SaveABunny is an award-winning rabbit rescue organization based in Mill Valley, California.
We work with shelters all across Northern California to make sure homeless rabbits get the second chance they deserve. We never euthanize. Even special needs rabbits that may never get adopted are given love and care for as long as we have them.
We're a non-profit organization, which means 100% of our help comes from dedicated volunteers and generous donations.
To learn more, visit www.saveabunny.org.
This post is dedicated to a special breed of rabbit known as the Himalayan – or, in Europe, the Russian. These white rabbits with dark ears, nose, paws, and tails probably originated in neither the Himalayas nor Russia. Despite the mystery surrounding the origin of the breed, we do know these things for certain: Himalayans are typically gentle, calm, and love attention. Because of this, they’ve become popular laboratory and meat rabbits. Which makes us sad, because they make fantastic, caring companions – a fact I canvouch forpersonally.
Also, they’ve been genetically enhanced by generations of rabbit breeders for extra handsomeness. We’re swooning over several at SaveABunny right now:
McDreamy, a rare lionhead Himalayan
And, of course, Phoenix. Although it's hard to tell on him.
SaveABunny Volunteer Mai sent in this account of time spent with some of our special bunnies.
If you’re reading this blog, it’s because you’re a fellow bunny lover. You know the delights of binkies and happy honking and whisker tickles on your face. My husband Mark and I love them so much that we adopted five bunnies from SaveABunny. And if we had the room, we’d adopt five more. It’s a problem that many of us face: we want more bunnies but can’t accommodate them all at all times. I, for one, can never get my fill of bunniness. So, in order to indulge that lagomorphic urge, I groom bunnies with my husband at SaveABunny. Working there gives even the most voracious bunny lover more bunniness than she can ever contain.
Grooming is one of the many ways that people can volunteer at the sanctuary. It’s our favorite way because we get to pick up the bunnies and hug them while we clip their nails and check their ears and brush them over and over. Once they get used to the unfamiliarity of being on a table out of their pens, they usually love the attention. We could brush each one of them all day. But there’s never time for that – there are too many bunnies who need massaging and petting and are just waiting for their turn! Or maybe that’s just me projecting: I want to give every bunny his or her turn with the comb.
The variety of bunnies is one of the joys of grooming at SaveABunny. As we all know, each bunny has his or her own personality, so interacting with them one at a time allows us to meet them, get to know their likes and dislikes, feel the different energies that they emanate and, for the brief time that we’re with them, touch souls.
The last time I was there, I decided that I wanted to share the joy that is inherent in interacting with each bunny in the hopes that people might read this blog, read about each bunny, and think, “I think I’d really get along with that bunny. Maybe I should go meet him.” And this is the stuff of which long, happy companionship is made.
Our first bunny was Poodalia. She is a beautiful white angora bunny who suffered from neglect, Her fur was patchy, and we could see the delicate pink skin underneath. She was a wiggly one; we wrestled with her for a bit, but once we got her on my lap and started massaging her jaws, she settled right down. She had a big explosion of fur as a tail; it was giant in relation to the rest of her body…and it was just begging to be tickled. Because she was neglected, she is wary of humans and can be shy.She has to be approached gently, so for this reason, she would be a better companion for experienced bunny parents. It doesn’t take too long to earn her trust, though; even during the short time we were handling her, she got comfortable enough to grind her teeth and lick my hand. That’s all the thanks I need.
Sherwood was next. I had been looking forward to grooming him because he is a GIANT French lop. I wanted more than anything to pick him up and for once in my life have enough bunny to hold all at once. And I did! He was one huge, squirmy mass of bunny, and holding him was like holding a small dog. He struggled at first; after all, I was a complete stranger. However, it was easy to get him tranced out, and once we did, he was like fuzzy putty in our hands. Sherwood is one of the furrier bunnies, so we made sure to check his backside carefully. These long-haired bunnies can get their pellets or urine matted into their fur, so it’s important to check often to help them keep the area clean and healthy. Sherwood needed a little trimming and cleaning on his backside, and we thought he would resent the intrusion. I mean, every bunny has his right to privacy! But he didn’t struggle at all; in fact, I think he might have even enjoyed it. When we woke him out of his trance, he positioned himself like a ballerina and prepared to do a graceful grand jete right out of my arms, but I managed to hang onto him and get some extra hugs as a bonus. The interaction with him was boisterous, but he recovered from it quickly because, when we put him back in his pen, he settled right down and seemed to doze.
Then came Scooter, one of Marcy’s Bunny Ambassadors and a little russet-colored tornado. He has one leg that was damaged in such a way that it sticks out now like a little bunny kickstand, but that does not slow him down one whit. He seemed to think that it was fun to make the big, clumsy human chase him around his pen, spill his water, land face first in his litterbox, and finally turn into a big pretzel. Scooter has street cred. He’s one of those adaptable little guys who can fit in anywhere and be adored by everyone. One might be inclined to pity him because of his leg, but you only have to see him interact with other bunnies to know that he’s far from the bottom of the hierarchy. He lives in a pen with three other bunnies, and he buzzed around each of them like a bee, getting a kiss here and a lick there. Scooter loved all of his bunny roommates, and they loved him back.
