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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > Helping to stop irresponsiblity!
Last Post by kimberleyanddarren at 2/27/2008 8:09 AM (11 Replies)
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User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
12104 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2008 11:24 AM

Hey everyone,

 I noticed that alot of us know of or know someone who doesn't look after their rabbit properly, whether by an incorrect diet or inproper housing or just plain neglect....

So, why don't we brainstorm how to get these people to come around? What I specifically mean is, they obviously get upset or ignore our protests/suggestions. So why don't we sort of examine what about their personality is not letting them drop their guard and accept that what they are doing is wrong, and change their behavior. We can sort of brainstorm things that we can say and suggest that won't get their backs up and will get them thinking and acting to improve their bunnies life!!

Then next time we encounter this person, who may very well be well meaning, we will know how to approach them!


so...brainstorm time!!!!


(A real brainstorm, just toss your ideas and thoughts in, as that will get more people thinking, no discouraging ideas yet!!)

User is Offline Bunzai
Long Island, NY
496 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2008 11:52 AM
Great idea. I try to go with the non judgemental comments. I stress the positives of my experiences...the enjoyment, laughs, how they are a part the family and interact. I talk about the bunny community and the great support we give each other. I really do not come down on them, unless it its something so outrageous intervention is imperative.

In the case of my coworker, he does not wear the pants in the family if you catch my drift and his wife is the stuff of legends, so it is not too realistic to expect him to take a stand. On the other hand, I have discouraged a few people from getting bunnies (and chicks) for Easter and as impulse purchases by discussing the needs, specialized vets etc through my experiences. I am not negative....just very honest.
"That rabbit is dynamite!" ... ..Monty Python's Camelot

User is Offline JK
Mill Valley, CA
2241 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2008 1:02 PM

Good idea because I have noticed we have lost several people that repeatedly asked the same questions over and over again and they got the same answers over and over again!  It can be VERY frustrating dealing with people who do not listen. It's hard to not lose your cool with them BUT the last thing we all want is for them to go away altogether!  What do you suggest we do? 

Edited: Whoops I think you meant people not on this site, didn't you?  I was thinking you were talking about people here that have vanished...and that also concerns me.

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
4371 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2008 4:49 PM

This is a good idea K & K!  KnowItons I know what you mean, it is disheartening when people leave the board or people we know don't care because maybe they didn't like or want to do what we suggested or advised in the best interest of their rabbit.  Don't take it personally and sometimes people just find it totally overwhelming when they really find out how to care for a house rabbit and think, boy it was a lot simpler before I got all this information so I'll just go back to the way it was before, after all, the rabbit seemed just fine.  But at the very least they are aware of it all and maybe just maybe they'll gradually make the changes to enrich the rabbits life.

User is Offline Lisa_43
Perth Western Australia
1518 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2008 8:53 PM
The rabbit I told you about on the bunnspace has really bothered me, I can't stop thinking of this poor rabbit that human owners give it ice cream, French fries and other junk food. I would like to be able to get through to her that it is going to kill her rabbit.

I would love it as a group to be able to do something. My one maybe we could email each other to tell everyone to go there and leave her a message, wouldn't be appropriate to do it on here. Any others just let me know and I am in.

User is Offline JK
Mill Valley, CA
2241 posts Send Private Message
2/23/2008 3:00 AM

Lisa - I must have missed that one.  Can you point me to that thread? I'll do whatever you need. 

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
3898 posts Send Private Message
2/23/2008 5:38 AM

i think a big common thread between people who don't want good advice is that they do not want to admit they've been doing something wrong.  whether it be out of pride or perfectionism, in effect, to take advice to do things differently would be to admit they were wrong.  being a stubborn girl (have german & hungarian heritage, so what can i say ) with perfectionistic tendancies, i can somewhat understand this.  it took me most of my twenties to get a grip & lighten up when some one tried to offer advice to me.  i still have issues with that actually, depending on who the advice is coming from.  (don't get me started)

being such a tough nut to crack myself, i can say that the approach i've found to be the easiest to swallow is, as some one here has already mentioned, acknowledge a good point or two (you love your pet...) before spilling the advice.  it tells me the person giving me advice isn't thinking straight off that i'm a terrible person.  i also think that, in cases when there seems to be a whole lot of things going wrong, its best to start slow & only suggest a major point or two at first so as to not overwhelm. 

also it seems that some people - like myself - have in fact sought advice on rabbit care but have been ill-advised.  sadly, it seems that a lot of people get bad advice from pet stores & trust it is correct because they see the stores as an authority on the subject.  to suggest otherwise not only risks having the person feeling dupped - which people tend to be defensive about - but also opens a whole can of worms of who-can-you-trust-politics.

having a short disarming sentence or 2 that matter-of-factly addressed that there is bad advice out there might be a good idea?

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline Lisa_43
Perth Western Australia
1518 posts Send Private Message
2/23/2008 11:08 AM

This was the thread. In bunSpace if you do a search for City is Perth Country is Australia there will be a few rabbits come up,  I think it is the first bunny and the name starts with a B and it will say Perth WA.

