Sunday, April 27, 2014

Disaster Preparedness

Dahlings! As most of you are aware, there is a strong possibility that there will be tornadoes here in Alabama over the next couple of days. Are you and your bunnies tornado ready? What's that you say? You don't know what to do? Well, my dear readers, I am here to help!

You need to be thinking about two things: a) how can you keep your bunny comfortable during a severe weather event, and b) how can you keep her comfortable in the days after, when there might be power outages and stores may not be open.

Let's talk about the first. You should have a carrier ready for your bunny (one for each bunny you have - remember that a bonded pair may start to fight if they are crammed together in a carrier for any length of time). This carrier should be sturdy and big enough for the bunny to sit up and turn around in.

Put a towel in the bottom (because your bunny may have to pee while she's in there and you want something absorbent for this) and put some hay in, too. Attach a small water bottle to the front of the carrier. A toy is always a nice addition so your bunny doesn't get bored.

This is my carrier. See how it has everything I need for waiting out a tornado?

Make sure you have a tag with your address, or write it on the carrier with a Sharpie pen. This way if your bunny gets separated from you in the aftermath of a tornado there will be some identification on her carrier.

And let's talk about ID for your bunny! If your bunny will tolerate a harness with ID tag, you can put that on her while she's in her carrier. You should also have a few photos of you and your bunny on hand, in case you have to show them to rescue folks to identify your rabbit.

But you know what the best ID is? A microchip! Yes, bunnies can be, and should be, microchipped.

I know that you all think that every thing will be fine, and losing your precious bunny in a tornado or other disaster could never happen to you. But it could! If your pets are taken in by rescue groups after a disaster, a microchip makes it easy for them to reunite you. And it can't get lost like a harness might.

I have a microchip! It's the trendy thing to do!

Ok, so you and your bunny have gotten through the actual tornado, and now all the power is out and stores are closed. This may go on for a few days. Maybe your house has been damaged and you need to evacuate. What do you need to have on hand so that your bunny is comfy and happy?

Remember that if the power is out, the refrigeration will also be off. Keep a cooler with ice handy for all those veggies you stocked up on before the storm. That's right! You need to stock up on veggies! Even if  the stores are open without power the veggies they have will soon be wilted so have a good supply on hand. If you think melting ice will be messy, freeze water in plastic bottles (like soda bottles). This is good, because after it melts you have an extra supply of water, too.

Do it now! Surely you must have some empty soda bottles around?!

It goes without saying that you'll need hay and pellets! Put a few days supply together before the storm in case you have to evacuate. Put a couple of gallons of water in your kit, too - enough for cleaning as well as drinking. A garbage bag, small litter box, litter and some basic cleaning supplies will round off your bunny evacuation kit. You can find a complete checklist of what you need here: HRS Disaster Prep Checklist

You can find more tips for disaster preparedness at these pages:
A nice article from the Wisconsin HRS
The Humane Society's advice
Really Great Advice from the folks at Rabbitwise! Read this page!!
And more good advice from the PigsNBuns folks!

Well Dahlings, I hope this will help you get started! Remember, disaster can strike at any time, so whether it's tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes or zombies - BE PREPARED!!!

Mrs. Brighton

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Art 4 Paws

Well, I have been so busy I just haven't had time to put my little paws on the keyboard to tell you all what I've been up to! Truth to tell, I have been doing what I always do - getting out there and educating the public about bunnies!

I am so very excited about an event that I attended this year called Art 4 Paws! It was put on by the Madison Art Council, and it combines two of my very favorite things - Art and Animals! As their Facebook page says, it's "a festival that brings together art, pets and families for a fun filled day". I must say, my day was certainly fun filled!

I attended with two of my staff members, Heather and Ruth, who set up my portable boudoir on the Huntsville Friends of Rabbits education table. I was plenty high enough so that all those nosy dogs wandering around couldn't get a good sniff at me. Don't get me wrong, unlike most rabbits I am not afraid of dogs at all! But my staff are always afraid that if a dog were to stick their nose in my space I might bite them. And I just might! You know, I really just cannot stand for bad manners!

I had all kinds of fun talking to everyone about bunnies, and of course everyone told me how gorgeous I am. As usual! At one point in the afternoon a very nice lady came up to our table and gave us a check for $25! She cared so much about our foster bunnies - wasn't that nice?

I also got to visit with one of my favorite people, my friend Kerry, who has an art business and who also adopted my friend and former HFR foster bunny Cinnamon. Cinn is now named Penny, and dare I say, she is spoiled rotten! Just as a bunny should be!

Here is Kerry's wonderful tent, and if you see her at an art event you should definitely check out her wonderful things. I want her to sell lots of her products so she can buy Penny expensive chew toys!

My fun was almost ruined at the end of the day though, because I got arrested - for being too cute! That's right, a very nice Madison Police Officer named Officer Prescott arrested me for being indecently cute in public! But he let me off for good behavior and then he even fed me some parsley! We become such good friends after that!

Well, Dahlings, I could go on and on about how much fun I had, but I really must go and have my toenails clipped and buffed. I hope to do another entry later this week and talk about housing, so until then.....byyyyyyyeeeeeee!!
Mrs. Brighton

Friday, April 11, 2014

There Oughtta Be A Law!

