Just a little over a month ago I was browsing through some online ads when I spotted a rabbit in dire need of rescuing. His owner was keeping him locked inside a tiny cage that he couldn't stand up in and a quote in the description stated that he "just wanted to get rid of him." Of course being a bunny mummy of two already my heart bled for this little guy and seeing him trapped in that tiny space just killed me inside. But also being a bunny mummy of two meant that at the moment I didn't have the ability to take on another rabbit full time. I showed the advertisement to
and he became determined to save this rabbit. We came to the agreement that I'd foster the bunny until he could gather the right accommodation for the poor thing. When it came to actually receiving the rabbit, however, we realised that the situation was much worse than we'd initially thought.
The rabbit had been removed from the tiny cage and for the last few (very rainy) weeks, had instead been housed in even more confined conditions. The owner had been keeping the rabbit in a 30cm by 60cm 'hutch' which was soaking wet with damp, rotting, provided zero coverage from the elements and was not big enough for him to either stand up or lay down in. He had no bedding, no hay (a rabbits diet is made up of 90% hay!) not even any woodshavings on the floor. There was no food except for a rotten apple, his water bottle was bone dry and looked as though it hadn't been filled in days as it was full of dust and the entire 'hutch' was covered in the poor bunny's poo.
We took him immediately out of the care of the previous owners, glad to see the back of them, and sat down with the bunny to give him a good inspection. The state he was in was dreadful. His fur was matted into huge clumps that later our vet would have to shave away, he was filthy, incredibly smelly, very hungry and dehydrated, and his entire underneath was stained bright orange from having been sat in his own urine for so long. We put him straight into a shallow bath, got as much grime off of him as we could, gave him a thorough dry and then hauled him straight to vets!
Luckily, we had gotten to this rabbit just in time and he came away with his nails trimmed, matts shaved away and all his vaccinations up to date. For the next couple of weeks he had some trouble with his digestive system as it had slowed down to almost a halt from the lack of nutrients and fibre in his (almost non existent) diet and I had to monitor his water intake carefully. He would also 'clean up' after himself by instantly eating every single one of his poos and trying to drink his wee - a habit he must have picked up from sitting in his own mess. But I'm very happy to announce that after his little ordeal 'Elric' (named after the Elric brothers in myself and Jamie's favourite anime Fullmetal Alchemist) is doing fantastically!
He's living the high life with
now and whilst he seemed to have a little bit of separation anxiety whilst I was nursing him back to health, he seems perfectly over it now! He is the sweetest, most affectionate and playful rabbit I have ever met and despite all that he has been through he retains an unrivaled love for people! He will happily chase his human friends around the yard or flop down at their feet and give their ankles and good grooming session!
Here are some great photographs Jamie has in his gallery of Elric! (There are also links to all of Elric's own social media in Jamie's descriptions, so please take a look if you'd like to see videos of Elric being mischievous and more photographs!)
If you are ever in the market for a bunny friend, please consider adopting a rabbit from a shelter or taking one in from owners who are no longer able to take care of them. There are hundreds of rabbits out there every day suffering from neglect and cramped conditions due to the misconception that bunnies are easy to take care of. Many parents will buy baby rabbits for their children as they are cute, small, and look like a stuffed animal. Sadly these rabbits then get forgotten about as the novelty of a cute bunny wears off, the children and parents lose interest, the rabbit gets older and loses its 'cuteness' and the poor thing is left to live in a tiny hutch at the bottom of a garden with no exercise or social time for the rest of it's life (Over ten years!). Just like Elric.
In a few weeks I will be designing some plushies of Elric (and other bunny friends) which will go on sale in my Etsy shop and I will be donating a percentage of the profit from these sales to Camp Nibble - campnibble.com/
- a shelter and rehoming program for neglected, abused and abandoned small animals. I'm sure if Elric could speak he'd approve.