Thursday, October 25, 2012

And the winner is.....

Recently, Red Door held our first Design Contest. 

Entries were posted on our Facebook page, and fans were invited to vote by "liking" their favorite entry.
Click here to view all of the entries

Here is the winning entry, by Claudia Aguilar, which received 176 votes:

A long-time animal lover, Claudia moved to the Ravenswood neighborhood several years ago and learned about Red Door through a co-worker.  " I started by helping out on cleaning days and dog washes. I've continued to volunteer at events and participated in the Holiday Bazaar. By far my favorite thing has been taking part in "Kitty Boot Camp" this year. It helped me establish relationships with the current Red Door residents and see their personalities emerge"

Claudia received her BFA in Fine Arts from Columbia and currently works at PaperSource in the West Loop, designing crafting kits and samples. "It has always been a dream of mine to use my creativity to help others, so I thought the Red Door contest was the perfect opportunity to do so!"

"When I set out to design something for Red Door's contest I knew I wanted to communicate what they do in a simple, bold way. I played around with ways to combine images of the animals that are helped by Red Door most often, with a message about their work. I feel that it is so crucial to really emphasize the importance of adoption. When I sketched out the word adopt, I liked how the roundness of the letter "o" could be turned into an animal. I added details I felt communicated a cat, dog and rabbit in the simplest most universal way. And of course, I made it red to convey the name Red Door."

We're sure that Gizmo, Polo, Tortilla and Eleanor Rigby (cats) and  Franny & Zooey  (african clawed frogs) may have helped a little.  " I am very fortunate that my pets didn't have to experience shelter life, but it makes me more determined to help those who are in shelters"

So congratulations to Claudia, and to all of our designers.  Look for the winning design as well as several others on a new line of Red Door merchandise coming soon.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

We See White Rabbits

We just have a thing for white rabbits. Lots of people don't, but then they don't know what they're missing: the super-sweet nature, the snowy whiteness, the quintessential bunny. White rabbits bring so much to mind: Alice in Wonderland, Jefferson Airplane ("One pill makes you larger, one pill makes you small...."), and, of course, the classic movie Harvey, starring Jimmy Stewart and the six-foot, three-and-a-half-inch pooka Harvey.

So we're particularly happy to thank Laura Lanford and Thomas Rammer, who run They run a small private movie festival in the Printer's Row neighborhood of Chicago. At each screening, they offer a themed beer and highlight a themed charity.

This summer they chose Red Door as their charity when they screened Henry Koster's Harvey, paired with Pooka Pale Ale.

By the way, a pooka is a benign but mischievous creature from Celtic mythology who is especially fond of social outcasts (like Elwood P. Dowd, the Jimmy Stewart character).Hmm, sounds like many rabbits we have met--although none of them anywhere near six feet tall (except in their own minds!).

We thank them so much and so does Bella Swan, one of the many white rabbits we've rescued and adopted out. Maybe next year, will consider a showing of Watership Down?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bandit -- One Cool Outlaw Bunny

Don't let Bandit's name fool you -- he is really a very sweet guy who needs no rehabilitation. His only crime was stealing our hearts.

This one-year-old bunny is the nicest rabbit you'll ever meet. And you can at Red Door, where he is up for adoption.

You can see other adoptable Red Door animals at Huffington Post

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Every Bunny Needs Somebunny (Sometimes)

Love (or at least friendship) was in the air at Red Door on a recent Wednesday evening, with a possible record of 4 sets of simultaneous sessions of "Bunny Speed Dating"!

Rabbits are social animals, and are often happiest with a companion.  While many can successfully bond with their people or other pets, in most cases they do best with a companion of their own kind.

However, anyone who has lived with rabbits knows that nobody can sulk like an annoyed rabbit, so it is usually suggested that rabbits be allowed to help pick out their own companions.  Each rabbit is an individual, but usually the easiest bondings are spayed female with neutered male.  Male/male bondings can work, and the most difficult is female/female.

Many people come to Red Door looking for a companion for their own rabbit.  First they meet with an experienced volunteer to talk about their rabbit's personality and habits - this is important in helping us match them with a likely friend.  Then it's time for Date Night!

Marilyn recently came to Red Door after 10 years as a school bunny.  This dignified seniorbun had a chance to meet Valentino, and they seemed "pretty chill".  We're all hoping that this works out, as she deserves a quiet retirement with a good friend after all she has been through.

