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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > Treatment of rabbits in shelters
Last Post by Beka27 at 5/31/2009 9:18 AM (12 Replies)
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User is Offline sibley
329 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2009 6:32 AM

 As some of you may know from my previous posts in the Lounge, I have been considering adopting a rabbit from a shelter.  I'm interested in adopting from a standard shelter rather than from HRS or another organization because of the euthanasia animals face in standard shelters and as a result have been searching these.  The shelter here takes very good care of their rabbits, with two bonded American Chinchillas even being kept in a livestock stall (large enough for a horse, though the shelter keeps pigs in the other stalls) with outdoor access.  

But I found on Petfinder that some shelters are not-so-kind.  Toronto's shelters use pine bedding and, though not much can be seen from the pictures and though they do spay and neuter before adoption and charge a standard adoption fee of $45 Canadian (here it's $40 US, with HRS being $65), I wonder if it wouldn't be a very simple thing to convince them and other shelters to use better bedding.  I'm sure the reason for the pine bedding is simply that such organizations focus on cats and dogs and as a result the limited number of small animals are all treated the same.  At this particulare shelter, there are 14 dogs, 109 cats, and 20 "other."  While the pine bedding is certainly better than them using cat litter, I can't help but thinking if they were encouraged to treat the rabbits more like cats the rabbits would be better off.  They could supply cat toys for throwing and scratching boards for chewing.

Does anyone know if Canadian public shelters euthanize?

 

Here are some that I saw in Toronto:http://www.petharbor.com/detail.asp...elterlist=

http://www.petharbor.com/detail.asp?ID=A494372&LOCATION=TRNT2&searchtype=ADOPT&friends=1&samaritans=1&nosuccess=0&rows=10&imght=120&imgres=thumb&view=sysadm.v_animal_short&bgcolor=639ace&text=ffffff&link=FEFF81&alink=FF814A&vlink=FEFF81&fontface=tahoma&fontsize=10&col_hdr_bg=004d84&col_hdr_fg=efeff7&col_bg=004d84&col_fg=ffffff&SBG=004d84&zip=80443&miles=10&shelterlist=

Also, has anyone seen similar situations in other shelters?  I know people have seen things on Craigslist, but in shelters a little education will actually make a larger difference.

I'm thinking of putting together a generic email to send to these shelters suggesting low-cost alternatives for bedding and toys.  Straw or maybe even shredded paper for the litter boxes (that looks a little like clay in the above litter pan).  Toilet paper rolls for toys.  They're not treating their rabbits badly but things can be done to improve their quality of life a little.

Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
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5/16/2009 10:26 AM
Here's my feeling - it's best to work with your local shelter and try to make changes there as a volunteer rather than doing a general email to all shelters because that is just not going to work since you have absolutely no idea what those other shelters are like, what their staff, budget, volunteer base, etc...is.

As for the adoption fee, remember that while they may not alter the animals, they still have an overhead that they must pay.

And I really don't think that shelters intend to be unkind either - they work with what they have and what they know. It's not an easy job working in a shelter and I think they need support more than lectures.

I guess I think it's better to try to make the difference for the animals in your local community where you can make the most impact.

User is Offline Adalaide
438 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2009 11:00 AM
They just may not be very bunny smart and this is alarming. I am certainly going to find out a bit more about the local shelters here. I know that money can be tight everywhere right now, but if they only have a few bunnies maybe offering to help or donate supplies such as bedding would make a huge difference. Maybe just educating them will help. I don't know what I can do here though. None of the local shelters have had any bunnies for a pretty long while. I even waited until after Easter to adopt in the hope that I could rescue some poor little thing. Not a bun to be found in shelters here although many idicated that they may get 1 or 2 a year. I'll go visit when they have one, see what I can find out and maybe help with.
I'm CDO, it's like OCD but the letters are in alphabetical order like they should be.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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10587 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2009 12:02 PM
Donating supplies to your local shelter is a very good way to get them on the right track. But are you familiar with Feline and Equine Pine? These are wood pellets that are good for bunnies as well. They can be purchased in large quantity bags, so maybe your local shelter would consider switching to it for their cats. Then they can buy in bulk and use it for the bunnies, too.

