BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > Dog Rescues... seem to be very anti- houserabbit ?
Last Post by Sarita at 10/13/2012 10:53 AM (11 Replies)
Author Messages

User is Offline Nova
220 posts Send Private Message
10/08/2012 11:20 AM

So, I've always owned rabbits and always had at least one dog. I gave my previous dog to my mother as she really had a liking for her. I know they can co-exist, and some breeds have a higher prey drive than others.

Today, I called around some dog rescue shelters in my area and told them I was interested in a dog breed with  a low prey drive that is young and trainable so I can have them co-exist with my rabbits (always supervised). I would prefer a nordic type dog for cold weather, I told them, but was unsure of those kinds of dogs' prey drive.

They all became very ..uh, abrasive? rude toned? yelled? at me and went on these God awful rants about how rabbits are terrible, mean animals and if a dog ever killed it, it'd be the rabbit's fault, not the dog's.

I was like...uh? That's totally not hat I'm calling about, but since we're on the subject, I told them that number one, rabbits are prey animals so they are always going to be on the defense around predators, and two, many rabbits become very docile as long as they are SPAYED/NEUTERED, and that dogs can be trained to be around rabbits (supervised) and not mess with them.

They then continued to yell at me and tell me that veterinarians don't fix rabbits because of anesthesia problems!!!! I was like Well, THAT'S WHEN YOU FIND A VET WHO OPERATES ON RABBITS and is KNOWLEDGEABLE on them. She said those kinds of vets don't exist.

I laughed my ass off! I said really? Cuz I volunteer for a rabbit rescue shelter and the rabbit rescue owner spays/neuters her rabbits all the time with a vet who is experienced with rabbits, and I have two rabbits myself that are fixed from another rabbit wise vet, and fixing them helped immensely with any behavior issues. And you can't blame a rabbit for being a defensive prey animal just like you can't blame a dog for being a predator.

Anyway... I told her I believe rabbits and dogs can co-exist so long as they are supervised, (i.e., I would never let my rabbits be free range without the dog being crated unless I was supervising them in the same room)... and all I really wanted to know, was if she had any dogs available that were "good" with other small animals. I asked her and one other dog rescue. They were so rude that I was totally turned off from adopting through them at all. 

They insisted that the rabbits would "attack" the dog. They were so rude and anti-rabbit! When I told her my rabbits are spayed/neutered, and that what she's saying about veterinarians is not true, she said some sharp tongued comment and hung up on me. This is terrible.

Just thought this was interesting for any rabbit rescues to be aware of----that it seems like dog rescues really are uneducated on rabbits as pets and perhaps rabbit shelters may want to reach out to dog rescues and inform them.

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2007 posts Send Private Message
10/08/2012 1:06 PM
Sounds like that lady had some issues, you should contact her boss? and let them know.

User is Offline IsabellaRobyn
526 posts Send Private Message
10/08/2012 1:26 PM
What idiots! I agree, talk to whoever is above them and file a complaint. Even if she doesn't like rabbits she is supposed to talk to you as though you are the queen! It's common knowledge that the customer is always right - even when they are wrong.

User is Offline tanlover14
3611 posts Send Private Message
10/08/2012 2:45 PM
Wow... what a horrible experience! Especially when you're looking to give a dog that NEEDS a home a good home! That is just ridiculous!
 photo f7a948e4-51c5-4191-9c54-d543ef2be477_zps834141e2.png

User is Offline Memarie
93 posts Send Private Message
10/08/2012 5:30 PM
That's absolutely horrible and completely ridiculous. If you can, contact their boss and make a complaint. They have no right to talk to you like that, especially when you are a potential customer (and a potential customer who knows their stuff about rabbits/dogs/animals).

User is Offline Nova
220 posts Send Private Message
10/08/2012 5:52 PM

I'm not even sure this person I spoke to is an official non-profit or rescue. She seemed like a bit of a hot headed redneck (don't get me wrong, I love my southern hearted people..)... but she didn't have too many dogs up for adoption, had no official website, and I'm pretty sure she owned the "rescue." I personally think she might just be...err...sorry if this phrase offends anyone, but maybe she's a crazy dog lady.... hoarding a bunch of dogs.... I wonder if her rescues are getting adequate care, to be honest. I may report her "rescue." I mean, she obviously means well for dogs, but to say such inaccurate things to the public, giving them the wrong impression about other house pets, hanging up on them, yelling at them, I think she needs her establishment reviewed.Obviously, in this case, I'd want what's best for the dogs she rescues.

Gonna try and do some homework on it I guess. I know, from volunteering a bit at a small animal rescue that "customers" - potential adopters - are not always informed or educated. Some potential adopters are downright stupid, and probably shouldn't own an animal no matter how much you try to educate them. But I would like to think I presented myself as a well intentioned, honest potential forever home for one of those dogs. sheesh

User is Offline tanlover14
3611 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 2:28 PM
From what you said before, it definitely seems like a possibility. Most rescues want to send their dogs to good forever homes. The fact that you have a rabbit isn't a good excuse to deem someone not acceptable to have a dog. Just like any animal (or human!) most things grow up and learn from their surroundings. The breeder I got my buns from has a house rabbit and a pitbull that live in the same house together (both free-roam). Dog and rabbit are perfectly happy together and she has told us stories of how her rabbits boss the pittbull around, hahaha. Anyways, she has pictures of them cuddling together on her website. It's soooo ridiculous for someone to say such things to you! Ugh.
 photo f7a948e4-51c5-4191-9c54-d543ef2be477_zps834141e2.png

User is Offline rileymai
4 posts Send Private Message
10/11/2012 9:23 PM
PSSH! Rabbits and dogs can co-exist peacefully. I have four dogs (and counting my roommate's dog, five in the house) and NO, I would not trust ALL of the dogs with the rabbit. My roommate's dog is a hound mix and has a SUPER high prey drive, and she's not even allowed around the rabbit whatsoever (for Tumnus' safety). Plus, my roommate can't seem to understand her dog has problems, or that she can't handle this type of dog.. but I digress..

