Stumbled across the below post written by Amanda Greening to The House Rabbit Society. It is definitely worth the read. Make sure you have some tissues nearby....
It’s just a rabbit.
It’s something that I hear all the time, particularly whenever the debate comes up about feral and stray rabbits. With all the populations popping up around our province, it’s something that comes up in conversation more and more often. It’s always the same things and sometimes you’ll even see people who have released rabbits of their own.
They’ll be fine, people just like to blow things out of proportion.
Rabbits weren’t meant to be in houses. They’re practically wild already.
I see rabbits outside all the time with nothing wrong with them.
My kid begged for him but then wouldn’t take care of him.
I brought it home and developed an allergy.
I’m having a baby.
I don’t have the time.
It chewed up so many cables and carpet, can you believe it?
It sprayed. It bit. It scratched. It didn’t like being handled. It’s skittish.
It was in a cage all the time and didn’t seem happy.
What was I supposed to do?
It’s just a rabbit.
So you turned it loose.
Maybe you felt a bit of guilt over it, knowing deep down what you’re doing was wrong. Knowing that you were leaving that defenseless animal, a life that had no choice in its own life and that you took on of your own free will as your responsibility, to a death sentence. A quick one if it was lucky, or a long drawn out one filled with terror, starvation and pain if it wasn’t.
Or maybe you did it brazenly, fully believing you were doing the right thing. That all those posts were wrong, that you knew better, that it was just a scare tactic and the rabbit was going to be fine. Everything on social media is blown out of proportion. That sort of thing never happens in real life.
Regardless your reasons and excuses, I found your rabbit yesterday.
It was 30 degrees out and he was under a car, trying to keep cool as we all were. He was exhausted, whether from the heat or from the dead limb he was dragging around, we’ll never be certain but I would imagine it was a combination of both.
Rabbit bones are delicate and it doesn’t take much at all to break them, they aren’t made to be the toughest of creatures for sure. But this little bunny’s leg wasn’t even just broken, it was shattered and that injury had caused the tissue around it to go necrotic. It was dying, rotting away inside him and it was taking the rest of him with it.
We’ll never know how he acquired that blunt force trauma that caused him what would have been agonizing pain when it destroyed his femur.
Perhaps he hopped in front of someone and that person decided he should be kicked for daring to be “in the way”.
Maybe he nibbled on flowers in the wrong garden and had a rock hurled at him for doing what only comes naturally.
Maybe someone decided it would be fun. There would be no consequences after all, no one cares about “just a rabbit”.
Maybe he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Regardless the reason, it all lead to this, panting on the concrete under a car in a parking lot, in more pain than most people can handle just trying to stay alive. Turned out by those that should never have allowed this to happen, left all alone in a world far too cruel for a bunny that has little defense against those out to get him.
Thank goodness at least someone thought to try and get him help. Someone took the time, after seeing how he suffered, to reach out and try to get him aid. We got the message and so we went to try and save him.
He was brought to the best vet we could ever wish for. He was able to eat till his heart’s content and was in air conditioning where he didn't have to pant to desperately try and cool himself. Every effort was made to save his life.
To anyone who has ever left a rabbit to fend for itself, to anyone who has argued that stray rabbits are perfectly happy being left in the situation they’re in, anyone who says their lives aren’t worth the effort.
Where were you when the vet began to remove his leg and then realized the extent of necrosis inside, some parts so severe that the muscle literally fell apart in the vets hands?
Where were you when his heart stopped and life saving drugs were immediately injected in to his system to bring him back in a final effort to allow this bunny the good life he should have had all along?
Where were you when the veterinary staff sat with him for so long, manually breathing for him under a heat lamp trying their hardest to steady his vitals and searching for any sign that there was a chance?
Where were you when he died, the rest of us grieved and you were none the wiser?
Where were you when he never should have been in this situation to begin with?
I’m not a fool, and I know there will never be an end to the people who treat these poor animals as disposable and insignificant. I know there will always be stray and feral rabbits that people consider pests. But I just want those people to know what happens when you dump a life so carelessly and leave it with no way to survive. To see the suffering that you have inflicted, that you are absolutely and 100% responsible for everything this rabbit, the staff at the clinic that tried to save him and that we as the rescuers have suffered.
Please, please, PLEASE be responsible with your pets. It isn’t even a matter of not being able to keep them. Situations change, life happens, circumstances shift. But there are so many options, do not allow this to be one of them.
It may be “just a rabbit”, but that rabbit deserves a chance at a decent life and it breaks my heart that this one, so young and so fragile, never got it.
And to whoever did this, all I can say is shame on you.
Full credit goes to Amanda Greening. Bunificent received permission from Amanda to share.