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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Where did you get your bunny?
Last Post by Hannah at 1/27/2008 7:20 AM (52 Replies)
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User is Offline LillyBear
Chicago, IL
231 posts Send Private Message
1/04/2007 12:31 PM

I feel like everyone on every forum Ive gone to has rescued their bunny either from a shelter or another home situation.  I got my Lilly at a Petland (previously unowned).  Is that bad?  Should people not buy petstore bunnies and instead buy rescue rabbits?

The only reason I ask is because I really don't know which is better!!  What happens to the buns at the petstores?  Shelters I know euthanize them, right, do petstores do this too?  I am confused.. I am starting to feel like maybe I should have bought a bunny from a shelter instead cause everyone else did..

So.. If I were to get another bun.. what should I do.. Im not considering getting one until way in the future.. since I can not financially support more than one at the moment.. but you know..



Lilly - 3.5 y/o french lop mix
Harry - 2.5 month old mini lop
Henry (RIP)- 3 y/o holland lop

User is Offline Anita Stark
Ontario, Canada
200 posts Send Private Message
1/04/2007 12:46 PM
Hi LillyBear
I know what you mean about the confusion.  We got Sable at SuperPet, at the time I was completely unaware of rabbit rescues though I did have misgivings about feeding the cycle of production.  On the other hand, we didn't go there looking for a bunny, I just fell in love with Sable as soon as I saw him.  I can't believe that I could have forced myself to walk away even if I had been better informed. 

I also understand what everyone else is saying about there being enough bunnies in need of rescue without encouraging breeding by buying from a pet store and, if we ever get a buddy for Sable, I would definitely look into a rescue.

Someone on another thread said that unsold bunnies become snake food!!  If that's the case I'm glad I bought Sable.  Also, I have started looking at it as a "pre-emptive rescue" .. knowing that less responsible people might also fall in love with that little fuzzy face and he might end up with a life less pampered than he's getting.

I'm not sure that there is a better or worse in this situation, but I guess I would encourage you to look into rescues if you decide to get a second bun and maybe we can strike some kind of balance.

Btw, I think Lilly is precious.  Is she as cuddly as she looks?


Sable's Mom

User is Offline dmh426
Syracuse, New York
435 posts Send Private Message
1/04/2007 1:11 PM
I got Sophie from a friend who had about 20 rabbits that she was fostering for the HRS on top of her own 5. As far as petsores go, I must say that I am very anti. I've stood in line paying for my Yesterday's News litter watching kids stick their hands inside the open boxes to grab a bunny, parents all but putting their kids in the open boxes laughing at their little hellions antics while scaring the poor rabbit half to death as it is "captured" and the loud noise on top of it all....it's hard not to look at the bunnies and want to take them home though. Did anyone ever notice how all the bunny cages are listed as "dwarf rabbit". Very misleading to the consumer who knows nothing of bunnies except how cute they are how they are the perfect pet for their five year old (the biggest urban legend if I ever heard one).

Pet stores often also sell rabbits that are not the customary 12 weeks old. It is very traumatic for a rabbit to be seperated from its mother and siblings before 10 weeks. I actually turned in a local pet store here to the Humane Society and local police department because the rabbits that they were selling were no larger than a pound a half and after all my time in the HRS I would bet my brand new three bedroom bungalow house that they weren't a day over 6 weeks. Why sell so early you might ask? Small bunnies sell. The mother was also probably a "professional breeder" and was due with a new litter any day now and they had to liquidize. Yes, the business word of "liquidize" seems appropriate.

Let's save the bunnies that are already unloved in the world without increasing the demand for pet stores to overbreed and supply stores with litters that really are too immature to sell.



User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2093 posts Send Private Message
1/04/2007 1:13 PM
As someone who works in rescue, let me be the first to say that beating yourself up about buying a bunny serves no purpose.  She is yours now, and if you give her a good home and proper care, there is no fault to be found.  The biggest problem with petstore bunnies is that they are impulse buys.  People look at them and think they are like a hamster or a rat, something that does not live very long and can hang out in a cage or hutch all day and be fine.  The people selling the animal and the people buying the animal do not know much about what they are getting themselves into.  After a few months, the rabbit  grows much bigger, gets crabby because it is crazy with hormones, and it isn't quite so adorable or fun anymore.  This is when the animal gets dumped, either at a shelter or in a field someplace.

