HSVMA Student Chapter

27 Rabbits rescued

Hungry Bunnies!

Veterinary Student Maris Brenn-White enjoying time with a rescued rabbit

Veterinary Student Leslie Neely administers medication to a rescued rabbit

One of the many rabbits ready for adoption!

Special thanks to the generosity of the below organizations

House Rabbit Society
Western Ranch Pet Supply

Rabbit Rescue Weekend

27 Rabbits Rescued from Trash Dump.  Next Steps:

A Forever Home and How You Can Help

What started as a simple Facebook post changed the life for 27 white rabbits left to starve in a field near the Fairfield trash “dump”.   Good Samaritan’s wasted no time when the call for help hit social media on March 2nd, 2014. Together Charisse and Devin, along with PitsRUs volunteers worked in the dark until midnight rounding up 27 white bunnies dumped and left for dead. 

The Tilley’s, who are no strangers to animal rescue, recognized immediately that most of the rabbits needed immediate veterinary care.  Most had extensive open wounds and evidence of upper respiratory infections. They reached out to local rescue House Rabbit Society (HRS) and within a day the unhealthiest of the bunnies were taken for immediate care.  This left the Tilley’s still caring for about 25 rabbits; more than one family can be expected to manage alone.   Thanks to the generosity of HRS, PitsRUs and Western Ranch pet supply, a cavalry was formed to get these bunnies healthy, neutered and adopted. But time was of the essence, as more than half of the females were likely pregnant and 25 bunnies were about to exponentially grow in numbers!  When longtime rabbit rescue volunteer and veterinary student Leslie Neely found out, she turned to the veterinary student community and the HSVMA student club for help. Just days later, a “Rabbit Rescue” team was mobilized. 

 On Saturday March 15 2014, HSVMA club members and advisors along with students from the Infectious Disease Ecology lab at UC Davis, HRS and  PitsRUs volunteers were welcomed into the Tilley’s home for a day of Rabbit triage, treatment and care.  Working together we performed physical exams on all 25+ rabbits, treated for ectoparasites, fight/bite wounds and brewing infections.  After organizing and numbering the warren, they were split into groups based on pregnant, ill, ready for spay/neuter, and/or ready for adoption.  

What started as a very sad situation for 27 rabbits turned out to be not only an amazing educational experience for some UC Davis Veterinary students, but also created everlasting ties between multiple rescue organizations and dramatically changed the course of fate for these adorable white fluffy balls of cuteness! One week after treatment and they are already looking better!

But the work is far from over.  As of today 4 rabbits have been adopted and 3 taken into the warm hands of HRS for continued medical treatment and eventual adoption. This leaves about 21 bunnies who continue to need basic medical care, surgery to get spayed and neutered, and eventually forever homes. And let’s not forget the babies that may be coming along any minute. To save the lives of the little guys, we need the community’s help. Supplies and monetary donations are an urgent need.  But we will also be looking for potential adoptees as soon as the rabbits are healthy and neutered. Please visit our donations page below to find out how you can help!  You may also contact Sarah Buckenberger directly at sbuckenberger@ucdavis.edu.

You can also help by spreading the word that dumping animals is not okay. In addition to it being illegal (crime punishable by a fine of up to $ 1,000 or confinement in a county jail of up to six months, or both.), it results in either a horrible death for the animals themselves, puts other wildlife in the area in great danger, and spreads disease into un-expecting populations. Rabbits not born in the wild lack the survival skills needed to survive predators, find food and find shelter.  They become an easy target for cats and dogs, foxes, coyotes, hawks, raccoons, and other predators. If they manage to escape these risks, death will likely come in the form of starvation, infection, injury, and/or disease. Dumping animals is never the solution. If you or anyone you know is overwhelmed by their situation, there are places that can help. Your local animal shelter is a great place to start.

Interested in fostering or adoptiong a bunny - fill out a request here!

