Horrible rabbit hoarding situation in South Bay area backyard needs our immediate support
Update: December 28, 2013
As of Dec 19th, the beautiful Rex and the black lion head shown here went on to SaveABunny in Marin county. All the rest of the rabbits went into Haven foster care after they were vetted, neutered/spayed. One bunny, Archimedes, found his forever home at our last adoption show in Santa Cruz. All the rabbits are happy, healthy and recovering beautifully.
Each bunny is discovering new foods and more happiness every day. Come to meet them soon at one of our adoption shows. Thank you for your love and support. We have a special holiday planned for every one of these bunnies. Thanks to FOSCCA support and that of Dr. Hilary Stern DVM of Animal Hospital of Soquel we were able to get seven of these rabbits spayed and neutered. We are still fundraising for two more spays for this group. We still need additional foster sites to manage this group. One sweet girl is still in temporary care.Update: December 5, 2013
When we arrived at the SJ rescue site it was cold and dark. We were lead out into a small area beside the house. As soon as the gate was opened the smell of urine was intense. You could barely breathe in the space. We thought we were prepared to evaluate, take photos, help secure the rabbits, trasnform their space, provide blankets, manage this site, rescue a few, provide training, food, water, and litter boxes - the basics any bunny would need. However, we knew in the first five minutes all our plans had to change.
We could hardly make out the faces of bunnies in these dark, little spaces. There inside these pathetic cages in this tiny area about 10 feet long, rabbits were stacked one on top of the other in cages that were so small and just impossible to clean. It is hard to describe. All sorts of carriers, crates, bird cages. All cages were rusted, disgusting, urine soaked and completely unusable. There were only three salvageable units. Rabbits were stored on either side of a 1.5' wide dirt walkway. There was barely room to walk down the path to reach them or even to get them out of their cages. Two rabbits were loose when we entered. The rabbits had no food and only old, dirty water bottles. Some bottles were empty. There was no hay anywhere. These rabbits lived in filth, with no litter box or way to keep clean. None had ever seen a vet. The rabbits were sad, listless, with no food and dirty water. They had only urine soaked boards, carpet or wire for floors. Honestly these rabbits were lucky to be alive. It was freezing cold as well.
Given the gravity of the situation and after a quick assessment, we had no other option but to remove the rabbits. There was no way to "manage" or clean up this housing system. So we decided to triage the group into a Haven setting where they could be fed, evaluated, given medical care and support. This was accomplished by midnight Tuesday evening. Now we need fosters for all these little ones.
Kudos to the rescue crew Renee, Phil, Michelle, Al, Sarah and Diana. Blessing to Annie's blankets who rushed over a supply of sheets, bedding and blankets. The Santa Cruz shelter also donated a few blankets, comforters and cardboard carriers to use in the triage work. We pulled together all needed supply from Haven storage. Diana and Al both packed their cars with supply. Phil created some additional enclosures with light weight fencing materials that he picked up so the rabbits could have more space. They even added little hiding boxes for everyone too So sweet, good job.
Al stocked up his van with Haven pens, food and greens and also raced out to pick up a bale of hay which we needed at both sites. He went back on day two as well. Diana also went over to do nails and evaluate the following day. Everyone really did an excellent job pulling together all supply and support needed for these bunnies. Great work!
Renee, Phil, Sarah, Al and Michelle were amazing as they set up the triage site so quickly. Three hours for all those rabbits. Sarah brought over Haven X-pens and a Marchioro which needed to be used at the triage center. Al brought in hay, pellets & greens. It all worked out. At the end of the evening, the new rabbit triage area was safe, warm and secure. The rabbits were so happy to be eating and their water dishes were refilled often. Every rescued rabbit each had their own litter box, food, water, toy, hay, and a cardboard box with towels inside. Annie's blankets provided soft cover for their little feet and all bunnies were so comfy as they relaxed in a clean healthy environment. Ahhh home at last (even if it is temporary). Thank you everyone. We love you bunnies. They are so precious and truly grateful.
Next we need to get all these bunnies to spay neuter and we need a minimum of 6 fosters. Call us. Triage is only a temporary, 5-7 day max space. So call soon please. Remember fosters are provided x pens, floor cover, sheets, towels, carrier, food water dishes and litter boxes. If you cannot foster, you can still contribute The Rabbit Haven's PayPal account or donate by check. That way everyone can help. Call 831 600-7479 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can set you up in San Jose or Sunnyvale. Take a look at how good these bunnies look after just two days out of that place! With just a little love and care, they will be ready to begin the lives they deserve as part of a loving family.
December 3, 2013
The Rabbit Haven was called in to assist with rabbits found in a packed cage-filled backyard in the San Jose area. The people who live in the house up front have asked for help. This is a good beginning. Sadly, we could not get in last night, so we will go out today. Our first priority will be to document each rabbit, evaluate them, offer medical support, care, set up warm safe housing and then triage and get these bunnies to spay when they are well enough. Local Bay Area fosters are needed immediately to care for these bunnies.
There are approximately 25 rabbits that can be seen at the site. We are going there today to take a real count. Then we will take photos, document, weigh, feed and help set up a warm environment as there is a cold snap due this Wed. Hopefully, we can work with this family to find a way to manage these numbers in safety until we can get them out. We are not sure this is possible, we will see.
If we are not able to work with the family, we will need to call in animal control, and all surrounding rescues and then shelters for support. Rescues and shelters are all full already, this is not the best option for anyone. Sadly, shelters do not have the staff to keep ill bunnies, they rely on rescues to care for sick animals. These Bunnies appear to be so weak, small and they all look so miserable or ill. Many will need to see vets. We have contacted our veterinarian already.
Tomorrow, Annie's blankets will bring blankets to The Haven. Tarps are coming in from a Haven volunteers, then we need to pick up more supplies along the way. Three Haven staff will go to look at these rabbits to evaluate their situation. They need so much help today. Immediate care, litter boxes, litter, food and water dishes, 50 pound bags of food and a bale of hay for starters.
If you are at a distance and cannot foster, you can contribute using The Rabbit Haven's PayPal account or donate by check. Everyone can do something. Please help us to help these rabbits. They are in such a bad situation. We will do our very best. There is a way to stop this suffering and bring health, safety and happiness to these bunnies. Knowing there is a loving community of rescues out there means so much to us. Thank you for reading about these rabbits. Look at their little faces. Please help them.