If a time comes when you want to get a companion for your bunny, I would suggest a local rescue or a shelter where there are advocates that really know the rabbits they care for.  They can help you with choosing potential mates whose temprament matches your household, they can help you with the bonding process, and you can feel really good about saving two lives (the bun you adopt and the one that takes its place rather than getting put down).  Shelters and rescues also really stress spay/neuter (we get the babies back when people have unintentional litters after all).



User is Offline LillyBear
Chicago, IL
231 posts Send Private Message
1/04/2007 2:38 PM
Thanks guys I never thought about the fact that buying from the pet stores increases demand for breeding! Now I can safely say that when I fell in love with Lilly I never even knew of such things as rabbit rescues. And I would never ever dump her! She is mine and I am in love! hehe. And she is crabby as hell, but hey, I can deal. I do wonder how old she was when I got her though, they said 12 weeks, but she only weighed about 1lb! eep. No worries, now she is a healthy 3.5-4lbs

lol Anita. Though she looks very cuddly, she is only so when she chooses to be, and most the time she is crabby and wants nothing to do with being cuddled! Thank you though!


Lilly - 3.5 y/o french lop mix
Harry - 2.5 month old mini lop
Henry (RIP)- 3 y/o holland lop

User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
1/04/2007 8:22 PM
I got Fujoe from craigslist...


The thing about selling bunnies too young, I got that shoved in my face about a week ago. I was in a part of downtown LA called Santee Alley. It's a place where you can buy bootleg ANYTHING. I love going there and getting knock-off sunglasses and such, I had to buy luggage the day I went. I went with my two friends... on a corner of a street there was a woman selling animals in a cart type thing. She had a bunny that was so tiny- so tiny that it's eyes weren't even open. I started to cry in the street. I wanted to save it, but my friends convinced me otherwise. She was selling it for $20- and they said if I bought it, even with the intention of saving it, that she would breed more to sell. I mean, there was no way this bunny was going to survive... I had to convince myself of that, as difficult as that was. I didn't know if I could save it, and then I had to leave LA to go to Chicago... then what? Leave it with my parents? My cat would catch it here. I just couldn't believe that someone would take away a baby from it's mother when it can't even see the world it's being shoved in.

I hope no one thinks I am a bad person for not trying to save the baby...I wanted to, but...I don't think it would have survived the rest of that day...



User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
1/04/2007 10:22 PM
all three of my bunnies are rescues from the rabbit haven. now that I'm educated about rescue - there's no way I could ever buy a bunny. the amount of bunnies that are euthanized breaks my heart, all the bunnies we try to rescue - but can't save...

bunnies at petstores are generally weaned too young, poorly cared for, mis-sexed and the people buying them are often given poor information about how to care for bunnies. store owners generally don't care that the rabbits are on pine shavings, are looking dehydrated or have diarrhea. most pet stores don't care about the rabbit's well being, they're simply a way to make a profit. And if the rabbit gets sick - do you think they pay for a vet to get it well? What do they do with the bunnies once they're not tiny babies anymore?

I do completely understand that many people buy rabbits before they learn about about rescue. I'm certainly not condeming people for buying a rabbit. But, once you learn about rescue - the fact that you can get a baby bunny through rescue - that rescues provide education and support to bunny owners and bunnies, that most rescue bunnies are neutered/ spayed before you bring them home. it makes adopting a rescue the sensible thing to do.


~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline Elena Niznik
Glasgow (Scotland)
132 posts Send Private Message
1/04/2007 10:33 PM
Both my bunnies are rescue rabbits, I grew up on a farm which had a close alliance with the scottish society for the protection of cruelty to animals. (SSPCA) So i was lucky enough to be aware of rescue shelters.

I went to the shelter intent on getting a pet any kind of pet and thats when i found boo. She had been there a while people overlooked her for the more handsome lops or dutch rabbits that came in. So i decided to take her home with me.

