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Last Post by inspiring at 6/25/2011 8:20 PM (9 Replies)
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User is Offline KytKattin
1195 posts Send Private Message
6/15/2011 1:29 PM

I am going away to college in August. Originally my mom was going to take care of my girls while I was gone, but now she says she won't do it. I would not have chosen the college I did if I knew they would not have a home. But now it is too late to switch schools, and I don't know what to do. I do not want to just take them to my local rescue, the SSPCA, but I will if I don't have any other options. Eclipse is used to being a free-range rabbit, and I would hate for her to be kept in a small cage for the rest of her life. Nova would not do well being in a small cage either! The local HRS does not take rabbits from private parties, only from my local kill shelter. There are some other local rescues, but I worry that they might be like the SSPCA and not be too choosey about where they go. They are not bonded. Both are spayed. Nova is 5+ years, Eclipse is 2. Nova potentially has another home (not ideal), but Eclipse does not.

I really just don't know what to do. I never wanted to have to post a message like this. Please help me figure out what to do?

User is Offline MimzMum
Southwest Oregon
8087 posts Send Private Message
6/15/2011 3:29 PM
Oh Kyt, I'm sorry to hear this. I take it too that your school is not somewhere they'd allow you to keep pets? (some colleges will agree to small pets like rabbits but it's a lot to add to your workload and this is your first year, right?)

Is there no other family or friends near you that could care for them for you? That's a bit sad that your mom agreed and then decided against it, but unless she's willing to reconsider...did she give a specific reason why she changed her mind? Sounds like you had the agreement set for a while and you were counting on it. How long till you have to make a decision what to do?

I'll be sending vibes for a happy solution to all to this. (((((((((((((((((((KytKattin, Nova, Eclipse)))))))))))))))))))))

User is Offline KytKattin
1195 posts Send Private Message
6/15/2011 6:31 PM
I am only allowed to keep up to a 10 gallon aquarium with fish. Though I could have possibly gotten housing off campus, I already have housing lined up with a meal plan. It is not my first year, but it is the start of my last two, and even if this year turns out to be easier than I am expecting, my final year will be very difficult as I have to complete a huge project, a capstone.

The only person that I know close by that already has rabbits breeds them, keeps them in small, wire cages and only feeds pellets. My mom had originally agreed to take care of them as long as I found a good way to contain the hay (and I did), but now the only way she will keep them for me is outside in a hutch (which I may be able to make as big as I want, but it is still outside). She just said she does not want to do it any more. She says she has too much on her plate, which is arguable, but does not really change my problem. I have until August, but I would like to find something by July because if I do have to wait until the last minute I will have to go to the SSPCA. With this economic climate, I am just not sure if they would be better off in a shelter, or outside. 2 years and I can come and get them. And since I would be back during the summer they could be inside when it is hottest.

User is Offline Tate
735 posts Send Private Message
6/15/2011 6:49 PM
Honestly, I would say they are probably fine outside. They have each other, are otherwise healthy, and will be provided super basic care like feeding and watering. You can make some really cool outside cages as well that might even transition well into indoor habitats when you're ready to take them.
Few questions: whereabouts in California are you? Of course, Southern Cal is a bit warmer so you would want to think of that in the summers, but other parts of the state are promising for outdoor rabbits.
I'm assuming you are living in the dorms: would it be possibly to move out after a semester/quarter and into your own apartment? I'm not sure how it is in California, but in Washington, it's always been way more expensive to love on campus that off campus... meal plan and everything. You could look at some apartments on Craigslist and if you have a friend or two willing to move in with you, it might be more affordable. You could draw up your budget and see how everything fits in. I guess depending on where you are, apartments can be expensive... more so than where I am. But, I live on a $1000-$1200 budget every month and this is for rent, utilities, food, and caring for 2 rabbits. It can be doable!

User is Offline jerseygirl
Forum Leader
20642 posts Send Private Message
6/15/2011 7:58 PM
Sorry to hear this Kyttkattin. : ( I hope you can find a workable solution for your girls.

To be honest, if your Mum is indicating that looking after them will be burdensome, I'd personally be a bit worried. It's one thing to feed and change litter etc, but she might not notice those subtle changes that can be signs of illness if she's only seeing them for a few minutes a day. Other wise I was thinking the outdoor route might be the way to go. Could you get a local kid to maybe come by and spend some time with them? If outdoors, make sure the habitat is mosquito proof. Last week I was reading about Myxi outbreaks in CA (San Gabriel Valley).