   Swatch and Rolex are two of Blossom's babies born at Red Door last year.  They were adopted together but recently have decided that they hate each other.  After a brief break, we tried to introduce them again, but they seem seriously set against each other now.  Swatch had a brief meeting with Winslet (see below) last week, and Rolex was introduced to several girls this week, but everyone seems too stressed out right now for any real bonding. We'll give everyone a nice long break and try again later.

Capri and Frances

Visiting Ex Frances was there to meet Capri, who is one of this year's Easter class.  There was "a lot of circling" but not in a threatening way, and shared some lettuce.  They are going to have their second date this coming Wednesday.

Red Door alumn Winslet was on her third date with Irving.  All continued to go well, with only a few tiny scuffles that were quickly defused.  He has now gone home to foster with her in hopes that everything works out on her home turf.
Irving and Winslet at home

  If you are interested in getting a companion for your rabbit, there is lots of great information online that can be helpful.  In particular, BinkyBunny has quite a few "bonding journals" on their forums, which can give you a realistic idea of the process.  Or just call or e-mail us - we'd be happy to play matchmaker for you!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Dog Days of Summer

Looking for a splashing great time for your canine?  Look no further than this weekend's Dog Wash!

This annual event, sponsored by our great friends at Central Bark Avondale, is a great way to get your dog sparkling clean and to help out the animals at Red Door.  Our enthusiastic volunteer washers will scrub your pup nice and clean for a donation of $20 per dog.  Nail trimming will also be available for a $10 donation.
(Dogs will be washed outdoors and towel-dried)

Date: Sunday, July 15th
Time: 11:00am-2:00pm
Central Bark Doggy Day Care
3358 N. Pulaski Road
Chicago, Il

I'd better get a treat for this...
Beat the heat, and come out smelling sweet!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Another Hoppy Ending - Panda/Lola

Panda - November 2008
Little Panda was born at Red Door, and adopted by a pre-teen girl and her family.  We thought she was in a happy forever home, but poor Panda had a long way to go before finding her Hoppy Ending.

Red Door was contacted by the girl, who wanted to bring Panda back because she was "going away to college".  A little checking on Facebook revealed the truth - that the girl wanted a kitten and needed to "get rid of" Panda!

Still, a Red Door rabbit is a Red Door rabbit for life, so we offered to take her back.  We received an e-mail from the girl saying that her little brother was going to take over Panda's care. 

Over the next several months, our volunteers received several emails from the brother claiming that Panda was "aggressive" and looking for advice as to how to "tame her".  They pleaded with the boy to just bring her back, but received no response.  Apparently he went off to summer camp, and Panda sat alone in a cage for months, un-socialized and lonely, receiving food and water but starved for companionship.
Panda - February 2012

When the family was finally convinced to relinquish her, she was skittish, unhealthy, and very unhappy. She found the shelter environment very stressful, and was absolutely miserable.  Luckily, we have many angels at Red Door, and one of them is Patti.  She took Panda home with her and gave her loving care, rooms to stretch her legs,  and a quiet space to heal.  After several months, Panda was coming out of her shell and ready for another chance at a forever home.

Jessica had grown up with a Hotot, and loves pets with "lots of personality".  (Some would say "attitude"). When she and her husband decided to adopt a rabbit, fond memories of her childhood companion drew her to Panda.  Now renamed Lola, she shares her home with two feline siblings.  Pixie is the younger cat, nearly the same age as Lola, and the two have become best friends.  Marley, the older cat, seems content to observe and merely seems grateful that Pixie has somebunny to pester instead of him!

Lola and Pixie - Best Friends
 Pixie has taught Lola how to go down the stairs, and she has made the largely-empty basement into her own private bunny-gymnasium where she can run, jump, and lounge in cool comfort.  She has taken over one of the many cat-trees as her daytime napping place, and "redecorated" the doorway for easier and more convenient access.  And woe betide anyone who dares to set a glass down on "her" side table - she will come running to defend her other favorite lounging space
Aaah - that's the spot!
Lola would never have found her Hoppy Ending without the tireless work and dedication of our many Red Door volunteers. But there is always more that needs doing.  Cleaning volunteers don't have the most glamorous-sounds jobs, but they are essential to keeping our residents healthy and happy.  Foster-parents take animals into their home for more one-on-one time, a quiet vacation away from the shelter, or just to free up a shelter space for another animal needing rescue.  Donations of money and pet food help keep our Pet Food Pantry running and provide a way to help people on fixed or limited incomes keep their beloved animal companions.  Volunteers staff our events, do community outreach, follow-up on reports of stray or abandoned animals, or just help with the phones and the paperwork.  For ways that you can help see our Volunteer Needs page or just give us a call.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Another Easter Bunny Rescued -- In a Peony Bush

Once again, Red Door got the call--an obviously domestic bunny was spotted in someone's garden. This time, it was a white bunny with brown spots "and extra long fur."

