Friday, March 30, 2007

Bad News for Watseka Rabbits--Breeder Wins Appeal

The sad news is that the Illinois Department of Agriculture has overturned the seizure of the Watseka rabbits and the vast majority of those rabbits--at least 117--have been returned to Paul Craft. Craft is the breeder from whom the rabbits were seized by licensed state of Illinois humane investigators.
We will never forget the wonderful rabbits we met.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

No Target Practice!

Poor Ramona, a sweet 5 yeare old gray tabby. After she was admitted to Red Door, our veterinarian discovered that Ramona has nine BBs in her back leg, hip and shoulder!

Now that she's safe, she is beginning to relax.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Night Out at Feed

We love Feed! It's the fabulous restaurant at 2803 W. Chicago, in Chicago, that serves "down home" cooking--that is, if your home specializes in southern delicacies like BBQ chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, fried catfish, the best cornbread ever, and banana pudding.
Feed is owned and run by Red Door volunteer extraordinaire Liz Sharp and her partner Donna [bottom photo]. Saturday night, board members, volunteers and spouses lived it up at Feed -- did we mention the absolutely perfect sweet potato fries?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Watseka Rabbits Update

Time moves on for the Watseka rabbits, who are awaiting the outcome of an appeal for their return.
These babies are now old enough to be separated from Mom--who was very happy to have them move on to a cage of their own.
Also, a new litter of bunnies was born on Saturday morning.
Red Door will be going back to SSHS in Chicago Heights on Sunday, April 1, to help with the 170+ rabbits. Interested in joining us to clean, fed, medicate? We can get you a ride with one of our teams.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Easter Bunny Ad Hits The Reader

Thanks to the Chicago Reader for running our "This is an Easter Rabbit" ad as a PSA [public service announcement]. It's in the March 23 edition.

Tribune Prints No-Rabbits-at-Easter Letter

Check out board member Toni Greetis's Letter to the Editor in the Chicago Tribune:

No bunny pets
Toni V. Greetis, Rabbit adoption coordinator
Red Door Animal Shelter
Published March 24, 2007

Chicago -- It is Easter time again. Many parents are tempted to buy one of those cute little Easter bunnies that appear in pet stores. Contrary to popular belief, rabbits are not good starter pets for children. They are high-maintenance, expensive pets that live up to 10 years.In two months' time, these baby bunnies will be sexually mature, leading to spraying and aggressive behavior. Children will soon lose interest, and the rabbit will be neglected or dumped outside--a sure death sentence for a prey animal. In 2006, hundreds of rabbits were surrendered to animal shelters throughout Illinois. Hundreds more died outside from exposure.

Rabbits should be housed indoors, provided an appropriate diet and receive regular veterinary care. They thrive in an environment where they are accepted on their own terms as a member of the family.Save a life and don't buy an Easter bunny. If you must have a rabbit, rescue a spayed or neutered adult rabbit from a local animal shelter .
Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune

Thursday, March 22, 2007

More Cages Arriving for Watseka Rabbits

The Watseka rabbits needed more cages this week. The baby boys, who had been living together in pens, are growing up to be teenagers--which means rowdy fighting! New cages will allow each rabbit to have a space of its own.
Thanks to the Anti-Cruelty Society for donating cages for the rabbits. Red Door will be delivering those to South Suburban Animal Shelter this weekend.
A special thanks to PETCO Foundation for its generous gift of many extra cages, cases of litterboxes, cases of water bottles and crocks, food, and bedding.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Help Watseka Rabbits-Join Red Door's Rabbit Brigade

So many rabbits! That's the story at South Suburban Humane Shelter in Chicago Heights. Volunteer crews from Red Door have been going on Sundays to clean the cages plus feed, medicate and pet the 170+ confiscated rabbits from the Watseka neglect case.

Thanks to all the Red Door volunteers who have been helping out: Janet, Meghan, Liz, Dena, Jackie, Toni, Julie, Debbie, Marcia, Lauren, Cheryl, Dayna, Ana, and Steve.

Thanks also to Indiana House Rabbit Society, Chicago House Rabbit Society, and Wisconsin House Rabbit Society for helping the Watseka rabbits.

Interested in joining Red Door volunteers one Sunday? Email and we'll contact you about teaming up for a ride to Chicago Heights.

Watseka Rabbits Update--Good News, Bad News

The good news was that Buffalo Bob was happy to see Red Door volunteers again on Sunday. Six volunteers returned to South Suburban Humane Shelter in Chicago Heights to help care for the confiscated Watseka rabbits. And it was great to see all of our favorite rabbits.
The bad news is that three more rabbits died this week, including a chocolate lop who passed away while we were there. Necropsy results are pending. While meds were reduced last week, they're back up now. Pinworms and respiratory infections are part of the current health issues, plus there is still coccidia and e. cuniculi being treated.
Interested in joining the Red Door crew of volunteers one Sunday? Email us at and we'll work out the rides.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Feeling Lucky?

Today is St. Patrick's Day and Lucky needs a bit of the luck from the Irish. This sweet dog was given up when his person got married--never mind that Lucky had been a faithful companion for 7 years.

Lucky is totally housetrained, knows how to sit and stay. He wants nothing more than to curl up on the floor by your feet and to be loved. He gets along with cats and other dogs--he is a total catch!

Do you know someone who might change his luck? He deserves it. If so, please email inquiries to:


3 Watseka Rabbits Want to Know....

"Hey, Red Door! When are you coming back to see us at South Suburban Humane Shelter?"

We'll be there again this Sunday, ready to clean. Thanks to people who are offering to join Red Door's crew of volunteers for the Watseka rabbits--you will be hearing from us about a meet-up place and time, if you haven't already.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Custody Fight for Watseka Rabbits Could Take 90 Days

The latest word on the custody fight for the rabbits confiscated in Watseka, IL: The appeal process could take up to 90 days. The whole idea of having to wait so long makes Lazarus take another nap.