What about advertising for boarding them with a family during sememster time? Ideally if there's a diligent teenager that's wanting pet rabbits but the family not willing to get permanant pets just yet, then pet sitting a couple might give them the experience they're looking for. You could cover costs. You'd have to screen really really well though. Even boarding them somewhere near your college so you can check in on them more easily.
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
16043 posts Send Private Message
6/16/2011 4:34 AM
For a dedicated person, with adequate, weather-proof housing, outdoors CAN work. BUT... your mom doesn't sound the least bit dedicated. I would be concerned about them running out of food/hay/water, or her simply forgetting for a day or two.

The ideal situation would be if you could find a long-term foster. I would maybe try to contact rescues to see what kind of pet-sitting services they offer, and see if any of these would be willing to provide long-term foster care for an agreed-upon price. BUT... then you have the added issue that they are not bonded. So rather than one pen, they'd have to have two. Even asking friends and family to keep them is tough since they would have to be separated.

Your other option is posting them on Craigslist, which is also very problematic. Even asking a fee and screening is no guarantee of the level of care they will receive.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Tate
735 posts Send Private Message
6/16/2011 6:02 AM
Ah, they are unbonded... thought you said bonded! That does make it a little harder. I figure if they did have each other to snuggle and be social with, they would be ok without too much human interaction. Sorry for the misunderstanding!
A foster would be a good idea but definitely go through a shelter or rescue. My worry would be that someone would totally fall in love with your rabbits and not return them. Also, they could get passed around. Your fosters might move unexpectedly, go on vacation, or have some other family matter come up where they won't be able to take care of the rabbits for as long as you thought.

User is Offline Huckleberry
972 posts Send Private Message
6/16/2011 6:03 AM
Is it really too late to get out of your meal plan/housing? Could you sell it to another student?
I would recommend, if at all possible, take them with you. They are your babies and even though you may be busy this semester, its only a few months and they have each other. You could build an NIC cage that didnt take up a lot of space horizontally but had many layers so they could still have space but you would be using the vertical space in the room. The reason I say keep them is because I am willing to bet you will be heartbroken about losing them, you will worry about them if they are outside or in someone else's care, unless it was a friend or family member you really trusted. If it were me, I would be so upset that I wouldn't be able to make it through my final year of school. I would fall apart and fail all of my classes. What an upsetting way to start your final year of school!!! <>

Would your mom consider keeping them for the fall semester and then you could make other housing arrangements and bring them to school with you in the spring? Maybe the idea of only 3 months would make her more workable, especially if you told her that losing them would be devastating to you and in turn, your education.

User is Offline Molzy
162 posts Send Private Message
6/19/2011 2:57 PM
Even though your local HRS doesn't take in buns from private homes, could you try contacting them and seeing if they would do a long-term foster for a year, and maybe you could pay them a small monthly fee and provide their supplies and such?

I am a college student too, and have had to find fosters for my bun from time to time for various periods of time (luckily I had a willing mother and animal-loving friends). I totally understand your stress. And even though your last year will be really stressful, I still think that if you can work it out, they'd still be happier with you than without. I know there have been periods in my college times where I feel bad for Riley, because I can spend 12-14 hours a day away from home for weeks. But I try to make it up to him when I can. Ideally, I think I should have waited till after college for a bunny, but it's too late for that now.

You might also want to try local vet clinics, see if there is a vet tech who'd be willing to foster them. I wish I was closer to help, but I'm all the way in Iowa! Good luck!

User is Offline inspiring
31 posts Send Private Message
6/25/2011 8:20 PM
I am also a college student and its my first semester. . Having my bunny was more of a stress reliever than a burden.. With the running around and craziness college can get lonely sometimes and having your bunnies there can make you feel better.. You can have someone take over your lease and maybe offer to pay the registration fee or application fee.. I live on an off campus apartment complex and when I called them about my small animal I spoke with a manager which became fine with my bunny and told me I would just have to pay any fees if my bunny destroys anything... If not fostering is a great idea! I hope you figure out a way and good luck with college
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