Saved from Starvation
It is hard to imagine BUNS without the big white rabbits, Goose and Wiley, who greet visitors, dig tunnels and raid vegetable boxes. It is harder to imagine what they experienced before BUNS. They were “meat” rabbits living in a makeshift barn near St. Louis Missouri.
When the price of meat dropped, the breeder left the property and abandoned his herd of rabbits. As days passed food and water ran out. Rabbits began to die. Dead adult and baby rabbits lay next to the living. If the sheriff hadn’t arrived with an eviction notice, they all would have died.
The Missouri HRS took in 150 rabbits and put out a national call for help. The San Diego HRS brought 20 rabbits to California. From that 20, Goose and Wiley were selected to go to BUNS. They arrived in June of 2009 and their lives turned around.
At BUNS, Goose was given a ground floor cage; Wiley was in the cage above. Like the other shelter bunnies, they were carried daily to a play yard where they spent half a day. But one day, Goose took her life into her own paws. She jumped out of her cage. She spent the day running up and down the shelter, visiting the other rabbits and nosing the volunteers as they cleaned litter boxes. We all laughed to see how happy she was. At the end of the day, Goose hopped back into her cage. And that is how Goose secured the position of “Run Around” bunny.
One day, while Goose was running around, Wiley thought it looked like a fine idea. The first chance he had, he got out of his play yard. He and Goose were good together. Because they were big bunnies and so loved to run loose, soon all the volunteers were letting them run around together. During the day, they would race down the aisles, dig burrows under the hutches, inspect any empty cage with an open door. One day, we found Goose completely filling a guinea pig cage, where, mysteriously the salad had disappeared. We learned to close empty cages after serving salad and pellets. Goose learned to watch new volunteers for mistakes.
At the end of the day, Goose would hop into her own cage for salad; Wiley was lifted into his cage. One day, Wiley hopped into Goose’s cage. Goose seemed glad to have him, so it was official. They were a couple. Because they were big rabbits, they were moved into a two story ‘family’ hutch with lots of room. They still go in and out on their own, but some days you can find Wiley catching the breeze and taking a nap on the second story. Of course, that is when he isn’t busy digging a burrow for the volunteers to refill.
We love Goose and Wiley. We love how smart and brave they are. We love that they made their own choices and life. They arrived at BUNS in 2009, but their journey is not done. Someday a family will see how special Goose and Wiley are and take them on the final leg of a long journey to their forever home.