You might have already seen it on the news: Humane investigators from South Suburban Humane Shelter in Chicago Heights visited a home in Watseka, IL. There, in an unheated garage, a breeder had 177 rabbits crammed into small cages. Many of the rabbits are pregnant; some already have litters.
The conditions were appalling: filth all over the floor, rabbits in dire need of medical help. Many of worst details--such as the disposal of dead rabbits--were not deemed suitable for television. If you want to see the unedited video, go to www.myfoxchicago.com and search "rabbits."
Thanks to the tireless work of SSHS, humane investigators were finally able to secure a court order to remove the rabbits. However, the breeder is going to court seeking the return of the bunnies--after all, it's going to be Easter soon and many of those rabbits were geared towards the pet store market.
After the rescue, SSHS phoned Red Door and asked for help. We invited other organizations to join us in helping in this large rehab effort: Indiana House Rabbit Society, Chicago House Rabbit Society, Wisconsin House Rabbit Society and Bsst Friends Animal Society in Utah.
Until the court case is settled, the rabbits must stay at SSHS. Many of the rabbits are ill with upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. A number of them are long-furred rabbits, like Jersey Wooleys, and are in desperate need of grooming. All of the rabbits need nail trims, ear cleaning and basic care.
Red Door is organizing teams of volunteers to go to SSHS on the weekends and clean the rabbits' cages, plus feed and groom the bunnies. If you are interested in joining a Red Door team of volunteers, please email firstname.lastname@example.org . We will be working out a schedule with the other organizations that are helping out.
SSHS needs more than volunteer power to help with this large scale rescue. Right now, information is still being compiled about what supplies SSHS needs. If you want to help Red Door secure the necessary supplies--equipment, hay, meds--please make a donation at www.reddoorshelter.org . Mark your donation for the "Rescued Rabbits." We'll keep you up-to-date on our efforts to help the bunnies, and on their progress. By the end of this weekend, we expect to post photos of our trip to SSHS.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
When the Indiana House Rabbit Society contacted Red Door, asking if we could help take in a few rabbits from a poorly run barn shelter in southern Illinois, the house was full. We already had many, many rabbits to care for--and we know spring is always a popular dumping time for pet rabbits nobody wants.
But once we heard the conditions these poor rabbits had been living in--no heat, poor diet, crowded together in small cages, no medical treatment for multiplying medical conditions--we knew we just had to make room.
On February 17, Indiana HRS went to the Robinson, IL shelter and rescued 15 rabbits. Red Door took the two Flemmish Giants, sweet sisters who were being used as an ad hoc "petting zoo" in this shelter's barn. The photo shows Dawn of IN HRS holding one of them at the rescue site.
Thanks to Toni Greetis, Red Door board member, who drove through a snow storm to pick up Anka and Inga, and get them back to us. Thanks to Animal 911, who took the two girls in on a Sunday night from Toni, and thanks to Chicago Exotics who checked them out. After a couple of weeks of ear meds, they should be fine. Thanks, too, to Indiana HRS for organizing this rescue.
UPDATE: INGA, ONE OF THE GIANT SISTERS HAS FOUND A GREAT HOME! ANKA, THE OTHER SISTER, IS STILL WAITING FOR A PLACE TO CALL HER OWN.