Red Door board members Julie and Liz headed out and captured the girl, a young lionhead, as she was hiding in a peony bush.

Of course, her name is Peony--after that sweet summer flower. The number of rescued Easter rabbits in 2012 is now 18....and the summer has barely started.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Class of 2012 - Top Ten

In the weeks since Easter, we've had TEN abandoned Easter Bunnies come through our doors.

Dewey has the distinction of being Red Door's first "Easter Bunny" of 2012.  He's been neutered, but then picked up a respiratory infection.  He's doing just fine, and should be healthy enough for adoption very soon.

Little Roo came in and then was adopted so quickly that we didn't even get a good photo of her! 

Rabberto loves everyone, and you're next!   He loves to be petted, and is happy to show his delight by flopping and tooth-purring.   This cheerful caramel-colored boy was recently featured at The Daily Bunny.

Check out Chestnut's classic Dutch markings of white t-shirt and dark pants!  This little boy is very inquisitive and likes to give bunny kisses.

This tiny Rex girl is Capri.  She ran right up to the bars looking for someone to play with!  She came in with a big oil stain on her back, probably from hiding under a car.  But she's all clean now, and will be spayed as soon as she is big enough.

It is REALLY hard to get a good photo of this tiny black and grey puffball!  This is Licorice, and he was found hiding in a parking lot.  Sadly, rescue came too late for his bunny-friend who was found deceased nearby.  Licorice is now over his case of coccidia and due to be neutered soon.

Maple was running loose near the Forest Preserve in Skokie.  She needs a bit of time to get healthy before she's ready to be adopted, but she's in good hands now!  She has a lovely little white kissing-spot on her chest..

Blackbeard arrived in a laundry basket, brought in by a good samaritan who found him in a Portage Park neighborhood.  He's a Rex with deep black velvet fur, and he loves to be petted.

And speaking of pettins!  This blissed-out bunny boy is Irving, another Rex boy.  He is white with brown markings and was found abandoned in the park.

All of these boys and girls should be ready for adoption soon.  We also have many other rabbits who are ready for immediate adoption. Contact us to make an appointment for an introduction!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sweeter By The Dozen

Our 12th Annual Gimme Shelter - Walk for the Animals will take place on June 10 at Indian Boundary Park, located at 2500 W. Lunt just west of  Red Door.
 It's a great way to enjoy the Park, meet some fellow animal lovers, have fun--and help out animals in need.   

 This year, Red Door is concentrating on raising money for our emergency rescue fund. So the more money you bring in, the more animals in dire need we can save.

The walk is short and easy--or you can just hang out in the park and enjoy our entertainment: pet psychic, musicians, doggy splash pools, doggy massages--and NEW this year-- a duck pond game for prizes.  It's lots of fun for pets and people too.  
 We start at 10 a.m.,
rain or shine. 
Pre-registration fee is 
$20 for adults, $5 for kids.  
 Registration on June 10 is
 $25 for adults, $10 for kids.
Pre-register online now using this link, or start your own personal fundraising page!

  Every registrant receives a 12th Annual Gimme Shelter! T-shirt,  a free brunch after the walk and a doggy gift bag 

 No dog? No problem! This walk is for people who love all animals.

(Though you probably want to leave the cats and bunnies at home that day - it can get pretty barky!)
Thank you to our sponsors so far:  

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Fozzy - One Year Later

Many of us at Red Door will never forget Fozzy, the first abandoned Easter Bunny of 2011. Fozzy was left out by the dumpster in the cold rain on Easter Monday. Luckily, he was spotted by a caring neighbor, who immediately called a friend for help. That friend indeed was Erin, who is a Red Door volunteer.

"When I got there, the poor thing was shivering from being out in the cold rain for hours. I immediately wrapped him in my coat and put his cage in the car. I turned the heater on high and sat him in my lap for the ride home. By the time we got home, he was warmed up, but obviously still shaken up by the events of the day. I wrapped him in a blanket and turned on the wedding music CD I had been listening to earlier. As it turns out, he loves classical music and immediately perked up and began to relax."

Fozzy's story touched many hearts, and was even featured on the blog of the Make Mine Chocolate campaign.

