Most domestic rabbits cannot survive in the wild
MARCHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) — Brittany Graves officially started the Oscar rabbit rescue in April 2022, but has been unofficially rescuing the rabbits since last fall. She hopes to help prevent the increased dumping of domestic rabbits by providing education, resources and an alternative option.
“In September, a friend found a homemade cake outside and brought it to us completely at random. I knew absolutely nothing about rabbits, but I knew this cake needed help, so I urgently joined a bunch of Facebook groups,” Graves said. And I reached out to the people who helped me breastfeed him so he could keep him healthy over the weekend.” “I cleaned the affected horrible smelling glands, the syringe feeding water and mashed pellets, etc. Through this I developed a relationship with him, but I still don’t think he I can keep a rabbit while I have my Boxer dog.”
Graves called pet shelters, but they wouldn’t take a rabbit.
“Every phone call I was torn about giving up on him, so every ‘no’ I got was a relief. That’s when I knew he needed to stay with me and I’d figure it out.” “Four months later, I lost him. I learned a lot along the way, but I still wish I knew more. I didn’t know rabbits hide pain so well and by the time they can be seen it might be too late. I didn’t know how fast they could To die with a cake if you don’t eat. I lost my son and it was heartbreaking and painful.”
As a full-time nurse, Graves set out to determine the cause of Oscar’s death.
“I’ve researched everything possible (and I’m still learning regularly). We called him Oscar Henry MacPickles as family – everyone contributed to that. I feel like Oscar’s voice wasn’t heard, either at the vet or by me I don’t know enough at the time. I want his voice to be heard by helping educate others about donuts and by saving donuts to help them and help others enjoy the love, companionship, and happiness they bring to life,” she said.
Oscar’s fate is unfortunately not unique. Many domestic rabbits have been euthanized domestically in just the last two years.
“Many see cute, cuddly little bunnies and then either get tired of being taken care of or don’t understand that their personalities change as they reach sexual maturity and the best way to help with that (while also protecting against cancer) is spay/neuter,” she said. “This is also the time when siblings may turn on each other and it can be very dangerous and deadly until everyone is 8 weeks after spaying/neutering. Only then can bonding be attempted which is not always easy.”
“A lot of people think rabbits are easy going and can be kept in cages outside and fed only pellets,” she added. All this is not true. Domestic rabbits and hares are completely different. A domestic rabbit cannot survive in the wild, and a wild rabbit cannot usually survive in captivity outside of a specialized wildlife rehabilitation center. Rabbits take a lot of work and are very social. They should be taken to an expert rabbit vet annually and as needed when concerns arise. They make great companions and they deserve it! “
After realizing that there weren’t any rabbit rescues nearby, Graves decided to be the solution to the problem. So far, seven rabbits have helped – and more will come soon. Her goal is to help educate and share her love for rabbits.
“Rabbits are so much fun! I would never have guessed this because the old way of thinking is to put them in a backyard shack where they tend not to get much attention. Each cake has a unique and different personality. “When you give them the space, time, and love they deserve, you will enjoy a wonderful companion,” Graves said. “Just like any animal, there are naughty buns, but also many behaviors we don’t like that can be improved upon when understood. Spaying/neutering is important to prevent cancer and prevent/help behavior problems. They need space to get rid of excess energy. The X-Pen is An ideal space for those who can’t prove a bunny is in the house where cake can roam anywhere.”
She added that most rabbits do not like to be picked up and are not great for young children because they are very sensitive – a single fall can break their back, hips, etc.
An understanding of diet is also important, and monitoring of intake and output is critical to preventing GI stasis that causes many to die. Hay should be available at all times and a daily intake of cake volume is critical for a cake’s digestive system to function and keep working. It is important to know what to feed based on age and weight.
“Bugs Bunny ate a lot of carrots, but real rabbits can die from too little too rarely due to the sugar content causing their digestive system to stagnate,” she said. “Understanding GI stasis is very important for all new parents along with understanding that muffins mask pain well. Knowing the signs/symptoms to watch for is extremely important.”
Graves’ biggest concerns are the costs for vets and the accessibility of locally experienced/foreign vets.
“I haven’t found anything here that is open on nights or weekends. In fact, a good emergency rabbit vet is 1.5-2.5 hours away depending on who’s around if a smart rabbit vet is on the job at the time,” she said. “Veterinarian expenses for rabbits are high, especially urgent visits which can happen at any time. I don’t receive any discounts from a vet either, because the vets I have contacted are not doing more rescues at this time.”
If you are considering adding a rabbit to your family, choose Rescue!
“A good spayed/neutered rabbit saves you and you know each rabbit’s personality because we spend time with them to get to know them,” Graves said.
There are several ways to help Oscar’s Rabbit Rescue:
- Like and share their Facebook page and spread the word about the rescue.
- Cash donations are very helpful! (Smart rabbit vets are expensive.)
- Venmo: oscarsrabbitrescue
- Amazon Wish List
- Garden Donations:
- bok choy
We welcome your stories! Contact us at [email protected]!
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