View Full Version : Stray rabbit - advice?!

08-29-06, 09:52 am
Last night my husband and I were wandering our local Ford dealership (hubby is a "Ford guy") when we almost literally ran into a rabbit. S/he was extremely tame and friendly and literally approached us looking for food. Knowing what awful fates await the many many "loosed" former-pet rabbits in our area (coyotes, cold, starvation, raccoons, etc) I'm awfully concerned that this little bun will certainly not do well. In our area the winters are quite mild (albeit they're very rainy and dreary) and there are thousands of "former pet" rabbits who've been relseased in Richmond and become a major feral rabbit population. That being said, this little one was so friendly and tame that I'm truly concerned for him/her. <sigh>

I've contacted my local chapter of the House Rabbit Society and want to see if I can capture him/her and ensure that s/he gets the care deserved. :sorry:

I'm really worried. Any advice?

08-29-06, 12:27 pm
I would try to catch her. I lived trapped 9 rabbits 6 years ago from a historical complex. Some idiots let their rabbits loose there, I quess thinking they could make it on their own. Not only were they causing damage to historical buildings,but foxes and dogs were killing them. Some people though I was terrible trapping them because they looked so cute running arould on the lawn. I did find good home for them and still have 2 of them myself.

08-29-06, 12:31 pm
I would definitely go back and see if you can capture the rabbit. If the rabbit is friendly enough to approach you, what you can do is crouch down near the ground while moving slowly and talking softly. Try to bring a tasty treat like a piece of banana, apple, or leafy greens to entice him. If he will let you pet him then what you can do is place your hand firmly on his back near the neck and gently press down, then pick him up. Make sure you have a carrier near by to place him in.

Or another plan would be to try to lure him in the carrier by placing food/treats/hay inside and see if he hops in. Of course both plans would require that the rabbit is very friendly and not afraid of people. True feral rabbits will be very difficult to catch.

08-29-06, 01:55 pm
Thanks for the replies so far. This rabbit is very friendly and approached both my husband and I numerous times while we were there; coming right up to our hands. We were so close to being able to get her; just not quick enough. I wonder if I should ask the dealership if they would mind me setting up a humane trap in the area? I'm scheduled for a dinner tonight but maybe afterwards I can drive over there. Ergh...

08-30-06, 07:07 pm
Humane traps are kind of hard for rabbits since they usually are in an area with grass and greens so don't need to go into a trap for food, but sometimes it works, if you can't catch him/her yourself try it, but If it is already friendly then you are rather lucky not having to gain it's trust.

If you need more help you can ask someone with SARS BC (Small Animal Rescue Society of British Columbia) Small Animal Rescue Society of BC - Login (http://sarsbc.proboards32.com/index.cgi) unless you did already?!? but they are very nice people, maybe you are familiar with them? They are trying to come up with a solution to the Richmond rabbits too, it is a huge problem, poor bunnies.

08-31-06, 09:44 am
If you need more help you can ask someone with SARS BC (Small Animal Rescue Society of British Columbia) Small Animal Rescue Society of BC - Login (http://sarsbc.proboards32.com/index.cgi) unless you did already?!? but they are very nice people, maybe you are familiar with them? They are trying to come up with a solution to the Richmond rabbits too, it is a huge problem, poor bunnies.

Hi Martina,

Thanks for the info. We actually offered to foster hedgies for SARS BC and were supposed to be, but then the person never contacted us back - I've found them difficult to get in contact with, to be honest. But regarding the rabbits, I've actually spoken with two friends of my husband's, who work at Land Rover, in the mall, and they're quite insistent that 'friendly' doesn't mean fromer-pet for most of the rabbits there. They said that there around 60 resident rabbits who live in the auto mall and that the employees feed them regularly (nothing fabulous, but greens, carrots, etc.) and that they are actually part of the (so very sad) now-feral population of the area.

I find the whole problem in that area to be so heart-breaking... :weepy:

08-31-06, 02:19 pm
The people with SARS are very very busy, I am sure they have just ran out of time to contact everyone and remember everything, keep trying they are really great people, believe me!

So are you going to leave the rabbit there with the other rabbits? They probably did start out as dumped pet rabbits and then bred more and more then, right? So now are feral/semi-feral, well then they still would not come up to you since they did not have contact with people while being raised, that is odd it might have been dumped recently?

Well I think if you can catch *any* and even if you help with a program like speuter/release (where it's safer), then at least there won't be more poor rabbits out there being killed and having shorter lives, and breeding more and more feral rabbits that make the problem bigger.

08-31-06, 03:49 pm
Thanks for your advice, Martina. I'd personally love to be involved in a spay/neuter/release program, but I'm concerned that I'm not *personally* (ie outside of a rescue group) prepared to care for a feral or semi-feral rabbit, and that all our local rescues are already bursting at the seams. I wouldn't even have a room in our home in which to quarantine him/her! I will try to go there next week. Unfortunately I bus to and from work (Tsawwassen-Vancouver) so getting to Richmond in the mornings/evenings isn't just a casual 'pop by' sort of thing for me right now. I'm going to need to do some brainstorming here... :eye-poppi My university evening classes start next week again too, so the earliest that I can even go there is next Wednesday. Ergh...

08-31-06, 05:30 pm
As far as rabbits go, spay and release would not be a humane option for them. Stray rabbits cannot survive for long and are constantly attacked by predators, run over by cars, possibly poisoned by people, become sick from disease or exposure, or starve. It would be much better to find a sanctuary situation for them where they can run around in a large predator-proof enclosure with other rabbits and be provided with food and vet care. Many of the rabbits could possibly be retamed if they were someone's pet.

But since you do not have the resources to rehome all of the rabbits and it sounds like none of the rescues do either, the kindest thing to do would be to surrender them to a shelter where they may have at least some chance of adoption. But if they are not adopted, at least they will have a pain-free and peaceful death by humane euthanasia.

09-01-06, 01:34 am
No, I meant for the ones that are actually feral not the friendly ones and I said in a safe place not a street place, but that is the delema SARS is trying to find a safe area were they can all be put, but I think taking even one is better than none, for the buns lives anyway, I think that would be better than more of them breeding making an even bigger problem, right?

A shelter would not be a kind option that is why SARS was started pretty much, because the shelters were giving up and putting down healthy small animals for lack of adoptions. Ending life is the oposite of what I am heading for, don't know about you guys.

I know it might of seemed like I was trying to put all the responsibility on you but I am not trying to, sorry I am a little over barring sometimes.
But as for me if I could catch even just one and help him get the meds. s/he might need and spay/nueter to help prevent more bunny problems then I would, even though it is a little unrealistic if you are not prepared but if you think about how many one or two rabbits can produce in litter size that would make a big difference for them at least, start small then. I never expected you to rehome all of them, or domesticate them but that peticular one, is friendly anyway so not a big deal about that part. But that is not what I meant anyway, whoops I am confusing.

BTW if the only problem is you need to rehome one, then no need to worry you can just explain the situation and people will help, like if you helped the little one from the dangerous outdoors. Quite a few people from the rescue try and can't catch them, if they can be caught they might need extra help.

I am not trying to presure you or anything, Sorry.

09-01-06, 09:49 am
Just a note. I thought there was a dumped rabbit by our home, although it looked wild, and tried to catch it with no luck. At the vet I asked if he thought it might survive and he said yes, but that a rabbit which has lost it's fear of humans could indeed be tame, or could have myxomatosis, which is contagious to guineas by the way. I haven't seen it since though.