Watseka Rabbits-Round 2: The Breeder Appeals

What? These rabbits--confiscated from the breeder in Watseka--can't believe it!
Breeder Paul Kraft has filed an appeal, asking for the return of at least 25 rabbits taken into custody by the humane investigators of South Suburban Humane Shelter.
No date for the next round of hearings has been set yet. But Kraft is receiving monetary donations from fellow breeders, who are hoping to appeal this case to the Circuit Court, moving it from Springfield back to the county where Watseka is. Kraft and fellow breeders are hoping for a more sympathetic judge there.
Meanwhile, the care of the 170+ rabbits--with more expected soon when the expecting moms deliver their litters--rests on Red Door, Chicago House Rabbit Society, Indiana House Rabbit Society, and SSHS.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Judge's Ruling in Custody Battle for Watseka Rabbits

This rabbit--formerly from Watseka-- takes a nap of relief: a judge has awarded custody of the confiscated Watseka rabbits to South Suburban Humane Shelter.
However, the breeder has 48 hours to appeal this decision and it is fully expected that he will appeal for at least the return of 25 Satin rabbits.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Velcro Dog

We can describe Annie as a collie-shepherd mix, but that doesn't begin to describe this dog's heart. Annie's owner passed away and so before she is even a year old, Annie found herself without a home.
Family members took her in, but it was just a temporary situation. Then Red Door was happy to help Annie out.
Right now Annie's in foster care with Red Door board member Emilie, who describes her "a true Velcro dog who just wants to snuggle." She's housetrained, friendly with dogs and cats, and ready to stick to someone forever.

Another Sunday with the Watseka Rabbits

Eleven Red Door volunteers returned to South Suburban Humane Center in Chicago Heights to work with the confiscated Watseka rabbits. One more rabbit had died overnight, but the remaining bunnies--all 174 of them--were happy to have some company.

We cleaned, fed, medicated, filled hay boxes and water bowls. And we gave out a lot of love. Most of the rabbits are thrilled for a few minutes of attention and a pet on the head. Plus some great hay! Red Door brought 50#s of Oxbow timothy hay on Sunday. At the rate the Watseka rabbits are eating, that will last about a day and a half.

The decision on the fate of these rabbits could come any day now. Red Door will post any news as soon as we hear. Even if the custody of all of the rabbits is awarded to SSHS, the breeder will still have 48 hours to appeal the decision.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Question from One of the Watseka Rabbits

"Hey! When is Red Door coming back to see us?"

We'll be there all day Sunday. Look for new information and photos.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

More Watseka Rabbits Photos

Just to get in the mood for this Sunday--when Red Door volunteers return to South Suburban Humane Shelter in Chicago Heights--we wanted to relive those happy moments of cleaning, cleaning and cleaning!
Actually, our encounter with this little white rabbit was a happy moment. He took such a long, still nap and was in such a deep sleep, that everyone in the room suddenly feared the worst! He just wasn't responding at all--until he snapped out of his nap and wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Watseka Rabbits Update

Tuesday, March 6, the Deptment of Agriculture held a hearing on the fate of the Watseka rabbits, currently held at South Suburban Humane Shelter. Two humane investigators testified about the conditions in which they found the rabbits [in an unheated, dark garage with no ventilation; feces two feet deep on the floor]. Also Susan Brown, DVM, testified to her examinations of the rabbits at SSHS.

The breeder has asked for 25 rabbits back--specifically, he is asking for the return of the Satins because they are "the most valuable" to him financially. He would like to continue to breed these Satins.

A decision is expected within the next five days. Meanwhile, Red Door will be going back to SSHS this Sunday to continue volunteer care for the 170 rabbits.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More Photos of the Watseka/SSHS Rabbits

Sunday was an exhausting but gratifying day. Thanks to Indiana House Rabbit Society, who worked on Saturday, and organized rabbits and supplies--making our 7 hour work day much easier. These rabbits have a long road ahead of them.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Rabbits, Rabbits Everywhere-Watseka Update

Nine volunteers from Red Door visited the confiscated rabbits at South Suburban Humane Shelter on Sunday, March 4th. Our goal was to help SSHS care for the rabbits. It took us almost seven hours to feed, clean habitats, and medicate! Some rabbits are in OK shape. Eleven have died since SSHS humane investigators seized the rabbits from an unheated garage of a breeder in Watseka, IL. Some face a slow recovery and others--like the red Satin baby bunnies here--will never completely recover from the neglect. All of them are blind, in either one or both eyes, from being housed in an inhumanely small cage. The bunnies had so little room they blinded themselves by being forced to rub up against the bars of their cage.
A hearing will take place in Springfield, IL on Tuesday, March 6th, to determine who will receive legal custody of the rabbits.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Why a Duck?

Because it was a Chicago blizzard outside....and the duck was definitely in trouble!

That's how Guthrie--a beautiful hybrid domestic mallard-black duck--ended up at Red Door. Matt and Mike were at work when a neighbor came to the door, reporting that "this black creature is running around under the parked cars." So, even though it was the biggest snow storm of the winter, they went outside and found Guthrie--a green-headed black duck who was not interested in their help. Instead he ran around under the cars, trying to elude their grasp.

When they finally caught him, he was a mess (Matt and Mike were a little worse for their troubles, too). His feathers have no oil, so he had no insulation from the cold. He also wasn't waterproof! The poor duck was shaking with cold!Our veterinarian says Guthrie was probably a pet--and either an ill-advised shampoo or too much hugging had stripped his feathers of oil.

Guthrie's been recovering in the shelter office and soon he'll be ready to go to a new home.