July 2007

Look at this face. Is this not a face you could love? Is this not a face you could smother in kisses? All it takes is to say “I do!” then you and she can live happily ever after :-)

In meeting Carlotta, you find out that she is truly “La Dolce Bunny”, the sweet bunny. As at ease in your arms as she is exploring new spaces, she’s a girl for all situations. One minute she’s striking a perfect pose for the camera, the next she’s tossing her toys about and having a blast digging the towel we put down. Busy climbing steps with the ease of a mountain goat now, and later coming by and slipping her head under our hands looking for a pet!

Looks? Oh yes, she’s absolutely got those! Personality? In abundance! What this girl is missing is something only you can provide – a “forever loving home”.

“…and could you please help me find a forever loving home, and oh, some dried cranberries and baby carrots would be nice too…”

When you meet Naomi, your first impression is “Oh wow!”. She is a Himalayan and her markings are quite distinctive. She’s got a cute dark nose and tail, and her ears have unusual white bands at the base of the inner ears. Depending on the light, her eyes can be either a lovely shade of pink or lavender. When she sits upright, her pose is quite regal!

Our interaction with her was very pleasant. This little lady is friendly, gentle, as well as curious and playful. She’s easy to pick up,and once in your arms, she is perfectly content to just linger there.

On January 25, 2007 HRN took in 34 rabbits from a law enforcement case in Fitchburg MA. We were given only 48 hours to make arrangements and take the rabbits in. They were being housed outdoors and constantly bred. Naomi was one of the 34 buns rescued by HRN. When she first arrived, she cowered in the corner of her cage and would flinch if you reached out to her. After having lots of TLC, you can now find her in her cage laying sprawled out with her legs kicked back, awaiting some noserubs or snuggles. Naomi enjoys her play time by doing binkies and funny bunny jumps midair. She also likes her treats – dried cranberries or peeled baby carrots.



Fraught with hardship, Naomi’s remarkable journey has transformed her from a frightened, neglected rabbit to a trusting, utterly adorable bunny. She yearns for just one more destination. Won’t you be the one to offer Naomi that storybook ending of a “forever loving home”?

Recently, we went to do a photo shoot of some more of the bunnies at one of the HRN foster homes. We had the shooting area prepped and were ready to go, now all we needed was a bunny to get started. Well, with over 25 rabbits who needed updated pictures, where do you start?

Our choice was easy. Candace was in her cage right nearby when we were asking each other this question out loud and she proceeded to do a world class bunny flop right in front of us. That sealed the deal. This girl wanted her picture taken NOW!

She didn’t disappoint us. She was cuddly and snuggly and enjoyed being held as we transported her to her “stage”. She’s not the least bit shy and was running about happily exploring everwhere. It was especially cute when she would seek us out for a snuzzle and would go into “puddle” mode while getting head to tail pets from us.

One of the settings we were using with Candace was an Easter motif. She had a blast chinning and tossing many of the props around. We’ll have to wait and see if any of her “Easter Bunny” shots make the cut for the HRN 2008 calendar. We just know it was a pleasure just watching and interacting with her.

If you would be interested in this sweetie, who enjoys attention and yearns for a forever loving home, come visit Candace and we know you’ll be charmed too!

When you first meet Ozzie, unlike some bunnies, he doesn’t come right to door of his cage to see you. He’ll definitely scope you out, and his sniffer will be in overdrive to see if you are bearing any treats. Once you open the cage door though, he’ll eventually come to see you and that’s when you get the chance to scratch those beautiful “helicopter” ears. This definitely helps his shyness dissipate.

We took Ozzie out for a photo shoot after a cuddle and ear scratching session and he was as snuggly as could be while bringing him outside. Once he realized he was free to run around, he became like a kid at Christmas. He wanted to check out everything, was constantly on the go and threw in a few binkies for good measure. His ears bounced every which way as he scooted about doing twirls, jumps and head tosses. He was having a grand time!

We had great fun watching him interact with some of the props we brought out. The pictures prove testament to that.

Maybe you could picture yourself taking Ozzie with you to his new, forever loving home!

Ringo is one full of fun guy. He’s a ball of energy and always seems ready to “get up and go”. He especially likes to go to his cage door and check out who has opened it to visit him. He’ll lean out as far as possible to check you out and when you move in close, he won’t run away, instead he stays put and will probably put a big “kiss” or “nose wash” on you! If you’ve never been groomed by a bunny before, once you’ve experienced it, it’s easy to understand why this is considered the ultimate sign of bunny affection.

Recently we had a chance to bring Ringo out on the deck for a romp and he had a blast. He checked out every square inch, nosing and chinning everywhere, threw in a few binkies and occasionally stopped for a camera pose. It was a pleasure to watch him enjoy himself. His quickness made him a tough photographic subject to “catch up with”, but these photos will give you an idea of his good looks and might make you think about finding a place in your life for this special guy.

“Let’s see David Beckham try this!”

“Any bunny in there?”

“Pssst, where did you hide the goodies?”

“Wait, make sure you get my good side!”

“C’mon, loosen up. Let’s binky!”

