Tuesday, January 24, 2012


There are a lot of different ways to be cruel to animals. Volunteering at a shelter allows you to see a depressingly diverse number of ways in which an animal's home can be sub-par. With small animals, it's almost always neglect, and that has been on parade in the Room this week.
Aurora is a young Rex rabbit who was surrendered to the shelter along with her brother Indigo and an abundance of excuses about how she didn't really belong to the surrenderer. The Rex breed is very popular, partially because of their typical laid-back personalities, but mostly because their beautiful fur feels like satin. Aurora's fur has that trademark feel, but it's dry and thin from poor nutrition. She's also under 2 pounds. Now, she's not fully grown yet, and I'm not saying she's on the brink of starvation. But she is underweight and there is no way she was getting proper nutrition in her last home. Poor thing stuffed her face as soon as we gave her hay and pellets.
I'm very glad to say there's already interest in Aurora and I suspect she will be adopted as soon as she's spayed, hopefully to a home that knows how to feed her.
This is her brother Indigo. He's in better shape than she is, but he could certainly stand to gain some weight and I'm sure he will at the shelter. Considering their poor care and their abandonment at such a young age, these two are remarkably good-natured. Indigo in particular loves people and I'm sure he won't last long.

Rabbits must have pellets, greens and hay daily. The greens are not, as so many people think, optional. The hay, as well as cool, clean water, must be available 24/7. Occasional papaya is a good idea, as is the occasional fruit as a treat. Their diet is a bit complicated, but five minutes on Google will tell you what you need to do. I will never understand why people don't use the Internet. I've certainly seen rabbits in worse shape than Indigo and Aurora, but I would be utterly embarassed if any rabbits of mine ever looked like that.
The same day Indigo and Aurora arrived, these two bundles of cuteness were transferred from North York. Rosemary (on the right) and Sage are almost identical and just as cute as buttons. Like the Rexes, these two are under a year old. They are rather skittish, especially Sage, but once you get them to calm down a bit they're quite affectionate.
This is Sage's leg (I apologize for the gross photo). It has lost all of its fur and is red and raw from urine scalding, due to the poor sanitation in their last home. The skin has even broken open in some places. This leg is worse, but both her back legs have lost their fur. Rosemary is in much better shape.

Nutrition and housing are always the two things that get rabbits. An incredible amount of people think it's fine to leave a rabbit in a cage and clean it once a month. For one thing, rabbits need to run and exercise. Young rabbits especially need lots of exercise, because their hearts are still developing. But for another thing, if they are caged, their cages must be clean! An unclean cage is gross, uncomfortable and leads to health problems.
And finally we have the old "abuse-and-abandon" one-two. A small cage of hamsters was found, abandoned in a Walmart parking lot. In the middle of January. The little guys are damn lucky it's been a warm January. Cripes.
The real kicker? They were left in the parking lot in a duffel bag. What is with bad hamster owners and duffel bags?!
They were also left with this charming bowl of food. I don't even know what it is. Raisins and couscous, soaked in water? It was disgusting and unsurprisingly the six hamsters were underweight.
Also unsurprisingly, the group was made up of both males and females. That's the two boys up there, we've named them Cracker and Biscuit and they're now at Pet Uno waiting for a home. Again, despite their mistreatment, they are sweet and gentle. Animals have an amazing capacity for soldiering on.

This of course means we have four female hamsters on pregnancy watch. They're at my house and in keeping with the theme, they've been named Triscuit, Ritz, Breton and Soda. Triscuit and Ritz are looking quite round in the middle, so I'm just waiting for that familiar squeaking sound!

The point of this post is that people suck, but never fear! The point of the next post will be that people rock, because I have a bunch of updates!
I guess it's a cliche to say that rescue is an emotional roller coaster, but nevertheless, it's true.

1 comment:

monica said...

I really enjoy your blog - I am not a small animal owner but I have learned alot about rabbits, rats, hamsters & birds from your posts. You are a great ambassador for the little guys - keep up the good work! I especially like your ability to choose names for all of them & I love the the themes you pick for all the little groups. So cute!