Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Leigh talks shelter bunnies

Keysborough’s Australian Animal Protection Society Shelter is located at Homeleigh Road, Keysborough, Victoria, Australia, Ph: 9798 8415. Open 7 days a week.

Leigh Munro is a carer at the shelter who cares for many animals but one of her passions is the shelter bunnies.

BOING: How long have you been caring for rabbits at the shelter?
Leigh: Around 7 years. I've been at the shelter for nearly 9 years, but I was too shy at first to stick my nose into their care!

How many bunnies are looking for homes right now?
Around 15. More coming in all the time.

Are many rabbits surrendered after Christmas?
Surprisingly few. Maybe a dozen or so. Though many of the "strays" I'm pretty sure were actually surrenders- they didn't want to pay the optional – though very much needed - donation towards their care.

What are some of the reasons people surrender rabbits?
Moving. Don't want anymore. Have children now. Daughter married now and doesn't want the rabbits. Children not looking after rabbits properly. Rabbit aggressive. Children lost interest. Going interstate. Going overseas. Allergic to rabbit.

Do most rabbits find a new home?
Many do, though unfortunately there's more rabbits than good homes. If people desexed their bunnies and prevented unwanted litters, it'd help us a lot.

What kind of person do you think suits rabbits?
Someone who doesn't mind living on the ground when they're around bunnies. Most bunny people I know are a tad eccentric (in a good way) and love their bunnies to pieces.

Have you declined people wanting to adopt rabbits?
Yes! For various reasons. They weren't willing to get more than one rabbit (we don't allow just one to go home on its own. We promote rabbits as social animals that need the company of their own species to be happy), area too small (a hutch, with no exercise outside of the hutch). There have been people who want the rabbits as pets for young children and the children were very rough with the buns. They don't get any bunnies from us. If I get a bad vibe from someone, they don't get any rabbits.

Do you have your own bunnies at home?
Yes. 6. Plus 2 foster rexes.

What’s their names?
Darsey, Charlotte, Crystal, Dudley, Pearl, Lily and the two rexes are Penelope and Jefferson.

Were they all shelter bunnies?
Yes. They all have their own little stories to tell.

If someone wanted to adopt a shelter bunny, what should they do?
Well, they can either email me at veganbunnygirl@yahoo.com.au or ring me at the shelter. Or they can come in and have a chat and meet the bunnies.

Can people donate money or food for the shelter bunnies?
Yes! It's much appreciated. We accept over the counter donations of fresh veggies. Also, over the counter money donations we accept. Also, people can send cheques/ money orders made out to Australian Animal Protection Society sent to us c/o Leigh. There's also the option of going to http://www.greengrocer.com.au/ and getting it delivered to us fresh. A couple of people have done that, and the quality is really good. I only feed bunnies fresh veggies so they don't get sick

This interview is an excerpt from our free monthly rabbit newsletter - The Bunologist. If you would like to be on our email list to receive newsletters each month, please visit http://forms5.createforms.com/28080/form_1_1.html and add your email address.