A ‘Bunny’ Kind of Love - Eeyore and Mason’s Story
Here at NAWT we strive on creating love matches between the homeless animals in our care, and their new owners. Little did we know that last year, we would unwittingly create a love match right here in our Hertfordshire centre, as two bunnies in our care were destined to fall in love.
Eeyore came into NAWT Hertfordshire back in March 2022 after being found abandoned at our gates in an air tight container. She was found with three other rabbits, sitting in their own urine and faeces, and with no food or water. Although at the time we were at full capacity, we couldn’t turn our backs on these helpless creatures, so 4 temporary homes were set up until they could be moved over to our main rabbit area. If you would like to read Eeyore’s story in full, then you can read it here: www.nawt.org.uk/get-involved/news/an-unexpected-rabbit-rescue/
Mason was sadly also found in very similar circumstances, as he was brought into us in April 2022, after being found in a box by a member of the public. At this point, our rabbit pandemic had gradually slowed down, meaning he was able to be housed directly into the main rabbit area.
As fate took a hold, the two bunnies were placed in separate pens next door to each other. It was almost love at first sight, as the staff started to notice they would be smelling and looking at each other from afar. Their behaviour was closely monitored, as due to rabbits being better suited in pairs, we started to wonder if they would make a good match. And right we were!
Once they were both neutered, we decided now would be a good time to start to try and bond them, using the split bonding method. It was a quick success for the pair of lovebirds, as they almost immediately accepted one another. Now the rest is history, as after lots of bonding sessions with the staff closely keeping an eye, it was now time to take the plunge and the loved-up couple moved in together.
Mason is a bit more confident than Eeyore, so he helped encourage her to come out of her hidey house and explore a bit more. They could often be found snuggled up nose to nose like in the photos below!
They have now been adopted together and are settling into their new home well. Their new owner has been in touch with a wonderful update:
“They've settled in well and have funny little personalities. They love roaming around the garden eating, digging and being mischievous! I've attached a few pics of them having fun. They're still a bit nervous to come close for a stroke but they're getting closer every day. They’re a lovely addition to our family.”
Whilst Eeyore and Mason’s story had a happy ending, we want to stress that this may not always be the case if they had not have been found in time. Here are some very important points when it comes to rabbit welfare:
- Please never leave an animal abandoned outside of the centre. It puts the animal at serious risk. If you need help rehoming your pet, please come and talk to us so we can help and keep the animal safe.
- Rabbits should always live in pairs or groups.
- It is advised to get your rabbits neutered and to keep their annual vaccinations up to date for their health and welfare.
- We use the split bonding method here at the centre as it is a kind, gentle method, and forms long lasting bonds.
- Remember, a hutch is not enough, and rabbits always need access to a large amount of space. The recommended living area for 2 average sized rabbits (as they should be kept at least in pairs) is a single enclosed area of at least 3m x 2m by 1m high. This can include the sleeping quarters and makes up a footprint (accessible area of the ground or floor) of 3m x 2m.
- It’s important for the rabbits that this 3m x 2m footprint is in a single block of space because it allows them to display positive behaviours, for example, to run rather than just hop.