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Thread: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

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    Cavy Slave TacoBellWinnieP's Avatar
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    Exclamation Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    My best friend has a pet rabbit whom she treats , well, not up to par. He is a large adult rabbit in a cage literally 1.5'X2' that is in their dark garage all day, and sometimes they leave him outside on the patio all day but his food and water stay in the cage. He recently got mites and instead of taking him to the vet they bought flea and tick spray and covered him in it. I told her she should really just get a new cage (hopefully a larger one) and she was just like nah, I'll clean this one good. She literally used dish soap and hose water... This poor rabbit is so sweet and he looks at me with pleading eyes that almost say "save me!" but I'm not sure what to do. She manhandles him every time she touches him (squeezing his face too hard and just dropping him to the floor/cage). I don't know much about rabbits but is it okay to pick them up by the skin behind their head..?(like dogs/cats.) I really want to help him and even though I try to tell her what she should do differently she honestly believes she's doing a good job.. Any advice? I'm honestly willing to take him if she ends up giving him away(which she said she might if his mites don't go away, but I couldn't tell if she was kidding or not), except I'm allergic to bunnies and already have 2 guineas. I would make it work though. What should I do?

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    Cavy Slave Aleks's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    If she tries giving him away i would take him. I feel so bad for that rabbit.
    If you have allergies you could take him to a rescue after getting him from her.

    If she keeps him and keeps doing these things honestly i would contact someone that deals with animal abuse. What you've described is definitely not okay. :/

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    Cavy Slave TacoBellWinnieP's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleks View Post
    If she tries giving him away i would take him. I feel so bad for that rabbit.
    If you have allergies you could take him to a rescue after getting him from her.

    If she keeps him and keeps doing these things honestly i would contact someone that deals with animal abuse. What you've described is definitely not okay. :/
    @Aleks I just don't know how I'd like prove to someone he's not being treated right? And everytime I say anything to her bout him she's all like "Yeah Oreo's spoiled, I love him so much, blah blah" but like when he was in her room Oreo wouldn't't stop making noise at night so she would throw things at his cage like books and stuff. That's why she moved him into the garage and so "she couldn't smell him". But he's in a dark quiet place that is either really hot or really cold, depending on the weather. No wonder the poor thing is sick! He actually just recovered from wet tail as well! Plus today she told me that at the pet store there was a bunny she was considering getting, good thing her dad was totally against it or I would have had to say a couple choice words to her..

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    Cavy Slave Aleks's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    Quote Originally Posted by TacoBellWinnieP View Post
    @Aleks I just don't know how I'd like prove to someone he's not being treated right? And everytime I say anything to her bout him she's all like "Yeah Oreo's spoiled, I love him so much, blah blah" but like when he was in her room Oreo wouldn't't stop making noise at night so she would throw things at his cage like books and stuff. That's why she moved him into the garage and so "she couldn't smell him". But he's in a dark quiet place that is either really hot or really cold, depending on the weather. No wonder the poor thing is sick! He actually just recovered from wet tail as well! Plus today she told me that at the pet store there was a bunny she was considering getting, good thing her dad was totally against it or I would have had to say a couple choice words to her..
    You could take pictures or record her doing these things. Keep in mind that she could definitely get in trouble, i dont really think those things would warrant her being charged with animal cruelty and going to jail, but i could be wrong. I do think that the rabbit would at least probably be taken from her.

    Of course before any of that try to keep talking to her. Show her research that youve done. Anything that might make her realize she needs to re-evaluate how she's taking care of him.

    This is just how i would go about things though. Whatever you feel like is the right thing to do is entirely up to you.
    Last edited by Aleks; 05-29-13 at 04:47 pm.

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    Cavy Slave oldnewie's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    I don't care if that girl is your friend, what she is doing is downright abuse & the rabbit must be taken out of that situation now!. So please please take him now, if you can't keep him give him to your local animal sanctuary where at least his needs will be met & a better home found for him.

