Archive for the ‘Sanctuary’ Category

Bowl me over

March 7, 2018

Bowl or bottle? Among rabbit owners, it’s as ubiquitous a question as “paper or plastic”. Rabbits are heavy drinkers–they can put a shipload of sailors to shame! What’s the best way to ensure our bunnies have a constant supply of fresh water?

You’ll find compelling arguments for both sides. At our sanctuary, we use bowls, for a few specific reasons. First off, we’ve found that rabbits drink much more water when provided with a bowl vs a bottle. It takes less effort to lap up liquid than it does to suck it out of a tube drop by drop. Bowls are easier to keep clean and refill, and there’s no leakage. We also find that lowering the head to drink is a comfortable, natural movement, as opposed to stretching upward to access a bottle nozzle.

That said, there are certain situations where a bottle is the more practical choice. A blind or physically impaired rabbit may find it impossible to maneuver around a water bowl without spilling it. We’ve even had a couple of exceptionally long-eared residents who ended up taking a bath each time they bent down to take a drink!

Whichever delivery method you decide upon, there’s a few things to keep in mind. With a bowl, the heavier the better. A sturdy ceramic or metal bowl is less likely to tip over when Pawla decides to use it as a wading pool or chew toy. Look for one that’s wider at the base. Plastic bowls scratch easily, and can harbor harmful bacteria. Choose the largest bowl that will fit into your rabbit’s space, and keep it full.

If you go with a bottle, don’t cheap out. Lesser quality bottles will drip and leak, leaving you with a mess and your rabbit without anything to drink. Some ultra-bargain brands look effective, but don’t dispense water evenly. Your rabbit will have to expend a great deal of effort to get a few drops. When positioning the bottle, double check that Pawlette can reach the nozzle comfortably without stretching or twisting.

When in doubt, try a combo unit. It’s good practice to empty and scrub your bun’s dispensers frequently, even if they look clean. Would you really want to drink the water that’s been sitting in a cup on your nightstand for the past week? Use a mild detergent and rinse well. Bottle nozzles can be hard to clean, so try a Q Tip or toothbrush. Then refill.  (Hint: the fuller the bottle, the fewer drips you’ll have.)


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, 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.

“Bond. Buns Bond.”

December 6, 2017

“It is not good for man to be alone.” Those are some pretty famous words. And they’re just as true when you substitute “rabbit” for “man”. Nearly all of us have had the urge to flee our hectic lives and hole up in a remote cabin, far away from the the rest of humanity. But you won’t find many hermit bunnies! Rabbits are social creatures, happiest when they’re surrounded by others of their own kind.

We encourage potential bunparents to adopt in pairs, and for owners of single rabbits to find a friend for their bun. But it’s not as easy as throwing a bunch of fish in a tank together. How would you feel if a stranger showed up in your home and started eating out of your fridge or soaking in your tub? Rabbits are as choosy as we are when it comes to accepting a mate.

Bringing unfamiliar rabbits together isn’t like an episode of The Love Boat. Try Survivor, maybe! So how do you go about ensuring domestic harmony between your adoptees? Repeat after me: PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE!!! A few lucky bunny bonds are a case of love at first sight, but most will take a few weeks, possibly a few months. Humans don’t go ring shopping on the first date, after all.

Step #1: Misery loves company. Start right off the bat by bringing your rabbits home in the same carrier. Trust us, they’ll be too anxious to fight. You might take back roads or make a few extra loops around the neighborhood. When you check on them, chances are excellent that they’ll be cuddled together. This is a good beginning!

Step #2: Quantity vs quality. For the next several days, keep your buns in separate pens, but within eye/ear/nose shot of each other. Let them get used to their new roomie’s sounds and smells. Then begin switching pens. On opposite days, Snowflake moves into Cottonball’s pen and vice versa. Both rabbits get accustomed to sharing the same spaces, just not at the same time.

Step #3: Short and sweet. Now you’ll bring them together in one smallish area, like an X-pen or a bathtub. Set your phone alarm for ten minutes and let them interact. If they ignore each other, gently guide them closer. It’s likely that there will be some minor tussling and a few tufts of flying fur as they decide who’s going to be top bun. Stay calm, nudge them apart and speak softly. At the end of the ten minutes, break out the banana. You want your rabbits to associate “togetherness” with “yummy”!

Step #4: Slow and steady. Gradually lengthen the amount of time together and vary the surroundings. You might set them up near the washing machine or beside the rug as you vacuum near them. The goal isn’t to terrorize them, but to encourage them to seek comfort from each other. If either rabbit seems overly stressed, or if you see too much hostility, it’s time to slow down a bit. Go back to ten minutes at a time.

Lots of treats, lots of praise, lots of patience! And lots of supervision. If you see mutual grooming, eating out of the same bowl, napping together, or nose-to-nose contact, you’ll know your buns are on the fast track to bonded bliss. (Keep in mind: ONLY after you’ve witnessed a continued period of harmony, with only minor sibling rivalry, should you put them together permanently.)

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 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

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.

Buns in Toyland

October 11, 2017

So you’ve brought home your new rabbit, and you’re sure you thought of everything. Little Pawla has a spacious, solid-bottomed pen. You’ve stocked up on the best quality hay, and your crisper drawer is stuffed with fresh herbs and greens. The litter in her box is dust and fragrance free, her water bowl is full, and you’ve got a reputable “bunny basics” guidebook on your shelf next to the nail clippers and grooming tools.

Pawla is destined for a very comfortable life, no doubt! You’ve made sure all her physical needs will be met. But there’s another facet to raising a healthy, happy bunny, one that often gets overlooked.

We all know that rabbits are extremely intelligent, curious creatures. They’re also social animals, with a ton of energy. And bored bunnies are destructive bunnies! Imagine spending all day in a room with a TV that only gets one channel (and that’s C-SPAN!) You might not gnaw your way to freedom like Pawla, but we’re willing to bet you’d be tempted.

Don’t let frustration build! It’s easy to entertain a rabbit. One of our former residents, Gordon, would spend hours burrowing, digging, and ripping newspapers. Phone books and cardboard boxes are bunny magnets, and they fulfill your bun’s innate need to chew. Want to get some use out of all that junk mail? Rabbit teeth are far more effective than any shredder! Pinecones, empty oatmeal boxes, clean laundry detergent caps are all quick and easy playthings.

Try to find time every day to get on the floor with your bun. Playing together is a surefire way to build or strengthen the bond between you. Make towers out of plastic stacking cups or wooden blocks, and let Pawla knock them down with her nose. You might roll a small ball across the floor for her to investigate. Hide treats in toilet paper rolls, lunch sacks, or tissue boxes and encourage her to dig them out.

Willing to offer yourself as a human jungle gym? Try lying flat with a treat on your stomach (if you’ve got a large bun, you might want to roll over!) and wait for Pawla to climb up and get it. Once she catches on, you can do this on your hands and knees. Believe us when we say there’s just nothing more entertaining than feeling a bunny bouncing around on your back!

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