Also, you might do a local campaign to get donations of supplies to your local shelters for the "other" pets that get neglected as funds and supplies are raised just for dogs and cats. I agree that if you work with them and help provide real solutions, they will respond better than with written advice. (She says, as she writes advice! LOL)
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2823 posts Send Private Message
5/18/2009 12:52 PM
Note that some rabbit rescues (such as SaveABunny) take in rabbits that are on their last day before being euthanized. Although they are now safe, if you adopt one of them, it means the shelter can go out and save another rabbit. The good thing about adopting from a rescue is that the rabbit will have been examined, most of them have been altered/fixed and have begun some conditioning with human contact.

I will always adopt from a rescue since it is money going to them to help take better care of their rabbits as well as free up another spot for them to go save somebunny.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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15719 posts Send Private Message
5/19/2009 5:10 AM
I agree with the others, you can make more of a difference from the inside than you can from passing judgement when honestly, you don't know how or why they do what they do. Are you able to volunteer some of your time to help with the shelter's buns? I also like the suggestion of donating some bunny-safe supplies, food and toys.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline sibley
329 posts Send Private Message
5/19/2009 3:52 PM
Again, my local shelter takes excellent care of their rabbits. A pair of bonded big bunnies share a livestock stall with outside access when it's nice out. This shelter that has questionable treatment is in Toronto and is more than two hours away (not to mention in another country) and just shows up on my petfinder searches.

While donating supplies and such is obviously a good idea, I have a limited budget and think that it's a simple wide-scale project to simply educate the shelters about appropriate living situations. Shelters are operated both for public health and for the well-being of animals. Their mission statements always include 'humane care of animals.' Any shelter given ample low-cost options is likely to attempt to adopt those options of their own accord. The people who work in shelters obviously care, and as they are the ones reading the messages, they'll be more willing to attempt to instill a difference and will be more able to do so long-term than I could just by sending supplies to countless shelters across the continent.
Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
17946 posts Send Private Message
5/20/2009 3:39 AM
Well, it's not to say that they aren't being treated humanely at the shelters. They have food, shelter, and water which is considered humane.

You could certainly send out the email if you feel that strongly but don't be disappointed if it doesn't change the way the shelter operates and how would you know if it helped or not since you don't volunteer at that shelter. Sometimes shelters are limited to what they do have available and where they may purchase supplies. Many shelters welcome donations to help feed and care for the animals and if that is the case they are relying on what they get although from donations.

I agree it never hurts to try so I say give it a try.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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15719 posts Send Private Message
5/20/2009 4:21 AM
I misunderstood where you were located. Please let us know how it goes.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Adalaide
438 posts Send Private Message
5/22/2009 10:31 AM
I go Monday to fill out the paperwork to become a volunteer at a local shelter. They have bunnies! Oh dear I hope I can have the self control I need to leave them all there.
I'm CDO, it's like OCD but the letters are in alphabetical order like they should be.

User is Offline Meli
2 posts Send Private Message
5/27/2009 3:00 PM
hi, im kinda a long timer lurker. I saw this post and has to tell you all how awesome you are! Volunteer at your local shelter is a big awesome thing. I work at a large shelter in Atlanta GA. I write operations and beg local rescues to pull dogs- no that really my job description. We don't get rabbits often at all and normally our local HRS will get them right away. A few months back we took in Olivia with a sad little bum leg. I went to the kennel to see her- she was in a cat cage, with clay litter, a heap of carrots, no hay, and a apple core. I had no idea how wrong that was, I just called HRS. They said they were full and asked if i could take her home for a few days. I fell in love and she is now mine, along with another bun we adopted from HRS, BTW you guys awesome with bonding info!!!! Anyhow- i took a bunny 101 class and now the whole shelter knows better! But until someone told me we knew nothing. Please talk to your local shelter. Go in with some info- offer to help out. They will be glad for it. We all were.

User is Offline Adalaide
438 posts Send Private Message
5/28/2009 12:39 AM
Apparently there was this whole holiday thing Monday that I forgot about until after I got up that morning. Oh well, I'll try again next week, lol.
I'm CDO, it's like OCD but the letters are in alphabetical order like they should be.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15719 posts Send Private Message
5/31/2009 9:18 AM
Welcome here Meli! Thanks for rescuing Olivia and her friend! That's great that you guys are now informed about rabbit care!
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > Treatment of rabbits in shelters

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