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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Forum THE LOUNGE what to do about big YouTuber abusing his rabbits

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    • cushfuddled
      Participant
      5 posts Send Private Message

        I’m at a loss, here. There’s this YouTuber (The Urban Rescue Ranch) with over 2 million subscribers who has let multiple rabbits die due to neglect.

        I wouldn’t be as upset if he were a farmer, but he calls himself a rescue and rehab ranch. I feel like, with that title, you take on some responsibility to like…do some basic research, and act on the advice of experts.

        A rundown of the situation:
        <p style=”padding-left: 40px;”>Ben (the owner of TURR) has admitted to letting at least two rabbit rescues (“Vinny” and an unnamed gray rabbit) free-roam his outdoor property all day and night. Vinny was subsequently picked off by a predator. “Big Chungus” may or may not have met the same fate. One other free-roaming outdoor rabbit (“Frostbite”) is unaccounted for (presumed dead due to similar neglect). One of the unattended rabbits lived under a shipping container in Ben’s backyard before being adopted. Recently one of Ben’s interns admitted that “several” more of their rabbits had died of heat stroke, having been left out in the heatwave. You can find that admission in the comment section of this video, under the volunteer’s reply to “Zoie and Pickles.”</p>
        <p style=”padding-left: 40px;”>The fact that several rabbits were allowed to die of heatstroke provides further proof that Ben has neglected to conduct (or at least act upon) the most surface-level rabbit care research. At 6:51 of the video “The Barn was Destroyed (creating a new species),” Ben describes his philosophy on rabbits: He believes that rabbits taken from hoarding situations should be allowed to free-range a large outdoor property like his ranch, with no way to prevent them from digging out from under his fence.</p>
        <p style=”padding-left: 40px;”>I can no longer find the video where Ben talks about Vinny’s death, and how he chose to set her loose on his ranch because he wanted her to feel normal and free. Ben discards the threat of predators, poison, heat, and the recommendations of experts to allow the rabbits what he THINKS they would want as people. If Ben has deleted that video, I hope someone out there downloaded a copy.</p>
        My question to you all:

        WHAT THE HECK DO I DO?

        I’ve tried to reach out to Ben on various platforms with no success. I’ve voiced my concerns on social media, and the response has been mostly crickets (I got maybe five “likes” and a couple angry TURR fans). I’ve tried to contact the shelter that passes Ben his rescue rabbits—no response. I’ve even reached out to Lennon the Bunny on YouTube. I don’t even know what my goal was for that last one! I guess a dark part of me wanted Lorelei to make a video on the situation so people would pressure Ben to treat his rabbits better. I did also hope Lorelei would contact Ben, and that her sub count would make Ben “pick up the phone,” so to speak. I also got no response on that end.

        I guess at a certain point you have to accept you’re helpless. It just kills me that this guy’s 2 million followers seem so happy to soak up and parrot his backwards philosophy on rabbit care. He’ll almost certainly never see any pushback for the rabbits who’ve died as a result of his “gut over research” approach.

        Mistakes happen, but these were so preventable.

        Any advice? 🙁


      • DanaNM
        Moderator
        8839 posts Send Private Message

          FYI I’m moving this to the Lounge section as it’s a bit more in line with that section.

          This is really tough. I personally love watching his videos and have also been really upset by the patterns with the rabbits, so it’s very conflicting. At his old property he had them in an enclosure and the situation was much better. I do know that recently the rabbits he was given were re-homed right away, and one of the ones that was free-roaming after Vinny was dumped on his property. It’s frustrating because he has better enclosures for the capybaras and prairie dogs, so why not the rabbits? Honestly I think Queen probably ran Vinny off because she did used to chase her a lot, which is upsetting.

          I know there is a discord server for the channel, have you tried posting there? I know I have as well… but you are right, there isn’t much of a response.

          My interpretation is that most of the rabbit “care” in Texas (in his world of ranching) is rabbits crammed into small wire cages for breeding. So in that sense I can understand why he might view his practices as “better”. I don’t agree with them, because he does have the means to provide enough space AND a safe environment, which I think is what’s most upsetting. But, I can sort of understand where he’s coming from.

          I really think all people can do is push him to provide safe runs for the rabbits, as he has done for the other animals, and help promote safer and better rabbit care.

          It may be more fruitful to reach out to actual rabbit welfare groups if you can find one local to him… but maybe the problem is that there isn’t one? Rabbit rescues tend to be more focused on improving the situations for existing rabbits. Lorelei’s channel is demonstrating a standard of care that is not necessarily achievable (having a 100% free-roam rabbit that travels around with you is not a good fit for most rabbits or people), so it one sense she represents the other extreme.

          Sorry I don’t have a great solution, just wanted to say I share your frustrations!

           

          . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


        • Plumped Cuddly Bunnies
          Blocked
          103 posts Send Private Message

            I don’t think there is anything you can do other than contact animal welfare services or the Humane Society but they might just say there is nothing they can do. There are so many youtubers out there and so called rabbit rescue people out there. Its not just rabbits but other animals like a certain youtuber who claims to rescue puppies and just so happens to find one in a dumpster each time he is out filming and all his videos are the same and staged. Those poor puppies are abused for the sake of making fake youtube rescue videos..


          • Rhea
            Participant
            1 posts Send Private Message

              I called around Waco vets and they never heard of the TURR rehabilitation. It’s listed on Google as the top rehabilitation in Waco but all the comments are just from fans of the YouTube.There are no accounts of using its service. However, I called the Humane Society of Waco and they had also never heard of it. I asked the director if they would look at their YouTube channel and they were really upset about the thumbnails and video titles. They asked me what I wanted them to do about it and I just told them that I wanted to simply know if they interacted with TURR or familiar with them. They said there wasn’t anything they could do. One of the fans of TURR’s channel said that Ben Christie did allow a warden to check out his facility but I couldn’t find anything about that. It’s all sketchy. Ben’s father raised kangaroo for meat. Ben is hubris which is not appropriate for animal rehabilitation. He and another YouTuber were petting and playing with a fawn Ben had taken in recently. He lacks research and is pushing the acreage limit on animals he intakes. He is not a licensed vet. I don’t think Ben is an awful  person but his mix of animal rehabilitation, hoarding, farming (eggs, Rheas, capybara?), memeing, and driving an anthropomorphic sitcom narrative for the animals is not a good look for animal rehabilitation. His original capybaras came from a Florida auction he won of an estate that had to forfeit their animals. He mishandles and neglects the animals sometimes but it’s harder to see because the videos are usually edited with a lot of fast chopped shots and his form of comedy. Fans ask when he’s going to get more exotic animals and I realize they don’t understand that his facility isn’t a zoo.


            • Wick & Fable
              Moderator
              5764 posts Send Private Message

                Appreciate your forum engagement @Rhea, however, since this is an older topic, I will be locking it, as the original poster is unlikely to reply and continue an active dialogue. Of note, please keep in mind Forum Rule 3-I, which states “ No Witch Hunts:  Do not use BinkyBunny to persecute and/or to recruite others to contact a person, business or group you disagree with”– not saying that is necessarily what your reply does, but just keep it in mind for the future if contributing to topics/conversations similar to this older post.

                The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.

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            Forum THE LOUNGE what to do about big YouTuber abusing his rabbits