One of the hearts that Fozzy touched most was Erin's, and she ended up adopting him. "We couldn't help but love this unusually furry rabbit who was loving and friendly to everyone, despite his ordeal ... After a few days, and seeing how sweet he was, there was no way I could let him go, so he became a part of our family."

Fozzy not only has a great home now - he even has a girlfriend!  They met while "bunny-dating" at Red Door.  "Tulle was very sweet to him when they first met, and he was obviously very nervous.  He kept stamping his feet and running away."

They are like a typical married couple.  He is a total slob, and she tries to express her disgust by grunting at him.  When it appears that he isn't listening to her, she gives him a little nip on the rear end and he minds his P's and Q's for about 15 minutes."

Yes, Dear...  Whatever you say, Dear...
Fozzy's story has a happy ending, but for thousands of other "Easter Bunnies" the future may not be as rosy.  You can help that happen by sharing Fozzy's story, by supporting pet stores taking part in our Respect The Rabbit campaign, and by your continued support for Red Door.  Thank you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Egg-citing Event: K-9 Easter Egg Hunt

This Saturday, March 24, marks what Red Door hopes will become an annual tradition: our first K-9 Egg-stravaganza! Dog Easter Egg Hunt. Sponsored by Dog Obedience Group and Rex's Place, this doggy event will be tail-wagging fun.

In the U.S., the best known Easter egg event is probably the White House Easter Egg Roll, which officially started on the South Lawn of the White House in 1878 (although some history references mention a possible egg roll overseen by Dolly Madison). But at the White House, the eggs are rolled--with a spoon or a stick--across the grass. Even First Dog Bo looks pretty excited about the whole idea this year.

I think I found a bug...
Red Door's Egg Hunt will have leashed dogs and their owners searching for eggs along our course. Every owner is given an egg carton and every egg sniffed by his or her dog goes in the carton. Of course, each egg is stuffed with treats--plus there will be many extra prizes for dogs or humans! Prizes include dog toys, bags of dog treats, chocolate bunnies for humans, restaurant gift certificates, coupons for doggy day care, and a pet portrait at Sutton Studios.
There's better be treats for this...

The event is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Dog Obedience Place/Rex's Place, 2120 Ashland, Evanston. Entry fee for the K-9 Egg-stravaganza is $10 per dog. Also, the Easter Bunny will be on hand for instant photo portraits with your pet ($5). All money raised benefits the abandoned rabbits at Red Door.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Respect The Rabbit - Easter Amnesty Program

It's no secret to anyone who reads this blog that Easter can be a difficult time for rabbit rescue groups.  Every year we see rabbits who are purchased as impulse gifts for the holiday, and then neglected or discarded when the novelty wears off.  New rabbit owners are often ill-informed about proper rabbit care and the need for spaying or neutering.  The lucky ones are turned into Red Door or other rescue organizations, but too many are dumped in the wild under the mistaken impression that they will survive.

That's why we are excited about this year's new 'Respect The Rabbit' campaign!

   Through press releases, radio spots, and posters we are working to spread our message about rabbit education!

No Greg, that's not what we meant ...

"We want the public to become more familiar with rabbits and educate them on proper care" says Rabbit Adoption Coordinator Toni Greetis.  "Most people think of rabbits as low maintenance starter pets who only live for a couple of years. Red Door wants rabbits to have the same level respect that is given to dogs and cats. the more people know about rabbits, the less likely they are to make impulse purchases."

Stores participating in the Amnesty program agree not to sell any rabbits between April 1st and April 15th, and to display our poster in their store. 

The Amnesty simply prevents people from buying a rabbit on impulse just because it looks cute cuddly and fluffy. But the Amnesty also works to raise awareness of rabbit welfare issues. It is an idea opportunity for retailers to openly demonstrate how they take their animal care responsibilities seriously - and are both able and willing to put animal welfare before commercial profit. The Amnesty is also a great way of engaging customers, forging long-term relationships with customers and the local community through positive action...From the retailers perspective, acustomer who gives the rabbit up after a few weeks or months is only a very small and short-term financial benefit. A customer who is truly committed to the long-term care of their rabbit can be a great customer for 10 years or more!

  (from the program intro packet)

Over a dozen pet stores were approached, and we are pleased to announce that  The Animal Store  and Wilmette Pet Center have teamed up with us as part of this new campaign.  Each store will be featured in an upcoming blog entry, and we encourage you to choose them for your pet supply needs and to let them know how much you appreciate their taking part in this campaign.