The Plymouth saga continues. The day after Christmas we received a phone call about 5 rabbits being spotted in the neighborhood. Further investigation we discovered there were really 6. We have captured 5 and are still trying to get the last bunny. It is clear that someone is dumping rabbits there on a regular basis. Setting domestic rabbits loose outside is illegal and we are working with law enforcement to catch the culprit.
Check out the Plymouth rabbits up for adoption! Can you welcome one of these sweet rabbits into your home?
Boss & Sprite ~ ADOPTED!
In late April, a core group of HRN members began a large-scale rescue effort in a retirement community down in Plymouth, Massachusetts. We do not know how the situation came about for sure, but there is a general rumor that we believe to be true. Supposedly, it began two years ago when an elderly couple who were breeding rabbits, both passed away. Someone let the two breeding bunnies go free, and these unneutered and un-spayed bunnies proceeded to do what bunnies do… This caused an overpopulation of stray rabbits!
Carol and I decide to team up in this rescue effort. She usually picked me up from Tufts in the early afternoon on Tuesdays to go to Plymouth. Liz and Matt were traveling there three and four nights a week early on. Derrick and Jeanine often met us a few hours after we had arrived, and HRN members Erica, Corinna, and Palestina helped as well as Derrick’s girlfriend Adrean and some folks from the Bristol County Rabbit Rescue & Rehabilitation.
Mimi Pearl ADOPTED!
Initially in the rescue effort, we drove around the neighborhood hoping to catch a glimpse of a bunny. At that time, there were so many bunnies that this tactic actually worked! With each succeeding trip, we all became seasoned “bunny detectives”. We would walk around the neighborhood and talk with the residents about any sightings they may have had. We became highly proficient in the art of spotting bunny poop, and occasionally, bunny fur! We crawled on our bellies with our flashlights to look under sheds, a favorite hiding place, and designed “pokey sticks” (broom handles or something similar) to help flush out a hiding rabbit. We learned to always have our essential bunny catching tools handy: pokey sticks, x-pens and especially dried cranberries.
The weeks went by, it was now mid-June, and we were down to the most cunning and resourceful lagomorphs. For many weeks, we encountered a dry spell often seeing no bunnies at all, or when we did, it would be fleeting glimpses several hours apart. Liz and Matt, besides being a bit burnt out, had a building permit deadline looming on their kitchen remodeling project, so they bowed out. Our efforts continued even though many nights we only came away with mosquito bites, poison ivy rashes, and ticks to show for it. Frequently, each excursion’s end found us dirty, wet and really, really hungry, yet we knew that we would return once again. The thought of losing one of these poor rabbits to a predator, or that possibly another litter would spring up to perpetuate the problem, kept us motivated.
Finally, one evening I saw two rabbits! They were lounging under a shrub in a front yard. I quietly motioned to Carol to come quickly and quietly. We needed a new approach, since corralling the rabbits usually resulted in having them slip through our hands. It was decided that the best approach would be to employ the methods used to ‘win over a shy bunny’. Ignoring them, we sat about 30 feet from the two. We started to have a mock conversation to further our total disregard for their presence while slowly inching closer. After a long time, Carol got close enough to sit with an outstretched hand full of dried cranberries. We had done the impossible; she had one of the buns eating from her hand! We knew, in a matter of minutes, that we would be able to scoop the elusive bunnies up.
Bear ~ Up for Adoption!
Unfortunately, just then, the woman who lived in the house came outside to see what we were up to, and proceeded to make quite a racket with her screen door. That did it! The bunnies were gone for the evening. UGH! We went home sad and discouraged.
The story of these two bunnies does have a happy ending though. Percy and Magic, as they were later named, were the last two rabbits rescued in Plymouth. Both have been adopted from HRN foster care and are now residing happily in their “forever loving homes”. The Plymouth rescue lasted 13 weeks, resulting in the placement of 18 bunnies into loving foster homes.
Percy ~ ADOPTED!
We do believe there was one other black bunny and (probably) one other white remaining; however, they disappeared and we never received word from the residents about their reappearance. That is, until this week! September 13th to be exact. There was another sighting of two small black bunnies, probably babies, and one large white one. The Plymouth saga continues…. Whenever I think of these last bunnies, I get very sad about their situation. This whole experience has only made me love and appreciate my bunnies so much more.
Patience & Sampson~ ADOPTED
Of my own bunnies, Miso and Truffle were strays found in Quincy, and Rolo was born in foster care at Erica’s. Even though this experience made me realize how incredibly discouraging and sad it is to see the plight of abandoned and homeless rabbits, knowing that what HRN does as an organization in situations like these, gives me hope and lifts my spirits. I cannot imagine how scary life is “in the wild” for any abandoned bunny.
Bear, now residing happily in foster care, is the handsome mascot rabbit on the Plymouth rescue merchandise. Check out his image at the CafePress online store.
Copyright 2007 Emily Slocombe
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