Many people who are adopting their first rabbits have questions about what cages to keep them in, food to buy, how to clean up “accidents” safely, and where to buy the best products to give their new long-earred friend the best life possible. In an attempt to help out with the sometimes dizzying process of bringing home bunny, here’s a list of some of the HRN fosterers’ favorite resources for rabbits:

PetEdge is a wholesale pet supply company that specializes mostly in cat & dog supplies for kennels, groomers, & vets. Because their warehouse is located in Woburn, MA, they are an easily accessibly place to purchase a cage, pen and some of the other overlapping supplies for rabbits. They have a cat cage with 2 shelves and a wooden base on casters which would be a wonderful bunny home. Pet Edge also carries Midwest, ProSelect, and General brand crates. (Stay away from the Edemco modular cages, which are meant for vet clinics and pet stores.) All of them can be customized with additional parts such as wheeled bases for cages, shelves, & floor grates. PetEdge also carries a great selection of exercise pens which can be a wonderful home for a bunny who needs more space to run around.

Another option, are the Leith Petwerks condo cage which can be ordered in one, two, and three floor sizes. Their cages are very well built and its wonderful to be able to order replacement parts if something gets chewed on or wears out!

Keeping a couple 12 inch square ceramic tiles cheaply purchased at Home depot is always a good idea because they are a cool place for a bunny to stretch out on a hot day.

Most bunnies have anywhere from decent to excellent litterbox habits by the time they are adopted. While they might do a little strategic pelleting around the house and new cage until their territory has been marked to their satisfaction, once that’s done they will likely use their litterboxes all the time. Most buns will show they want their litterbox to occupy in their cage by peeing and pooping consistently in the same place. All you have to do is put the box there once your bun has picked his or her spot. Some buns prefer litterboxes with a low side so they can easily step in and out, other buns prefer a higher sided box like those given to cats because they like to dig in their box or toss their hay around.

Most of our foster homes use wood stove pellets for litter because it is inexpensive to buy in bluk (50lb per bag typically). Wood stove pellets can be found as a seasonal item at many Home Depot, Lowe’s and Agway stores during the fall and winter months. We tend to buy a large number of bags when they are available to store in a dry corner of the basement for the summer months when they aren’t sold in stores. Another easy option for litter is to use a compressed paper pulp pellet such as Yesterday’s News, which can be found in the cat litter section of most local pet stores.

For cleaning up accidental messes outside the litterbox, I use vinegar and baking soda. Both are rabbit safe and clean spots on floors and carpet very well. You can sprinkle a little baking soda on a wet spot to absorb it then scrub it with some vinegar to break down the urine and remove it safely. Vinegar mixed with 4 parts water is perfect for cleaning a dirty cage as well.

Busybunny.com makes wonderful toys and treats for rabbits. And if you can find a plastic slinky for your bun, you will make friends for life!

Sweetmeadow Farms is a Massachusetts-based purveyor of high quality rabbit food and hay. While their products can be found in many pet stores, they are located in Sherborn, MA just beyond the Natick border and are within easy travel distance of many of our adopters and foster homes. We drive up there regularly to buy food from their self-service stand. Its well worth the trip and the owners Al and Patty are really nice, offering discounts to HRN fosterhomes and helping us purchase necessities via their wholesale discount.

A 35 gallon rubbermaid trashcan is a perfect way to store a bale of hay without too much mess. Just make sure to never close the lid tightly so the hay can be ventilated and not go moldy. With a single bun, you should be able to go 3-4 months on a single bale. Speaking of which, Container Store carries a whole line of plastic storage containers that are excellent for keeping bulk pet food. I recommend purchasing one with a screw on lid rather than the snap on lids because the snap on lids tend to crack.

Another option for buying bulk hay is to order from Bunny Bales which ships bales and flakes of hay for a very reasonable price. They aren’t quite as inexpensive as buying directly from Sweetmeadow, but they are reasonable and might be worth it if a trip to Sherborn is out of your way. I highly recommend ordering hay and pellets in larger quantities because it is much cheaper and won’t go bad if stored correctly.

Some rabbits like to dig or flip their food dishs. I would recommend getting a dish that screws onto the side of the cage. Something like the bolt on stainless steel dish sold by Drs. Foster & Smith would be a good choice because it is dishwasher safe and chew-proof. You’d want the 20 or 30 oz size so your bun doesn’t toss food out of the dish while eating. (a 10oz dish would just barely hold a 1/4 cup measure of food, hence it is too small for the average serving per day that your rabbit should be receiving.)

For water, don’t bother with the Quick-Lock “No Drip” bottles. Yes, they don’t drip, but many rabbits never adapt to their strange pin-tipped nozzles. Instead, look for something like Superpet’s glass bottles with the steel heads. They are dishwasher safe and very durable.

If at all possible, please avoiding buying Marshall brand products or shopping at Petco. Marshall is the company which is breeding ferrets and rabbits for sale nation-wide at Petco. They are being weaned and neutered/spayed too young both of which can cause serious health problems. Please support the national animal shelter system by boycotting both Marshall products and Petco.

Whew. I know that’s a ton of information to throw at you all at once. Like most adopters, I’m sure you want to get the best for your bunny. Most of this information is drawn from the trial and error experiences of myself and other fosterers and bunny-owners. You should get the benefit of our hard-earned experience and be able to start out with the very best for your new bun!

Daisy, a gorgeously marked English Spot, is one special girl. She is definitely a “people bunny” and would love to spend some quality time hanging out with you for the next dozen years or so!
We recently had the experience of spending some quality time with Daisy and we found her to be quite the charmer… and photogenic too. We think you’ll agree.

“Wanna play?”

“You talkin to me?”

“You put your left paw in, you take your left paw out, you do the hokey pokey and shake it all about”

“With rabbit ears like these, who needs cable?”

“Princess Daisy, Duchess of Bunningtom”