Meet the newest member of the Dawson family sanctuary, Leopold. He was given as a christmas gift to a young boy but shortly after, the family had to handle a medical emergency and had no time for the bunny. The only attention that he got was at feeding time. I was asked to feed him when the family was away and I was saddened by the lack of attention that he was being given. I discussed my concerns with the mom and she agreed to let me find a new home for him. I called sanctuaries, friends and rabbit rescues to see if anyone wanted to have him. I left several messages at many places. The few people that I did hear from were unable to take him in at that time. As I spent more time with him, he stole my heart. I sent my husband a picture of him and he texted me back “Oh my God can we keep him?”. It began to become more obvious the more time that I spent with him that our house was the place for him. As soon as I made the decision ironically, opportunities for him to find a home came up. As with our other rescues the cats have the final say in if an animal gets to stay. They have accepted him beautifully. It also is beginning to look like there is a beautiful friendship forming between Leopold and Penelope, our chicken.
Our small backyard plot we came to realize, is the perfect size and set up for us to take our chicken and rabbit for supervised play time outside. It is a small enough plot that I can keep an eye on them and it is enclosed by a fence. It was such a joy to watch Leo run back and forth during his first day ever on the grass. He jumped and kicked his legs up so high! He ran and jumped right into my lap. It was if he was saying thank you. Leopold has a beautiful spirit and a zest for life. I am so happy that our paths have crossed.
The more time that he would spend outside of his room (aka his cage…but I hate that term), the more that he would want to be outside of it. Now he has pretty much freedom to go wherever he wants in the apartment since he is litter trained. He has such a boisterous personality that the thought of him living his life in a cage and never getting to express his personality was so sad to us.
Leopold is a great reminder that rabbits are a large responsibility and should not be given as gifts. They require a lot of care and attention. Many rabbits end up in shelters because people don’t realize the commitment that they require. They can live up to 10 years and they require an exotic vet. They are small and adorable but they are not starter pets. They require the same amount of attention (if not more) as any other companion animal. If you are ready to make the commitment to a rabbit please consider adopting from a shelter rather than buying from a pet store due to the amount of surrendered rabbits that need homes. Here is a wonderful video that anyone that is considering getting a pet rabbit should watch.