Hello Dahlings! Mrs. Brighton here! I'm sitting next to this fabulous Easter basket full of fresh veggies that my staff has assembled for me. Isn't it divine?!
 But just because I have a wonderful Easter basket doesn't mean I love Easter. You see, Easter is a very sad time of year for all rabbits. It's the time when so very many of us are impulsively purchased as Easter gifts for small children.  Why is this sad? Because so many of these Easter bunnies - 90% - will wind up surrendered to a shelter, "set free" to become food for predators, or will just die from not being cared for correctly within the first year. It is just horrible! To so many people we rabbits are just disposable pets.
No one should ever get any animal on impulse, especially one as complicated as a rabbit! Not to mention that we make terrible pets for young children. We are just not as cute and cuddly as the storybooks would like you to believe. We make much better pets for adults or older children.
it seems like there oughta be a law against such silliness as impulsively getting a bunny as an Easter pet! But wait, there is! It is against the law in 27 states to sell baby bunnies as pets. In Alabama the law is as follows:
Code of Alabama, Title 3; Section 3-1-15: It is unlawful to display, sell, offer for sale, barter or give away any baby rabbits, or baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl, but not including parrots, parakeets, and canaries, as pets or novelties, regardless of whether or not such rabbits or fowl are dyed, colored or otherwise artificially treated.
Whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as prescribed by law.
(Acts 1959, No. 104, p. 590.)
Want to know the law in your state? Click here!
Well, I could write tons more about the Easter Bunny issues, but I must go finish this carrot! Do my orange lips make my butt look fat?
Mrs. Brighton

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I'm Taking Over!

Hello! My name is Mrs. Kitty Brighton, and I'm taking over this blog!!

I'm the Education Bunny for Huntsville Friends of Rabbits, a wonderful organization. We are a small group of rabbit lovers in the Huntsville, Alabama area who help with bunnies turned in to the local shelters and who educate the public on rabbit behavior and care. We work very hard to make life better for bunnies around here!

But unfortunately, since we are a small group and there is a lot to do, everyone has been too busy to update this blog for literally years! And that is shameful! I have been thinking about how to remedy the situation when suddenly it struck me: I could write this blog myself!! After all, I am the official HFR Education Bunny!! Who can better tell you about bunnies than me, an actual, real Education Bunny?!

Of course, there was the problem of my not having the ability to type. My paws are just not made to tap their way around a keyboard. So I had a meeting with my staff person, Ruth, and she agreed that if I would write the blog she would type it up for me. We agreed that she would take dictation once or twice a week. With that obstacle out of the way we are ready to unveil the brand new Huntsville Friends of Rabbits blog, as written by me, Mrs. Kitty Brighton!

So let me tell you about myself! I am a gorgeous Mini Rex rabbit with fabulous black and white markings (did someone say cow bunneh?) I was found wandering loose in a trailer park after my former owner's trailer was repossessed and she moved without taking me. She just dumped me there! Can you believe it?

Fortunately for me, a wonderful pair of ladies from the local feral cat rescue, Forgotten Felines, came to the trailer park to help with some stray kitties that were there. They were friends with my staff person, Ruth, and they knew that no bunny should be wandering around outside, so they took me home. It took a few days for HFR to get me into foster care, but the Forgotten Felines ladies were very gracious about letting me stay with them. In their honor, I named myself Kitty (although everyone calls me Mrs. Brighton)! Without them I really don't know what would have happened to me.

My first weeks in foster care were a blur of delicious food, a warm place to sleep, my very own pink litter box, and perfecting my gracious ability to greet every visitor that arrived. I also had several vet visits, including a mysterious one where I was given some lovely gas to breath, after which I feel asleep and awoke with an incision on my stomach. Yes, dear Readers, I had been spayed!

All was going well, until my staff started to realize that my spay had not calmed me down the way they had hoped it would. In fact, I was the biggest bundle of energy they had ever encountered in a rabbit. Something was obviously wrong. I went back to my lovely vet for further testing, and it was discovered that I had a problem with my thyroid. No wonder I was so hyper!

From that point on it was apparent that I would be difficult to adopt. Who would want a hyperthyroid bunny? Well, don't you worry, because I came up with the perfect suggestion! Why couldn't I just stay at the foster home as a permanent resident, and occupy myself as the official HFR Education Bunny? With my super-outgoing personality, my fearlessness, my limitless energy, not to mention my velvety Rex fur and gorgeous face, I would be the perfect rabbit for the job!

So here I am! My job is actually very easy, and I love it! Every couple of months I will visit a gathering of people who want to learn about rabbits, and help my staff tell them everything they need to know. I'm even good with groups of children! I greet visitors to our foster home, and I help my staff teach them things like how to clip a bunny's toenails and how to pick up and hold a bunny. I have been writing posts for our Facebook page, and now, here I am, writing this blog.

In my spare time, I like to check out new toys (I hope to do toy reviews!), rearrange my three story condo (I'll be writing a post on it in the coming weeks!), try on new outfits (I plan to do an entire post on my tutus), and think about new things that I need to teach people about bunnies. Oh, and eating! I love to eat!

Well, that's enough about me for now! Do you have something you would like to know about rabbits? A question you'd like to ask? Just leave me a note in the comments! Until then, byeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Mrs. Brighton