    I don't know much about rabbits,but instinct tells me they should never be picked up like that as their bottoms need to be supported - like cats etc. They certainly shouldn't be dropped, & the fact that she has thrown things at him rings very loud alarm bells. I strongly doubt she will ever be a good animal keeper unless she's open to being 'educated', which she has not shown you, otherwise she will have already made changes to her attitude & the rabbit's care.

    Please get him out out if there urgently. And if you lose her friendship through this, I'm sorry but it will prove she hasn't really treasured your friendship. I don't want to hurt you, but this is a bad situation that is hurting you already.

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    Cavy Slave Piggy_'s Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    You should never pick a rabbit up by the scruff of it's neck. They don't have the same kind of skin there that puppies have (if that makes any sense... xD). They also always need to have their backs curved and feet supported when being handled, because if they kick while they're being held incorrectly they can actually break their backs.

    Are you on good terms with her dad/parents? Would it be better to talk to him about your concerns? Or perhaps talk to your parents about your worries and then ask them to talk to your friends parents? Sometimes younger people are unfairly dismissed by adults, and I'm not sure I have much hope her parents will care given they don't seem too concerned about her current treatment of the poor bun.

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    Cavy Slave TacoBellWinnieP's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    This is a really good idea. I've talked to my mom about it and she comes across as if she thinks I'm just being sensitive, but She also seems concerned. I will ask her to say something to her parents, or maybe I will do it myself and just consult with my mom first? Thank you for this idea!
    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy_ View Post
    You should never pick a rabbit up by the scruff of it's neck. They don't have the same kind of skin there that puppies have (if that makes any sense... xD). They also always need to have their backs curved and feet supported when being handled, because if they kick while they're being held incorrectly they can actually break their backs.

    Are you on good terms with her dad/parents? Would it be better to talk to him about your concerns? Or perhaps talk to your parents about your worries and then ask them to talk to your friends parents? Sometimes younger people are unfairly dismissed by adults, and I'm not sure I have much hope her parents will care given they don't seem too concerned about her current treatment of the poor bun.

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    Cavy Slave oldnewie's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    can you let us know what happens?

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    Cavy Star Susan9608's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    Yikes - how awful for the poor bunny.

    Personally, I wouldn't bother trying to have your parents talk to her parents, who will then talk to your friend. Presumably her parents have *some* idea of what's going on in their own house (and weren't they the ones who purchased the flea and tick spray?) and don't have an issue with it.

    If this were me, and I saw what you allegedly saw, I'd immediately report it to the authorities.

    I'm not sure what city you live in, but here's a link: http://www.animalrightsflorida.org/ReportAbuse.html . Hopefully you can find your city/county there and use the link provided to find the appropriate person to report this to.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Susan9608 View Post
    Yikes - how awful for the poor bunny.

    Personally, I wouldn't bother trying to have your parents talk to her parents, who will then talk to your friend. Presumably her parents have *some* idea of what's going on in their own house (and weren't they the ones who purchased the flea and tick spray?) and don't have an issue with it.

    If this were me, and I saw what you allegedly saw, I'd immediately report it to the authorities.

    I'm not sure what city you live in, but here's a link: http://www.animalrightsflorida.org/ReportAbuse.html . Hopefully you can find your city/county there and use the link provided to find the appropriate person to report this to.
    I agree with Susan, there is no way the parents do not know of the abuse. The fact it is left without food and water for any amount of time(unless going in for surgery)is abuse. The fact it is left in a dark garage is abuse. I would report them, the parents will be warned and required to provide vet care to get rid of the mites or turn over the rabbit to the humane society or whom ever visits them. I wouldn't feel bad about it either, they do not feel bad about the abuse or neglect they do to the bunny.

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    Cavy Slave oldnewie's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    @TacoBellWinnieP, any update on what has happened? Is the bunny ok now?