My one dog Finn, who is a Karelian Bear Dog/Border Collie mix (yes, Karelian Bear Dogs are fierce, protective dogs that fight off BEARS) is absolutely terrified of the rabbit. Won't even stay in the same room as Tumnus when the bun is running about, and whines like a baby if he's forced to stay near him! I have an American Eskimo Dog who doesn't really get to be around the rabbit either - she's protective of me, and while doesn't have a huge prey drive, if she feels the bun is getting too much of my attention, she thinks she needs to chase him off. My 13-year-old dog who is deaf and mostly blind hardly notices the rabbit at all, lol.

But, my Golden Retriever/Irish Setter mix - both breeds of dogs who should think "small animals, let's hunt!" is in love with my bun. Milo is a bigger dog at 85lbs, yet is very gentle when playing or being around Tumnus, and lets the rabbit chase him, jump all over him, chew on his tail.. Milo doesn't care.

No, I do not think all dogs are safe to be around rabbits, but there are some who would do just perfectly fine. I feel that if I left Milo and Tumnus in a room together by themselves even for hours, both would be perfectly fine when I got back. I mean heck, my Siberian mix cat (who is a whopping 20lb, lean and muscled feline) once managed his way into the rabbit cage (chewed off a couple zip ties, gotta give him credit for the ingenuity), and I came home to find the cat and rabbit snuggling side-by-side inside Tumnus' hidey box!

As for types of dog breeds that would have prey drives, nordic type dogs likely would have stronger prey drives than some. I wasn't sure what vein of nordic dogs you're considering, but such breeds like spitz, huskies, malamutes, etc. usually have pretty strong prey drives. Our Chow Chow growing up (also a nordic breed) loved cats but also loved to kill small animals when she could catch them. I know a lot of huskies and malamutes (I work at a doggie daycare/boarding facility for a couple years now) that have problems with smaller dogs, even to the point of injuring on occasion - and when a dog usually injures a fellow dog, it has less "compassion" for hurting a non-dog small animal. Most nordic type dogs are or were used for hunting or herders, both types of dogs that would have a prey-drive and target other animals. Of course, there are always dogs that are exceptions to the rule, so don't let it deter you. Sorry for the dog rant - most of my "pet knowledge" lies in canines.

 Oh, and proof that a 3.5lb bunny and a 85lb dog can be buddies.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
11069 posts Send Private Message
10/12/2012 4:00 AM
I just want to add that I was a little confused about whether you spoke to one person, who said all those misinformed things, or more than one. It sounds like just this person.

I used to work at a non-profit org. (not animals, however) and we were staffed by volunteers. It's hard to get volunteers, and even harder to supervise them. So occasionally we would catch someone giving out misinformation despite our efforts to provide correct info. and train them in how to answer inquiries. I suspect you came across someone who spewed her own opinions and is not representing the org. you called. I would speak to the person who owns this place. If your suspicions are correct and it is really hers, then talk to your local animal control office (listed under your local gov't. website) and see if they can make a visit to make sure she's legally a rescue and not misrepresenting herself. It may be that she is a crazy dog lady and if so, her animals may not be cared for properly. But it also may be that she had someone gruesome manning her phones and is not aware of what is being said.
SPIKE, my snuggle bunny (aka Spikey Marbles)

User is Offline FrankieFlash
1715 posts Send Private Message
10/12/2012 6:43 AM
I love your tail rileymai (see what I did there?). My dogs don't really hang out with the rabbit but we trust our two dogs to be in the same room as Bunjamin with supervision. You see, Neela is 12 year old chow chow/golden retriever mix. She had a prey drive... 4 years ago. Now she loves everything and tries to "talk" to them. youtube chow chow talk. It's precious. My 80 something lb black lab mix is afraid of Bunjamin. Once she was hanging with me in Bunjamin's room and he thumped. So she tried to leave and she had to pass him (they are always seperated through a dog pen) and she whimpered because she didn't want the big bad bun to get her. I had to escort her out. Lol.

But I would never let my brother and sister-in-law's dog in the same room with the buns or any other smaller animal. She is beagle mix and she can't turn off her nose or instincts at all. She doesn't even like most other dogs :/

I think it would really depend on the dog. And you'd be surprised, I think a lot of dogs do fine in the cold winter. They may not all like to lay in the snow for hours like our chow chow but our lab does just fine going outdoors in the winter. I wish you luck! I hope not all of the rescues by you are jerks. And I would try to talk to someone different at that one rescue.

User is Offline Murasaki
Kanagawa, Japan
89 posts Send Private Message
10/13/2012 12:31 AM
ROFL @ My 80 something lb black lab mix is afraid of Bunjamin. Once she was hanging with me in Bunjamin's room and he thumped. So she tried to leave and she had to pass him (they are always separated through a dog pen) and she whimpered because she didn't want the big bad bun to get her. I had to escort her out.

Love it!

User is Offline Sarita
18886 posts Send Private Message
10/13/2012 10:53 AM
Honestly this is not how most dog rescues are that I've ever come across and I've known alot when I did rabbit rescue. They were more concerned with the rabbit's safety and frankly many had rabbits.

I don't think one encounter with one rescue is at all the norm and most dog rescues are not anti-house rabbit (at least the ones in my area).

You just cannot generalize one overblown encounter with how all dog rescues are.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > Dog Rescues... seem to be very anti- houserabbit ?