Friday, March 4, 2011

Attracting Attention

Two rabbits were surrendered to the shelter this week. The owners said the reason was "lack of space", which doesn't even make sense. They had these rabbits for months, not to mention they are the smallest rabbits I've ever met. Did their house suddenly shrink? I'm not really complaining, as I'm glad they'll have a chance at a better home, but come on people - at least be creative!
Of course they are male and female, and of course they aren't fixed, and of course they are named "Beauty and Cutie". It's so predictable. I wonder if people like this are capable of foresight in other areas of their lives?
I normally don't judge names, as I have been the cause of many questionable ones myself, but "Beauty and Cutie" is so bad it's almost offensive. I threw them up on the Facebook page and held a naming contest. The girl's eyes have that wonderful 'mascara' look, so the theme was classic movie stars. Thanks to our Facebook friends, the girl's new name is Bette and the boy's name is Brando.
These two have a common story that is repeated over and over in the Room, but there is one thing that really interests me about them. Look at Brando up there - he's a perfect example of the Dutch breed (at least by markings). And he's much smaller than most pet store rabbits.
And look at Bette! Remember I talked about the Hotot breed?  At the time, I didn't have any good examples, but here we go. She has no markings except for the perfect eye rings. She is also tiny, with a compact body and a slightly squished face. These two do not say 'pet store' to me. They say 'breeder'. And since the owners told us they bought them at a pet store, what it really says to me is 'breeder dump'. I'm guessing something about these guys made them unsuitable for showing. Not that unusual, but interesting in that we hardly ever get such model-esque breed examples in the Room.
Here's the really crazy thing - we now have three perfect-looking Dutches in the Room. Click on the picture to enlarge it, it's bizarre! Brando and Jingle especially look almost identical, but Oliver also has the classic Dutch markings. I swear, someone's cloning rabbits out there!
Also, speaking of the Facebook page & getting attention, check this out! The Toronto Star wrote an article about TAS South and their amazing dog rescue program. The article talks a lot about my friend James, who does huge amounts of work for dog rescue, but also puts in lots of effort for the small animals. James usually arranges the transfers to Rabbit Rescue, he has a lot of knowledge about every kind of small animal, and he's the one who first got me doing the photos for the Room.
But here's the amazing thing - the Star article mentions the Facebook page! The Facebook page is a great tool for connecting with adopters and potential adopters, I'm really proud of it. But since I run it and I'm a volunteer, it can't be an "official" TAS page. Therefore they can't advertise it, and it's really hard to get followers.

Lately, however, it's attracted attention from the higher-ups at TAS, and now somehow it got mentioned in the article. Bizarrely it says that "staffers" run the page. Ha! Who are these invisible staffers? I've never met them!
Our manager apologized to me, as apparently she tried to tell the reporter I ran the page, but it got mixed up on the way to print. Hey, it doesn't matter - what matters is that our followers have gone up by almost 100 people since the article came out!
Thanks Toronto Star!

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