Grace is a special bunny both to me specifically and to everyone who interacts with her. She was the one who gave me my very first bunny kiss – and you never forget your first kiss. She is aptly named because she radiates grace and tranquillity, even though she is blind. Grace is like a little space heater of compassion. Marcy puts sick or new bunnies with Grace because she knows that Grace will be kind to them and show them the ropes. She can get nervous, especially when her toys and dishes are moved around because she does have to find her way around without seeing. With her, you can’t dither – you have to pick her up quickly and decisively and hug her closely – I use any excuse to hug bunnies! – so that she feels safe. Nervous or indecisive handling scares her. She, like the other bunnies, was nervous when I picked her up, but she, also like the other bunnies, calmed right down once she realized that she was getting a special spa treatment.
Phoenix didn’t really need to be groomed, but, since he’s such a special and brave bunny, we decided to check in on him anyway. He was doing just fine – doing tiny stationary binkies and hopping rambunctiously around his pen. I tried to pick him up, but he clearly was not in the mood…I think he wanted his tribute from afar, in the form of pets and back scratches. We gave him this tribute and paid homage to him to let him know that we understand that he’s the king.
My husband and I go to the shelter to groom bunnies as often as we can, and each trip is a delight. We intend to do much more grooming, so stay tuned for more days in the lives of bunny huggers!
With the economy in shambles, the ice caps melting, two wars, and nuclear weapons practically everywhere, there’s one issue the media has turned to now that the election is over: “OMG what kind of puppy are the Obamas gonna get?!?!”
He did not mention any specific breed, but said the family’s preference was to adopt a dog from a shelter, “a mutt – like me”, he added. Mr Obama said they had to find a pet that would not trigger an allergy of his eldest, Malia.
It is truly admirable and a huge statement for homeless animals everywhere that our incoming president would prefer to adopt a shelter animal. Huge kudos on that.
But allow me to make a suggestion. (Can ya see it coming? Can ya?) That’s right – I think the First Family should adopt a bunny. Here’s why:
1. Considering the eco-friendliness of bunnies, it would send a message to world leaders and environmental groups that Obama is as serious about the environment in his personal life as he is in his rhetoric.
2. As gentle herbivores, a rabbit would be a reminder of the loftiest goal every administration should have: world peace.
3. He will quickly learn to never rush into something without careful examination – because inevitably there will be a rabbit there to trip him if he does.
4. He will always be reminded to eat his vegetables, and so will his little girls, ensuring a healthy and happy stay in the White House.
5. How freaking adorable would it be??
Also, having a bunny conveniently sidesteps Malia’s dog allergies.
So, bunny it is! Come on over and take a look any time, Mr. President-elect! Here’s a few SaveABunny suggestions to inspire you:
As many of you may already know, rabbits can be extremely opinionated. I’m certain that if all the animals suddenly could talk to us and read newspapers and stuff, rabbits would be the first to go out and get themselves voting rights. No matter who or what they voted for, they would definitely make their opinions heard with a resounding “thump,” and by gum they would go out there on election day and vote. (Unless maybe there was a clover patch on the way and they got distracted.)
So take a lesson from the rabbits and go out there and vote November 4th!
Then when you’re done, come up to SaveABunny and check out some bunnies from one of the most opinionated (not to mention curious, comical, and smart) breeds: the Dutch.
What better bunny to dedicate October to than one that’s always in costume? The multi-colored breed known as Harlequins are short-haired, easy-to-groom, medium-sized bunnies that come in mottled shades of black, brown, tan and white. A common trait of Harlequins is a face that’s half one color and half another. These bunnies are generally calm, better with children than most rabbits, and, as you might guess from their appearance, love attention.
Come check out the Harlequins waiting for a foster or adopted home at SaveABunny:
In celebration of the sun sign Leo (July 23 to August 22), we’re dedicating August to the very special rabbits at SaveABunny who belong to the Lionhead breed. (And, of course to our founder Marcy, who is a Leo. Happy Birthday Marcy!)
Lionheads are a new breed, with a fluffy mane around their heads that makes them resemble their namesake feline. They come with friendliness and fluffiness in equal proportions, and are easy to train – but easier to love.
Meet the Lioneheads currently on the SaveABunny website:
Vicki, one of our lovely volunteers at SaveABunny, wanted to share this video of her bunnies running around and having a fun time. Just a reminder of the many rewards of sharing your home with rabbits!
Here’s what Vicki had to say:
“I’m new to bunny foster care – Chocolate Chip and Fudge are my very first bunnies. I didn’t know much about bunnies and thought they just sat around all day, but nooooo. They are very active. They just crack me up sometimes. I decided to put them on the couch to see if they would ‘do something’. What a performance they put on. And I even had the camera ready. All three of us had a great time.” – Vicki Pelton