by Emily Leung, HRN Fostermom
Did you know that there is something called the Bunderground Railroad? It’s a concept very similar to the network of drivers who transport rescued puppy-mill pups to safety. I’m a member of the Rabbitwise Bunderground Railroad. Getting bunnies transported over long distances is very complicated. Essentially, the bunnies are relayed between drivers at coordinated locations and times. Most of the communication between volunteers comes from a flurry of emails. There is a person designated as coordinator and this person breaks the long trip into “legs.” Ideally, each leg is under two hours. A request for filling legs goes out to the Railroad’s mailing list. It may take weeks to get everyone’s schedule to match up, and then the transport is ready to go. There were well over a hundred emails sent to organize Captain Mooncake’s transport (Casey, Hoppel, and Miko also came on this same transport). That’s how much work it took to transport just five bunnies (one went to House Rabbit Connection) from Buffalo to Boston.
So, Captain Mooncake’s story: I was poking around on the Internet and somehow I ended up on the upstate New York House Rabbit Society’s web site. Up at the top of the main page, there was a very sad picture of a bunny in horrendous condition and a link to the full story. There was an animal abuse case outside of Buffalo where 46 rabbits (and other animals like birds) were rescued, and legal charges were pressed against the woman. The bunnies were living on top of each other, and feces and urine dropped from the upper bunnies to the bottom bunnies. Ears were infected, one leg was broken, two dead bunnies were found, and food dishes were also filled with feces and urine. This is all a sad reality in the world of animal abuse cases. It broke my heart.
I emailed the Rabbitwise Bunderground to see if they knew about the situation. They did, and organization of the transport had already been started. House Rabbit Network was taking in 4 of the bunnies. Deb Young of House Rabbit Connection was in charge of filling the legs. I had the leg from Springfield to Boston. In the days before the transport, we all received the trip itinerary. Here’s my leg from the itinerary:
Leg #6: Springfield to Metro-Boston/House Rabbit Network (4 rabbits Florida White male, 3 Dutch males)
Departure: 5:30 p.m.
Indigo Toyota Matrix
Plate: (MA) M10036
ETA: Metro-Boston 6:45 p.m.
There were seven legs in all.
When I got back to Boston with our 4 bunnies, I dropped off the Dutch boys at another foster home and I brought Captain Mooncake to my apartment. I really didn’t know what to expect from him. I thought for sure that he’d be timid and emotionally troubled after all he’d been through in his first nine months (estimated) of life. Would I have to do a ton of socialization to make him adoptable? I let him out into my living room and his happiness absolutely blew my mind. The three Dutch boys are also very happy and grateful.
Captain Mooncake is in fostercare at my house. He was a “bottom bun” in the place he was rescued from he was kept at the bottom of that stack of bunnies. The poor little boy was urine stained as a result. In spite of his sad beginnings, he is one of the happiest, most grateful bunnies I have ever known. On his first day home, he ran around my living room doing the most joyous binkies. After all he had been through, he was still able to make this tremendous expression of pure bunny bliss. My husband had been annoyed that I went all the way to Springfield to pick up “yet another bunny.” My husband is not a fan of the bunnies. Well, mostly it’s that he’s not a fan of the fact that he loses time with me to bunnies. My husband was watching this poor urine-stained bunny jump around with happiness, and he actually was brought to tears. He said, “You did a very good thing.” :) It really is impossible to look at Captain without being filled with joy.
Months later, he’s still in my home, in fostercare. He’s an absolute love. He has his playtime at night when I get home from school. As mid-afternoon rolls around, I start to think of the Captain. I can’t wait to get home to him. He’s used to this routine, and he’s always poking his nose through the cage when I walk in the door.
Captain Mooncake would like to live in a home where he can run around like a maniac. He will make sure you are never sad, and he will fill your heart with joy and love. His attitude toward life is contagious.
Call 781-431-1211 to adopt sweet Mooncake. See Captain Mooncake having fun and doing binkies in his video.
More information on the The NY SPCA case
Copyright 2009 Emily Leung
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