TLC than other rabbits. She’s getting it now, thanks to the loving adopter who traveled all the way across the state. What’s a few hours of driving compared to a future filled with joy?

Don’t we all secretly dream of making that special love connection? No need to endure long nights at seedy singles’ bars or ghastly blind dates. For a partner that will keep you smiling, keep you hopping, and (if you’re not careful) knock you right off your feet, head straight for our sanctuary. Affection awaits!

Brrrrringing up bunny

October 18, 2017

Ask a hundred people for the best example of “money pit”, and 98 of them will answer “children” or “old houses”! We love them, and they’re well worth the sleepless nights, endless toil, and cringe-inducing Visa bills. But holy heavens, does it never end???

We understand completely! Our sanctuary doesn’t need to fund little Sandy’s braces or pay the inevitable medical bills when brother Randy decides yet again to defy the laws of gravity and common sense. But we do have our fair share of challenges, with both kids and buildings. Especially in the colder months.

You know that sinking feeling every time you hear the furnace kick on in your home, as you anticipate another massive heating bill? Try keeping three vintage barns warm and cozy in the middle of what’s anticipated to be a harsh winter!

Have you ever seen a rabbit diving into a pile of hay? Blink and it’s gone! Our nearly 100 residents can raze remarkable amounts in a single week. And just like with most freshly grown items, hay prices spike outside of growing season. So do the greens our rabbits need to stay healthy.

Do you find yourself munching more as the days grow darker? Humans and animals alike have a biological urge to bulk up a bit for the colder weather. At our farm, this means an increase in the amount of rabbit and pig pellets we use, as well as food for the cats.

And then there are the surprise expenses. We suspect by the time we’re finished with the spay and neuter bills for our 30 new baby kits, our vet will have no problem paying off her student loans!

Here’s where we come right out and ask for your help. Our goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of October, enough to provide security for the tough months ahead. If you are willing to help with a donation, please go to http://www.rabbitsanctuary.org/donate-today/

If you’d like to see first-hand how your gift will be used, join us on Sunday, October 22, for our free GLRS Fall Celebration! Tour the barns, meet our residents, enjoy refreshments, and shop from our extensive selection of sanctuary memorabilia. Did we mention that our Farmer Dave has some of the most impressive pumpkins you’ll ever see? We’ll even help you load up your car!

Our Fall Celebration will run from 12-4, regardless of weather. Remember, the celebration is free, although donations are always appreciated. All proceeds from our sales go directly to the Winter Fund.

One more time

September 13, 2017

Our neighbors to the south are getting pounded. Harvey, Irma, now Juan…the wild weather is relentless. No doubt you’ve seen the pictures of the destruction, flooding, the empty store shelves and crumpled buildings. You’ve heard the news reports confirming how difficult it is for residents to find adequate shelter, food and water for themselves. Imagine the challenge faced by families with animals!

We published this blog a few months ago, but it seems like a good time for a reminder. In northern states like Michigan, we’re not likely to ever face a hurricane. But that doesn’t mean we’re off the hook! Tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flooding, gusting winds, hail…if you haven’t experienced any of these yet, give it a couple more months!

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It’s storm season in Michigan, and that means we’ve got to be prepared. Whether we’re getting by with candles and canned food for a few days during a power outage, or hunkering down in our basements waiting out a tornado warning, having a plan is crucial. It’s even more important if we have four-legged family members.

Think about the last time you prepared to take Puffball in for a simple 20 minute vet visit. First you unearthed her carrier from the back of the closet, wiped out the dried pee you somehow missed when you put it away last time, dug around under your bed to find her favorite travel stuffie, remembered she needs a brave bunny goodie for the trip home, flushed her out from behind the fridge, and wrangled her into the carrier. Finally, an hour later, you were ready to hit the road.

A quick response is crucial in any emergency. A little advance planning now can save valuable time and untold stress later. Don’t wait a crisis hits! Gather the necessary bunny supplies and have them ready and easily accessible, before you need them.

If a storm strikes, you may have to move your pet quickly. A stressed rabbit can easily gnaw through a soft-sided carrier, so invest in one made of sturdy, hard plastic. Line the bottom with a thick towel and puppy pee pad. You don’t know how long she’ll be confined, so you want her to be comfortable. Make sure your name and contact information is written on or securely fastened to the carrier.

Fresh water is essential, so stash a couple gallons in a safe place (along with a bowl). We recommend storing at least five days worth of hay and pellets alongside the water. Pellets will stay fresh up to three months in a Tupperware container or Ziploc baggie. Hopefully, you won’t ever need to use this food, so remember to rotate it regularly to keep it from going stale.

Does your rabbit take any medications? Be sure to have a backup supply on hand. Same goes for extra puppy pads, in case you won’t have access to a litter box for a while. And don’t forget about your bun’s emotional health. A snuggly toy with your scent on it will be a big comfort to her.

Our buns absorb our emotions, so the calmer we remain, the easier it will be on them. Here’s to a safe, storm-free summer!

Baby binkies

August 30, 2017

When it rains, it pours…and you can help us hold the umbrella! Please join us on Sunday, September 10th, for a Baby Shower to welcome our newestminiature additions.

You’ve heard the old phrase “raining cats and dogs”. Around here, it’s been raining rabbits! First our heroic hoarding survivor Nala surprised us with eight tiny kits. Almost immediately afterward the Michigan Five arrived, all impossibly adorable and all under two months old. The deluge continued with four babies from Belleville.

Then just to mix things up, along came Maisy the piglet!

18 youngsters? That’s a kindergarten class! That’s both sides of a Little League game! That’s most of the Duggar family (and even they procured their kids one at a time)! You can see how this might have come as a shock. But now that the sheer terror has worn thin, we’re ready to celebrate our fresh fuzzy furbabies. And we’d love for you to join in.

Our baby shower will run from 1-4 PM, with free admission (although “diaper donations” are greatly welcomed!) Start your afternoon with light snacks, punch, and of course, cake! Stay for shower games and a silent auction (win a box of goodies to use to “baby” yourself!) Enjoy a tour of the grounds and barns, and of course, meet our irresistible guests of honor.

For more information, or for the sanctuary address, please contact info@rabbitsanctuary.org.