I got Rolo from a different shelter from a lady who has dedicated her whole life to resuing and rehoming rabbits.


After rescuing my rabbist i would never consider buying any pet from a pet store or breeder. There were just so many ickle animals all unwanted and waiting to be loved.

Fujoethebunny what a horrible story, I would have no idea what i would have done in your situation im so sorry you had to go through that.



User is Offline Anita Stark
Ontario, Canada
200 posts Send Private Message
1/05/2007 2:35 AM
Posted By LillyBear on 01/04/2007 5:38 PM
lol Anita. Though she looks very cuddly, she is only so when she chooses to be, and most the time she is crabby and wants nothing to do with being cuddled! Thank you though!



.. I can see why you call her "Bear".  We are lucky that Sable is a cuddle bun.  He lets me pick him up in some situations though most of his free time cuddling is on his terms only.  Sometimes he even flops in my lap when I'm stretched out on the couch.

As for what others have posted regarding pet store buns I just wanted to add that we had a good experience with SuperPet in that the lady caring for the bunnies has a free-roaming house rabbit of her own and gave us good advice.  She showed me how to handle him, showed me how to check his gender and though she admitted she couldn't be 100% certain rightly identified him as a boy.  I'm also happy to say that all of the advice she gave has been echoed on these forums so I feel a bit better that at least the buns in that store are being cared for by a knowledgeable person.  I have never seen tiny helpless babies in there either.

As for what happens when they are unsold, I'm thinking of inquiring into that and perhaps lobbying them to start dealing with rescues instead of breeders.  I believe they are currently the only pet store in our area that deals in rabbits.  Will let you know what I find out.

 



Sable's Mom

User is Offline dmh426
Syracuse, New York
435 posts Send Private Message
1/05/2007 2:46 AM
Ok, first of all I have to hit Canal Street in NYC, about 4 hours away to do that knid of shopping. So jealous.  We can't save them all, you ahve to remember that. If it's eyes weren't even open, there is a good chance it wouldn't survive away from its mother and not in a heated nest box. Do you know what I mean, Lucy? i think i would cried too. Then I would have gotten violent.  Congrats on not getting arrested, because I would have! 



User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2093 posts Send Private Message
1/05/2007 4:24 AM
Two very large pet store chains here in California (PetCo and PetsMart) no longer sell bunnies, puppies or kittens.  I do not know very much about PetCo, but PetsMart does a lot of good for rescues.  They give grants for spay/neuter, they provide space and advertizing for adoption events, and they give rescues cash bonuses for attending adoption shows and for doing in store adoptions.  This is good business for them; the shows bring in customers, and people who get a new pet are more likely to buy high margin items like xpens, cages, etc.  They have a permanent display of adoptable cats; dogs and rabbits are individual events.



User is Offline wendyzski
Chicago, IL
1316 posts Send Private Message
1/05/2007 4:27 AM
Pepper came from a local shelter.  I had seen their buns at pet store adoption events (when I was buying hamster supplies) so I was very familiar with them.  Their volunteers answered all my questions as I began the process of researching and eventually adopting.  I also buy my hay from them (they get money and I don't have to pay shipping) and in a few months I will be taking Pepper over there to pick out a bunny-friend.



User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
1/05/2007 9:06 AM
I'm gald everyone's supportive with my desicion...

oh, Danielle, I'm really sad cause now I'm leaving LA and going back to Chicago.. and there's really nothing like it there.. there is a little something, and I can't think of what it's called.. but nothing compared to Santee Alley. 4 hours seems worth the drive to me..