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    Cavy Slave TacoBellWinnieP's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    @oldnewbie No, I honestly haven't talked to/seen her in forever, except for a party I went to there but the bunny was in the garage as usual.. I'd really like to hope he's okay now.. I'll go over tomorrow and if he's in the same conditions I'll say something to her and point out specifically.. I might even show her this thread. I don't want her to be offended in any way, but this needs to be fixed. I can't stand by and watch anymore.

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    Cavy Slave Amalee's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    All I know is that if this were me, I'd probably break into her garage and take the poor thing...Give the bunny to a rescue or re-home it. I don't know how old that girl is, but unless she's a small child, she knows exactly what she is doing and I doubt that behavior will change. You might even want to report her somehow to try to prevent her from just getting another pet to abuse.

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    Cavy Slave oldnewie's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    I know you're in a sticky spot, wanting to save the rabbit & not wanting to offend your friend, but as you say you can't stand by & do nothing. The rabbit's health & life are seriousky at risk.
    If you intend to try talking to her once more, take a big breath & do it. Ask her to sit down with you & really listen, because you're trying to help her, for her sake as well as for the rabbit because you don't want her (&her parents) to get into trouble with the animal welfare authorities.You can give him a good home, she will be saved the time & money needed to get him properly cared for, & she can see him if she wants when she visits you.

    I wish I could be there to support you, but we are all onside to encourage you, so please be brave; hold your ground, be loving but firm, & do what you have to. Can you let us know how you get on & what happens?

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    Cavy Slave TacoBellWinnieP's Avatar
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    UPDATE: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    So I went to her house today and was pleased to see the cage in the hallway, not garage.. When I commented on its placement she told me why: "It was getting so hot in there he would have little 'bunny episodes' and *heavy panting noise* then he would just *imitates falling over/passing out* so he's temporarily inside."

    ...what. WHAT.

    Today I talked to her about how small her cage is, "Yeah, but he's outside for 5 hours a day on the patio."

    I commented on how his cage, including water, hay, food, etc., stay -inside when he's outside and how he has nothing to eat or drink, "I think he drinks the pool water like the dog and he eats the weeds in the plant beds. That's why we don't have to weed anymore!"

    Me: "Maybe you should bring the cage out with him so he can have water food and hay all day...?"
    Her: "Huh, I never thought of that, I'll try that sometime!"


    I also told her about c&c cages, "He doesn't need all that room, your boys [my piggies] are just spoiled!"

    And then I offered to take him and give him a good home at my house in the cage for the rabbit I told her I wanted to get from the shelter, "But I just love him so much, *as she manhandles him and he desperately trys to get away* Look how cute he is! I'd have to lick him before I'd give him away!! (whatever that means??)"

    She then proceeded to lick his forehead And think she's funny..?


    What do I do?! Someone help, I really want to help him but I don't want to get legal things involved?

    It's so frustrating because I know he's suffering

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    Cavy Slave Amalee's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    With someone like that, either get legally involved or tough love it and tell her what you really think. Suggesting/commenting that you think things might be bad might not be a blunt enough statement to get her to understand. It might come down to choosing between your friendship with her and the rabbit's life; in which case you should prepare for, if you continue without getting the law involved.

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    Cavy Slave oldnewie's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    I have to be with @Amalee on this. Seriously, girl, you will have to bite the bullet & get firm, no more soft words. You're trying to help both your friend & the poor rabbit, but it's not working, is it. Something has to be done & it's up to you, because you don't want animal welfare involved. An unpleasant burden, but there it is. Give her all the information necessary on how to look after rabbits, & tell her you will help her do it. She has to see how really serious you are, & let you help her, otherwise you can't visit until she comes to you & listens. (Can you tell I've learned how to make bold?)
    I mean, he overheated in the garage - a place that can have changes of temperature from hot to cold! The car must be in there too, so he will have fumes to contend with as well? For goodness sake! If she hadn't moved him he surely would have died.
    As @Amalee has put it, be prepared to have to lose a friendship (a good friendship won't end over this) for the sake of an animal's life.
    We're still cheering for you, please let us know how you get on, ok?
    By the way, you could also say this can be a fun thing to do together, & she will enjoy herself looking after & watching a happier healthier rabbit!
    Last edited by oldnewie; 06-29-13 at 12:31 am. Reason: forgot to add:

