Fiona Forms a Family

This is the story of 3 lucky bunnies and how they found their forever home.

Sniffy was bought from a pet store for a ten-year-old girl named Sophia. The family asked the store employee how to care for their new pet rabbit. They built a wooden hutch for him and placed food, water and hay in it. At first, Sophia played with him every day. He was so happy to see her that he would run around in circles and jump up and down, as she approached him. Sophia returned to school in the fall and no longer had time to spend with Sniffy. He stopped running around and would just hide in the corner of his cage. One day, Sophia’s mom put a sign on his cage that said “Free Bunny.”

Princess was bought as an Easter gift for a four-year-old girl named Jacqueline. Her parents got a small cage and placed it in their basement. They provided food, water and shavings.  Jacqueline screeched the first time she saw the bunny, which made Princess run to the back of her cage and cower. Jacqueline picked Princess up and held her tight as she squirmed to get free. For weeks, Jacqueline continued carrying her around. Finally, Princess bit Jacqueline and the family decided to give Princess to their local shelter.

Meanwhile, Snickers was purchased at a pet store by a woman named Fiona, who had learned about pet rabbits from a coworker. The woman had explained each rabbit’s personality is different, but they all are very social creatures who will thrive with attention. They are also prey animals, so most do not like to be picked up or held tightly. Fiona bought a two-story rabbit condo and placed it in her living room. In the condo she provided a litter box, hay rack, a bed, toys, food and water. Whenever Fiona was home she would let Snickers out so he could run around and play. As soon as she walked through the door each night, he would jump up and beg to be let out of his cage.

Fiona felt badly about working long days and decided to get Snickers a bond mate. When she took Snickers to be neutered, her vet told her about a local rabbit rescue. A few months later she brought Snickers to the rescue and introduced him to Princess. It took some time for Snickers and Princess to warm up to each other but they eventually grew to love one another. Three years later while walking in her neighborhood, Fiona saw Sniffy’s cage with the “Free Rabbit” sign and adopted him to join the family.

With snacks in a shared play area, Sniffy gradually learns to co-mingle with Snickers and Princess.

After having Sniffy neutered, Fiona began the bonding process with all three bunnies. Sniffy lived in the same room with the happy couple for a few months so they could see one other, and they seemed to be interested in each other. Their first meeting was outside of the house. Initially, they did get along and there was a fair amount of grooming so she brought them home and set them up in a large bathroom. Within a few hours though, Sniffy started pulling the other bunnies’ hair out while grooming. Princess, who has always been pretty feisty, did not take it well and the three of them started to fight. Fiona separated them for the night, but kept them the same room.

Over the past three years Fiona has tried several times to reintroduce them. They do okay with short visits, especially with food as a distraction, but Sniffy will always start up with the hair pulling and they have to be separated. They all continue to live in the same room. The bunny condo now has three stories with Sniffy having his own floor. He does come out and play in the shared area and they seem to be okay with this. Fiona plans to continue trying as they do continue to take an interest in each other.

They are all intelligent, affectionate, curious and sometimes mischievous. While some may say that the rabbits are the lucky ones, Fiona’s believes she is the one who is lucky to have these amazing creatures in her life.

By Sylvie Tracy

HRJ Vol. 5, No. 7, Winter/Spring 2011