Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for RABBITS

     I've blogged off and on this month about the few days I volunteered at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah last month. It was rewarding and very relaxing even though it was very much a working vacation.
     One of the areas I asked to work in was with the Rabbits. I had rabbits when I was younger, and loved their curiosity. Their personalities varied as widely as their colors. They devoured the dandelion leaves and clover I put in their dishes. They weren't messy or loud, just cute.
Figaro, my favorite. What a sweetie!
     When I showed up for my shift, the staff assigned me to visit each pen to stuff their food box with hay. It dawned on me after only ten minutes that working with the sanctuary rabbits was no small task. I lugged hulking bags of hay in and out of the kennel-like pens. Some of the rabbits peeked at me from the windows cut into their cardboard boxes. They huddled in their PVC tunnels. Only a few of them seemed brave enough to hop into the open and feast on the lettuce.
      My favorite was a big, black rabbit named Figaro. I learned he was paralyzed when a staff member saw him laying on the opposite side he was supposed to be on (they move him regularly to prevent sores). His hind legs don't work so he drags himself around the pen with his front legs.  It's easy to feel sorry for him, but he looks alert and happy with several friends in the pen with him.
      The rabbits I worked with were in an area called Rescue Village, which was built in response to a hoarding situation. In 2006, the sanctuary got word that a private residence in Reno, Nevada had about 800 rabbits on the property. Before the sanctuary people could get up there, the rabbit population had doubled. When help arrived, many rabbits were sick, injured, or dead. Workers saved as many as they could, found foster families to nurse them back to health, and brought them back to the sanctuary where they could heal and be adopted. Many are still at the sanctuary. Such heroic efforts to fix a desperate situation!
     After refilling the rabbits' hay boxes, I was to visit each pen again and load them up with Romaine lettuce. In all, I spent 3 hours in Rescue Village, hauling bags of hay, boxes of lettuce, and mopping, refilling water dishes, and laying out new bedding. Surprisingly, it was physically more exhausting helping the bunnies than working in the dog area!
     Stay tuned for letter 'V' when I share stories about some very special dogs at the sanctuary.

7 comments:

  1. I've always wanted to volunteer at BFAS. I'm looking forward to reading about the dogs you met there.

    Ellie, who has 3 blogs in the challenge
    Ellie's Blank Book
    Ellie's Couch
    Help Michigan Pets

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    Replies
    1. You would love it there!
      I'm amazed at your energy! Three blogs - wow!
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Hi! Those rabbits sound sweet. I volunteer at a local shelter where I used to walk dogs. Now I write the introductory blurbs for each dog, and these are displayed on the website and on the kennels. I'm looking forward to hearing about the special dogs that you met.

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    Replies
    1. I love reading those stories on our local shelter site! That would be a fun writing gig.

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  3. It's good to see people like you who volunteer for such work. We have never had rabbits but I love dogs and will be back for V - my daughter has 3 rescue dogs in the USA>

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  4. It's good that you volunteer! I had one rabbit who fell from a window. I still don't know how he got the little hooks open! I'm over from A to Z, so pop on over if you like. (Catherine Stine's Idea City)

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  5. That was so nice of you! We used to have rabbits when the kids were little.

    Kathy M.

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