They take this rabbit in a harness to the beach, can you emagine how frightened it would be and if it somehow got out of the harness.

I did say I know you love your pet but did you know these things can make them very sick etc, she said I know whats best for my rabbit etc.

This rabbit is a 10 month old adorable lop who is also very fat.

 Once you are in there click on one of the pictures in the photo album and it will take you to a few more pictures, one is of the rabbit going to eat a drum stick ice cream and another is a hot french fry chip in front of her mouth ready to eat.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
16043 posts Send Private Message
2/23/2008 1:16 PM

as far as the WHY question...

i think for a lot of people it comes down to the money issue.

rabbits are cheap to buy.  i've seen them in petstores for 15-30 dollars.  you can get a tiny cage for 40 bucks or less.  people want to buy the cheap food, the cheap hay (if any), no toys, no veggies because veggies cost money.  in the other thread today i figured out that i spend on average between 350 and 550 dollars a year on veggies.  for one rabbit.  that is a lot of money for a lot of people.  average folks don't want to spend moeny on a vet for a dog and cat, they're not going to want to take a rabbit if money is an issue.  these are the same people who might not even have health insurance for themselves.  i can understand not having money.  been there, done that.  but if that's the case, a rabbit is not the right pet for you. 

as far as knowltons said, it's very upsetting when they come here for advice and just don't like what we say and disappear.  i feel (and i'm sure others do too) like i'm a parrot just repeating the same things all the time, but i wonder if it helps that five or ten people all suggest the same thing.  like the disclaimer says, we're not vets.  there's no "magic cure" for a rabbit in puberty.  people think we're going to pass on some secret to a healthy, happy rabbit with no vet care required.  but there's no such thing.

i didn't offer any suggestions on how to make things better, but i don't really know.  we all have to do what little bit we can, and make sure to teach our children that pets (all pets) deserve proper care.

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2094 posts Send Private Message
2/23/2008 7:36 PM

I think Beka hit the nail on the head.  Lots of people buy a rabbit like they'd get a hamster or other small pet.  Content to live in a cage, do not live very long, vet care not required.  To keep a rabbit the way we do costs money.  Greens, Oxbow stuff, vets, it is all expensive.  We think of our rabbits as part of the family, not all do. 

Another thing that I have found is that we have several friends who have had bunnies longer than we do.  One lives in a hutch outside, the other keeps the bunny inside in a small cage.  I can make suggestions about improving the rabbits' lives, but at some point they just think hey, the bunny has lived this long, we must be OK.  They don't want to hear about adding stress to there lives for the sake of a rabbit.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
8983 posts Send Private Message
2/25/2008 11:54 PM

What a great thread. It gives me the opportunity to let you all are already helping to stop the irresponsibility. Just because a few seem to refuse to "get it", doesn't mean you haven't made a profound affect by:

- Planting the seed of knowledge - someone's ego may not allow them to "admit" that they heard you, but many do anyway.
- Giving out information that people who just come by and read and learn without ever posting. We also link to important threads and group them together in the FAQ section in the forum.  - so people can learn without posting if they are shy or just not into the whole forum thing.
- When you educate one person, they will usually spread the word to others too if the subject ever comes up, and since people love to talk about their animals, this is very likely.
- I think you have all really dealt with "difficult" people extremely well. I think your patience has been outstanding, where most of the time the person is given strong advice while their dignity is preserved.

I think there have been some people who have come here and seemed just mentally off or they were just pulling our chain. Regardless, I am so proud of how this community has handled those situations.

You are all doing an incredible job, and I couldn't be prouder - a respectful, open, patient, intelligent community with a heart of gold.


So now back to the original question about how to get people (offline) who are not taking proper care of their bunny to come here (or wherever they can get a rabbit savvy advice):

I think if you approach the person in a way that would  make them come for some "other" reason. Forget about why they "should" be here (to learn how to treat their bunny better), but what they, as the human, would get out of it.   And depending on their personality, you can say tell them about the webcams, the gallery - whatever you think would get that particular person here in the first place just ."for fun", and all the other educational tools are right here too to look at - hard to miss.   The fact the forum is friendly will also help them feel safe to ask questions.

Finding something you have in common or can relate to when it comes to rabbits is helpful.  Like tell them about some of the challenges you had "too"  with behavior and littertraining, house damage whatever and let them know that you are working on it or solved the problem and let them ask you questions, so it comes from them.

User is Offline kimberleyanddarren
Birmingham, UK
2557 posts Send Private Message
2/27/2008 8:09 AM
i think the main way to get a point across is by having a for and against arguement if i have an arguement over something with someone i usually say ok you give me a + i will give you a - or vice versa that way you know they will run out of points before you as you have a well backed up arguement and hey presto they have to admit they where wrong and you know your beans!

keep an open mind.
But not so open that your brains fall out
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > Helping to stop irresponsiblity!

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