User is Offline BridgetteBunny
20 posts Send Private Message
1/05/2007 10:47 AM
I fostered bunnies through the shelter that I have volunteered and worked at for two years while I was in undergrad since I wasn't sure where I would be living next. I just officially adopted my own bunny from this same shelter. I know first hand how many bunnies come into the shelter. This shelter was not very big and yet euthanized about 80-100 rabbits a year. Surrenders came in every week and were often euthanized immediately. Luckily for us we were able to get a selection of our rabbits into Pet Supplies Plus. They adopted out our bunnies with appropriate cages and literature instead of selling their own. It worked well for everyone. I actually came to find out that two babies from a litter I fostered were adopted by one of my riding friends. That was really fun! I also know that the Petco around here allows people who want to surrender their bunnies try to adopt them out through there. You can never really be sure they are going to great homes that way but I still think it is better than breeding them just for the purpose of selling. Its amazing how many people don' know this so don't feel bad. Even the people at the shelter had no clue until we started getting education and literature out there. All you can do now is get the word out yourself! Good luck!



User is Offline KOKKINIKLOSTI
Levadeia, Greece
60 posts Send Private Message
1/06/2007 4:19 AM
I don't think tha tyous hould blame yourself just because you got your bunny by a pet shop! I was planning to get my first bunny by the pet shop of my town! Mark that this pet shop is owned by a vet! So, rahter than asking them i preferrend to educate myself through the internet! So, i spent some months learning about rabbits and also through the internet i found the lady who was in need of giving away her rabbits because they were multyplying uncontrollably! That's how i found Aftias! Now i just go to the pet shop to get feeds and accessories for the bunny and the hammies! Because when i noticed that the rabbits that they had there where eating the wood shavings i told them that and the vet (huh) said, "so what?"! Most pet shops do not know a thing about animals and that's another reason that we should prefer shelters! they ar better educated!


Aftias: baby bunny
Trrreli, Estia, Mira: hammy girls

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8668 posts Send Private Message
1/06/2007 8:33 PM

What actually happens to the unsold pets?  It depends on where you live and what the regulations are there, and the agreements made.  But my understanding is that some go back to the breeder to be euthanized, or rebred, or sold to medical testing labs. I have also heard of the snake food issue.  I haven't done enough research to know who and where and what the numbers are.    You can do a google search to find out the details.  When I do this, it just breaks my heart, and I usually save the search for another day.

Many shelters euthanize, most rescue groups do not.  Most of the time the rescue groups are saving the 11th hour animals.   Shelters have different regulations in regards to how many days, and how many animals.  

Ultimately if everyone would take care of their animals like you do, then shelters would most likely only be housing lost and found, as well as any animals in transition due to a tragedy like their owners death.  But most animals are just abandoned.  Also, if  people would only go to shelters now to adopt animal companions,  then the numbers to euthanize would most likely go down.   

Being euthanized because the animal is unwanted is sad, whether it never had a chance at a good life  because it wasn't sold at a pet store, or because it was abandoned at a shelter.   But at least if breeding came to a halt until the numbers of abandoned animals were under control, then maybe that would help some.   But that will never happen, so we just do what we can.  And part of that in my opinion is to adopt instead of buy.

Now with that said, there is no way I can look down on anyone for not knowing.  And I also don't want to demonize breeders.  People are ultimately responsible.  Even people who have gotten their bunnies from rescues can abandoned them too.   There are very caring responsible breeders out there.  I mean, geez, my first bunny came from a knowledgable caring breeder and she was the one that originally directed me to HRS for more information, and that started me on the road to rescue.   I think now, how did I not know, but really unless you are involved, unless you really hear about it, or consciously seek out  the information out, then how would  you know the how serious it really is.  I mean everyone knows we have shelters, but  many times it's just like other things in life - we know a bit about them, but unless something really happens to involve us, then sometimes we just don't know the real details.  

For example, I knew about dog, cat, rabbit rescues, but I was amazed to find out about all the other animals in shelters and rescue groups - lizards, snakes, birds from finches to exotic expensive parrots, guinea pigs, goats, chickens...the list goes on.   I remember when I was transporting a huge injured iguana from animal care and control to a reptile rescue group.  I thought, there is every kind of animal available!  No one has to go to the a pet store or breeder with so many types of animals in need.  I just never knew!  So I totally understand how others don't.

I mean look at all of the things in the world that beg for our awareness - cancers, illnesses, poverty, starvation, global warming... the list is endless!   We get involved with things that either touch us emotionally, or actually affect our lives in a direct way.  

