A Saturday Full of Bunny Rabbits

On Saturday, Liz and I had a full day of visiting various bunny rabbits. Since Quincy passed away, we’ve been talking about getting a new rabbit – partly for us, partly for Phineas.

One challenge we’ve run into is Phineas’ E. cuniculi. While he hasn’t had any flare-ups in the time we’ve had him, the disease was a concern for Red Door – who keeps their EC and on-EC rabbits in separate areas.

While the disease is common in rabbits, they didn’t want Phineas (who has EC) potentially passing it on to their non-EC bunnies. So as a result, out of the numerous rabbits available for adoption there… we would only be able meet with their one EC rabbit.

This was a rough blow for us to find out, as Red Door has been our go-to place for many years. It’s where we found Phineas (formerly Cowboy), and also where we found Quincy (formerly Marciano).

Liz called around to other shelters outside of Chicago, and set up some meetings on Saturdays. Other locations did not have similarly strict policies on EC rabbits, and so we set out Saturday morning to meet a few potential buns.

Our process in the past has always been two-fold: we would go first, and scout out potential candidates. We wanted to make a list of rabbits that we liked ourselves, and seemed to get along with. After that, we’d bring our rabbit for an initial meeting, and see how the two got along.

We met up with Charmin, who was a rescue bunny. The foster couple looking after him relayed his terrible back story to us – apparently he came from a home that didn’t really know how to care for rabbits.

Charmin is young and has EC, and lost an eye due to the disease. EC flares up typically when a rabbit is really young, or really old. There may be flare-ups in between, but the disease seems to manifest most at the beginning and at the end.

In addition to this, the child looking after Charmin tried to cut off his tail. The parents apparently didn’t do anything for over a year, at which time they discovered his tail was broken.

We were able to meet up with the foster couple during one of their vet visits (for a different rabbit). And so we parked ourselves on a bench and spent a little time with Charmin.

As you can imagine, Charmin was a little nervous. But after getting more comfortable with us peering in, he started to approach us a bit more… and even raised up on his hind legs to try to look outside the box.

I was worried about his and any care that might entail. But the eye was removed and the wound sutured closed… so there’s really nothing in terms of medication or maintenance needed. It also looks like he’s permanently winking at you.

Next up, we went to House Rabbit Society in Wheaton. There were several rabbits there for us to meet.

This is Pearl, who the administrator was excited for us to meet. Unfortunately, she was pretty shy and kept her distance most of the time.

One nice setup about HRS in Wheaton – each rabbit had its own pen, so we were able to meet them on their own territory. Liz would go in first, and if the rabbit didn’t come over… she’d just sit patiently and wait.

We tried waiting a while with Pearl, but she really kept her distance. So we had to move on.

This is Chase, who was adorable. Very young, very curious and energetic, but also friendly. Chase has an issue with his back leg, which kind of sticks out like a Frog’s leg, or a turtle’s leg. It doesn’t really hamper his movement at all (he was running around just fine).

I have given pets to a lot of rabbits before, but the fur on this guy! It was like touching a cloud.

This is Bill, who the HRS admin has been fostering and brought in for us to meet. Liz likes him, but I found him a little gruff for my tastes. Liz kept referring to him as “Einstein” due to the hair, and due to him being a lionhead rabbit.

This is Riley, who was a favorite. Really enjoyed attention, but also very energetic and curious. We thought Riley would have been a good match for Phineas.

Unfortunately, we learned that someone who came in after us ended up also liking Riley and adopted him on the spot. Unfortunate for us, but great news for Riley.

After our visit with HRS, we trekked over for a walk-in at Animal Care League in Oak Park. They have a wide range of animals there, and a small back room area for their rabbits.

We met a nice volunteer, but she was more familiar with dogs (their resident small animal expert was out of the office for a few days). No one there that we talked to was even familiar with EC, and couldn’t tell us if they even had any sort of EC policies in place – so we’re waiting to hear back on this.

In the meanwhile, we tried to meet with a few of the rabbits they had available for adoption.

This was Rocket, who was very young, and who had not yet been fixed. He was… a ball of energy. Super excited to smell and meet everywhere we came up to the cage (and ended up spraying the volunteer we were with, when she tried to show him to a visiting family).

Liz and I were both taken by Rocket, but it became clear that the family visiting had already put their name in… and were looking to take Rocket home (this was their third visit in three days).

This is Janis Hoplin (great name), and a rabbit that Liz really got attached to. She was a good combination of curious and laid back, and Liz spent most of her time with Janis.

This is Hedy, another one of Liz’s favorites. Apparently, Hedy is a little particular about her cage area, and will re-arrange items in her cage back to where they originally were if anyone disturbs them.

She was kind of a loaf and super laid back. Liz is a huge fan of white bunnies, and is of a motto “the bigger the better.”

This is Mona, who was a tiny little thing. I’m finding that I apparently lean towards smaller rabbits. She was super skittish and often ran to the back of her pen area to hide whenever people came in the room.

I will say – the family that showed up was all sorts of commotion, so I don’t blame Mona. She ran from nearly everyone who approached the cage.

When things settled down, I opened up the cage and sat down and just waited. She did eventually come over to me a few times, but then quickly moved away. I got the feeling that she’s a bit overwhelmed at the shelter, and would relax a bit more in a different environment.

Liz, with Janis.

You know you’re in an animal shelter when, in the bathroom, you see that they keep all the cardboard rolls for re-use.

It was close to 4:30PM by the time we got home. Super long day, but a fun one visiting lots of rabbits. We’ve run the gamut in terms of how various places deal with EC (with Red Door being incredibly strict, and with other places that seemingly don’t even have any kind of policy at all).

We’re waiting to hear back from the shelter in Oak Park to see whether they have any policies, and whether we can bring Phineas in for a round of quick meetings.

Goodbye, Quincy
Bunny Rabbit Speed Dating: Quincy Returns to Red Door Animal Shelter
Visiting the Rabbits at Red Door Animal Shelter, Chicago
Visiting the Rabbits at Red Door Animal Shelter, Part 2
Bunny Rabbit Speed Dating, Part 1: Baxter Visits Red Door Animal Shelter
Bunny Rabbit Speed Dating, Part 3: Baxter Visits Red Door Animal Shelter

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