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    Cavy Slave TacoBellWinnieP's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    @oldnewbie @Amalee Do you think it would be effective to write her a letter so it's not an argument where we're not hearing each other clearly? She's really immature and for her everything is a struggle to not lose face or look bad. She dismisses everything I say about Oreo but my mom said she's thinking about what I say when I leave and is taking it to heart, but I don't know? How should I begin he conversation if not a letter/essay?

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    Cavy Slave cavykaitlyn's Avatar
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    I just want to warn you that with a letter things can easily be taken the wrong way, because there are no facial expressions or vocal inflections to convey your message.

    I really hope the bunny is okay. This is outright abuse and it needs to end. Tell her kindly all the things she could do better. For instance, instead of yelling about the wrongdoings, help her make it right. If she doesn't listen even then, you really need to get involved legally.

    I'm sorry I can't help you more. I'm terrible at communication :/

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    Cavy Slave TacoBellWinnieP's Avatar
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    Re: Neglected Rabbit! What do I do?!

    When I write things down that I want to say, especially in a letter format, it makes me feel better and get a good perspective when I look back at it later. I wrote this this morning to her, and I think I'm either going to type it and give it to her or read it to her so it doesn't get misinterpreted like @cavykaitlyn said:


    Dear [insert name],

    I am writing this letter because I love and care about you, but I am also concerned about the wellbeing of your rabbit, Oreo. I thought I could give you some information that could enhance your fur-baby's life!

    1) Food:
    a)Rabbits need dry, plain pellets. This means rabbit food without fancy, colorful pieces like nuts, dried fruits, flakes, etc. They are mostly sugar, and would be the equivalent of putting M&M's in your salad everyday... Not healthy.
    b)Rabbits need a minimum of 2 cups of chopped vegetables per every 6 lbs of body weight daily.
    c)Timothy hay or other grass hats are essential to unhealthy rabbit's diet, and must always be available.
    d)Fresh water must always be available!
    *Anything more is considered a "treat" and must be given in strict moderation*

    2) Handling:
    a)When lifting your rabbit, support the butt and grasp the chest. Never lift a rabbit by the scruff of its neck! Their backs and necks are very fragile and if, when you are doing so, they kick out, they can easily break their backs/necks, resulting in paralysis or even death.
    b)When holding your rabbit, support the butt with one hand, and the body with the other.

    3) Housing:
    a)Pet store cages are glorified litter boxes. The minimum cage height for a rabbit is one where he can completely stand on his hind legs, neither having to crouch nor hitting his ears on the top. The minimum required width is one in which he can jump 3 full lengths across the cage. A C&C cage is a good alternative to a hutch or regular cage because they Are easily customizable, and can fit into any space you have for it! These minimums were made assuming the rabbit has many hours of free range a day.
    b) Rabbits should be kept in cool, dry places with a constant temperature. Keeping Oreo in the garage, a place with fluxes of hot and cold, forcibly exposed to the exhaust and fumes from your cars, and pitch black darkness, is inhumane and considered neglect.

    4) Grooming:
    a)Rabbits need to be brushed at least weekly. Like cats, they lick themselves clean, and if not brushed regularly, ingest large amounts of hair, resulting in blockages that lead to starvation.

    This was written with the intent to help better the treatment of your pet, and in no way intended to hurt or offend you in any way.






    So what do you think?
    should I just give it to her to read, present it to her orally, or drop it off at her house and give her space to think? Thanks!

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