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When I got the call that there was a house rabbit loose on the Lowell/Dracut line, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had looked for abandoned house rabbits before, but in both cases, they ended up being wild buns that were mistaken as abandoned. When I arrived at the woman’s home, I asked her to describe the rabbit and then she said butterscotch with long ears, I thought it might be a wild one. To a typical guy like me, butterscotch sounded like brown and long ears sounded like Jack rabbit.

As we walked around the house with her young son, she told me he was around all the time and was very friendly. After a little searching under the deck and around the yard, she spotted him in the neighbor’s yard. As soon as he saw her, he came right over and ducked under the fence. The woman sat on the ground and he came right up to her for petting. Her son had named the bun “Mixy” as they had been feeding him for over two weeks and saw him daily. She said he had been drinking from a crock they had out front and he always came by for the veggies they were offering. During the recent heat wave of 90+ for about four days straight, he had been squeezing himself under their front steps to keep cool. Having never lived in the wild, he was relying totally on this nice family, as he had no instincts to fend for himself. He was so domesticated, that I was able to pick him right up and bring him to HRN to get ready to find his forever home.

Except for the happy ending, ”Mixy’s” story illustrates just about every negative thing that can or will happen to a domestic rabbit released to the wild. It appeared that they chose this woman’s area to dump him, because in a busy city Like Lowell, the woods at the end of her street seemed appealing. Unfortunately for “Mixy”, he didn’t know what the woods were, as he had never been. He stayed close to the home where the people were. He was used to their loving contact and relied on them for the food he could not find on his own. His ears had become infested with mites that had him scratching often and in great discomfort. Luckily he found shade in the extreme heat and that it was not a season of extreme cold. There was also a main road near by that had claimed many domestic pets that most people think are wary of cars. Do you think a frightened house rabbit would no better than to run out?

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Thanks again to the nice family that cared for him and found people to come rescue him. This was actually the second time they helped save an abandoned bun. If every one was as kind and educated as them, house rabbits would never be released to the wild.
-HRN Volunteer: Ray-