Though I wish people would no longer get their pets at pet stores, what I really wish is that more people would just make a lifetime commitment to their animal companion. And it sounds like that is what you are doing, so in that respect, you are not feeding back into the cycle

Ultimately, you have to do what is best for you.   But if that includes adopting next time, there are many positive things about adopting a bunny.  1.  Usually there are so many personalities to choose from, and the rescuers will be able to guide you to the one that would best suit you.   2.  Most are already spayed/neutered.  3.  You save two lives.  The bunny you adopted and the one that will take its place when you free up space for another to be saved from euthanasia.

Anyway, the best thing you can do is what you are doing.  Giving a loving lifetime commitment to your bunny.    If everyone did what you do, then the rescue problem would be less of an issue.  




User is Offline wendyzski
Chicago, IL
1316 posts Send Private Message
1/07/2007 8:42 AM
Posted By BinkyBunny on 01/06/2007 11:33 PM

For example, I knew about dog, cat, rabbit rescues, but I was amazed to find out about all the other animals in shelters and rescue groups - lizards, snakes, birds from finches to exotic expensive parrots, guinea pigs, goats, chickens...the list goes on.    


*nods*  I got my hamster from a shelter, and people were always like "Wow - I didn't know shelters had hamsters!"  He was a bit undersocalized, but I had the expereince and patience to work with him, and we had a lot of fun for 2 yrs.

When Pepper and I ride the bus, I always have flyers for my local shelter with me because we are always bombarded with questions.  She's my little bunny ambassador!



User is Offline nitetygress
Berkeley
105 posts Send Private Message
1/15/2007 10:58 PM
I got Cassy from a pet store in Berkeley that is a small family owned pet store that was very good at educating its customers about rabbits (based on all the stuff I read online for months) They offer to pay for any vet expenses for the first two weeks of ownership and take on foster kittens. I think that Cassy may have been from a breeder, but I really fell in love with her when I walked into the petstore, and couldnt imagine someone who wasnt willing to do right by her adopting her. I also felt that even though I am pro rescue bunnies, does that mean that all bunnies in pet stores must go with out homes/face unknown fates? I suppose it supports the industry, but at the same time, buying toys, food and bedding from big pet stores is also supporting the industry, who often promote things that are unhealthy for rabbits by having them in their stores (pellet mixes that have seeds and tons of junk food, cedar shavings etc.

I conclude that there is no really right answer (for me at least) but I really want every bunny, rescue or pet store, to live a healthy, happy life with as many binkies as possible!


Proud mommy of Cassandra Bella aka "Cassy" the mini rex and her Husbunny Alexander the Netherland Dwarf/Hotot Mix

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8668 posts Send Private Message
1/15/2007 11:17 PM
Posted By nitetygress on 01/16/2007 1:58 AM
.... I really want every bunny, rescue or pet store, to live a healthy, happy life with as many binkies as possible!


I absolutely agree with that!!!  That is the bottomline. I so wish everyone felt that and was committed to their own pets with that concept in mind.



User is Offline Hilde
Sacramento, CA
32 posts Send Private Message
1/16/2007 9:28 PM

We rescued our first, Hazel, off the street. She was a tiny baby bun, hopping along the gutter with 4 other siblings, likely disturbed in their nest and run off. She had a broken leg and couldn't run, so she was the only one "rescued" by my brother-in-law's housemates.
They actually just kept her in a box in their room, full of smoke, so we rescued her from them and brought her home, took her to a vet, and cared for her. Well, that was 4 years ago, and she's now our little princess, loved to pieces and loving us right back.



This is Hazel, at 3 1/2 weeks old.

Our second bunny, White Chocolate, was adopted at an adoption event organised by the House Rabbit Society at a pet store. She had been in and out of the local shelter, and in foster, a few times, and was "on death row", about to be put down. Well, my husband just couldn't let that happen, so she became my daughter's bun . Her choosing, she bonded with my daughter, and is now a real "mommy's bun", never bites or lunges at her, trusts her completely.... to the rest of us she was "Atilla the Bun" , though she's a lot better now.



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