July 7, 2014

Wow! It's been a long time since we posted an update!  For those of you following the story, SO SORRY. Between managing all these bunnies and starting 4th year clinics, time has been hard to find.  But the god news is we only have four bunnies left who need forever homes!  Great news for the other 20-something, not so great for these four.  If you can open your home to a white furry friend, please fill out an application today!  Our AMAZING fosters have been hanging in there with us, but it's time to get these gals settled into a permanent home.  Thanks again to everyone who helped, rescue, treat and house these cuties!!

If you would like to meet one of our available bunnies in person, Western Pet Supply in Davis has graciously offered to foster one in their store!

407 G St, Davis, CA 95616
(530) 757-9744

March 30, 2014

UPDATE: My classmate Leslie and I treated all the bunnies with their second dose of penicillin, oral TMS and selamectin today.  The buns are all looking AMAZING! Thanks to all of the amazing foster families, they are starting to trust humans again and turning out to be the cutest, friendliest rabbits I have ever seen.  Their coats are coming back nicely and so healthy and soft!  Step 1: Get everyone into a good foster is almost complete (will still have 5 we would like to get into indivudal homes for some one-on-one care). Step 2: Get healthy and spayed and neutered is also moving forward thanks to some donations from the public AND a generous grant award from House Rabbit Society.  Step3: Find forever homes.  We will ba taking in applications between now and April 25th. Bunnies will be ready for a home on or around May 1st!

March 23, 2014

UPDATE: Another trip out to Ashely and Devin's to treat the 20 or so rabbits who have not yet been placed with a foster family.  We administered subcutaneous penicillin to treat the syphilis as well as preformed basic wellness exams.  The rabbits look great!  Filling out from being on a proper diet, getting more used ot being handled and their bite wounds and healing.  They are becoming beautiful fluffy bunnies that are going to make a great companion! We also took 4 more bunnies to new foster families.  Things are moving along but we still need your help!  Please see our donations page for items currently in need of to care for these guys, get them spayed and neutered and into forever homes!

March 20, 2014

UPDATE: Three of the most pregnant (and by most pregnant we mean furtherest along) of the bunnies were brought to the Infectious Disease Ecology lab a few days ago so they would have a quiet place to nest as they prepare to give birth.  We are working hard to start spaying and neutering the other rabbits this weekend.  But we need help!  Please take a look at our current donation needs!

March 17, 2014

2 males were adopted out over the weekend.  We brought 3 pregnant females to the Foley lab on campus to give them a quiet place away from the other rabbits during their pregnancy.  Baby bunnies will be ready for adoption soon!

March 15 2014

We will give updates on the bunnies here - check back often to see how they are doing!

A huge shout-out for the following selfless individuals who took on this project without hesitation:

  • Ashley, Devin, Charisse and other PitsRUs volunteers for working in the dark to gather 27 rabbits and take them into their warm and safe home.
  • PitsRUs:  For donating nearly all of their dog kennels so the rabbits could by separated thereby decreasing fighting and spread of more infectious disease.
  • Volunteer Patrick McFadden who has visited the rabbits daily to feed, change bedding and perform health checks.
  • Amanda Hoover and Jamie Van Bezey for answering the call around midnight and helping the Tilly’s safely gather the rabbits. And for their continued help with health checks and treatments of the rabbits.
  • Western Ranch pet supply for donating over 200 lbs of shavings and food pellets.
  • Dr. Carolynn Harvey from House Rabbit Society for treating and taking in the 4 most severe rabbits.
  • Rene Gutierrez from Solano County Animal Services
  • UC Davis Infectious Disease Ecology lab students for assisting and donating supplies.
    • Alan Mendoza; Alexa Kownacki; Tara Roth;  Kathleen Sholty; Dr. Christine Fiorello; Bob Webb and Austin Roy
  • The HSVMA Club and the Veterinary students that spent their Saturday helping these bunnies
    • Eliza Zamor; Leslie Neely; Maris Brenn-White; Sarah Buckenberger
  • The HSVMA Advisors Dr. Janet Foley and Dr. Nicole Stephenson