June 2001

Volume 5, Issue 2

We would like to thank the following people for their support this last quarter. If we have in some way missed your name we apologize greatly. Please notify us if we accidentally overlooked you, and we will include your name in our next newsletter. Many, many thanks! B.U.N.S.

Carrot Circle

Kendra Duncan

Brian and Lesley Fagan

Greg and Karen Heiman

Greg and Hillary Courtearanche

Stephanie Adlawan

Sharron Baumert-Kysley

Rose Margaret Braiden

Barbara Brunkan

Bruce Chavez

Milbrey Conroy

Sarah Diehl (in memory of Natasha)

Sharon Engel

Paul and Judy Fredlin

Kathy Grandfield

Charles Hammond

Grahm Gyatt

Peggy La Cerra

Aileen Leurs

Pat Lindsay

Susan Park

Laurie Preston

Jan P. Reifenberg

Dr. Sepida Sazgar

Kimberley Schaef

Deborah Shafritz

Elizabeth Thomas

Ann Torier

Carol Loessin

(in memory of Parker)

Susan Warner

Alejandra Folguera

Bunny Angels

Terry Brite

Glen Grayson

Orwin Middleton

Sally Hoover Witnov

Tina Phalen

Bunny Guardians

Nancy Britton

Sue Golden

Elizabeth Mazzetti

Shiley Jean Otto

Golden Carrot Guild

Where To Find B.U.N.S.:

Rabbit Care





Darcy Freegard


Basic Bunny Class

Time & Location


Mailing Address

P.O. Box 91452

Santa Barbara, CA


Shelter Address

5473 Overpass Rd.

Santa Barbara, CA

Government Access

TV Channel 20

B.U.N.S. Webpage


House Rabbit

Society Webpage


Volunteers needed

We are looking for volunteers to help out at the shelter on the following days and times during the week:

· Mondays from 9am to 11am,

and 1pm to 5pm;

· Tuesdays 2pm to 5pm;

· Wednesdays anytime from 9am to 5pm;

· Thursdays from 9am to 3pm;

· Fridays from 11am to 1pm,

or 3pm to 5pm.

If you can help during any of these times, please contact Darcy Freegard at 968-5077.

News Briefs

Shelter Updates

Good news on the shelter front. We have adopted over 50 bunnies since the beginning of the year. Phil Seymour and crew have been working on a new site plan that will add more shade and shelter, as well as more permanent exercise runs. Kevin Freegard finished a new guinea pig tower that is installed facing the front gate. The guinea pigs seem to feel right at home.

Website Updates

There are a few new features on the website. First, on the home page we are featuring the "Most Viewed Bunny of the Month." This is the bunny that has gotten the most "hits" over the last month.

We continue to receive many inquiries about bunnies and bunny care from around the world. We've had visitors to our website from as far away as the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Romania, and Singapore. During the month of April, we received 84,588 hits with an average of 121 hits per hour, and a max of 790 hits in one hour.

We have made donations easier than ever! We now have a secure on-line donation service through FundRover.com. Come to our 

website and just click on the Fund Rover icon, and you will be on your way to helping the bunnies.

Searching for a new addition to your bunny family is now become more streamlined. Thumbnail pictures of the bunnies are now located next to their descriptions. Adopted banners now appear on our recent alumni pictures.

Please continue to visit our website. Feedback is always welcome!

Viva La Fiesta!

BUNS is going to Fiesta. We will be operating a booth at the upcoming Fiesta in the El Mercado del Norte at McKenzie Park. The dates for Fiesta this year are August 1st thru August 5th.

Our booth will be operating from 11am to 11pm; we will be selling smoothies and water. We REALLY need your help to make this a success. We are looking for volunteers to work in the booth helping to prepare smoothies and manning the registers, as well as, people willing to help with set-up and break down.

Shifts are available from 11am to 3pm, 3pm to 7pm, and 7pm to 11pm on Wednesday August 1st, Thursday August 2nd, Friday August 3rd, and Saturday August 4th.

Please call Suzanne Ilgun at 696-6981 or e-mail suzilgun@yahoo.com for more information and ways you can help.

Gridlock's Update

Gridlock, our "Bunny of the Quarter" from the last newsletter, was adopted by a wonderful and very loving family. The Rosenbaum Family of Goleta brought in their dwarf bunny Zac to the shelter looking for a mate. They wanted another small bunny, and Jean Silva thought immediately of Gridlock.

After a few successful dates and a weeklong honeymoon, they were bonded. At the time of our last check-in, all was still in marital bliss. Good going, Gridlock!

Free Ads

The Independent offers free ads if you are selling something under $75.00 with a limit of three ads per month. You can list your item(s) and then donate the proceeds to BUNS. The web address for The Independent and free ads is listed below.

It is time for spring cleaning, and what is one person's junk is another's treasure! Thank you.


Thank You

Thanks to all of you out there who responded to our plea for financial help. At the time of this printing, we received about $650.00. This has been a great help to us in trying to pay off our vet bills. Your continued support is very much needed.

Bunny Festival

Bunny Festival is coming, so mark your calendars! On Sunday, September 30th, the Sunken Garden at the Santa Barbara Courthouse will be inundated with bunnies. We will have a silent auction, Spa Bunne, the Cotton Tail Café, a children's area, Bunny Olympics, adoptable bunnies, and much more.

We are looking for help in the following areas: bakers to provide goods for the bake sale, soliciting and collecting silent auction items from local businesses or business professionals, assisting with set-up and breakdown, and volunteering at the event .

Please contact Heather Starr for more information and ways you can help at 685-3340 or e-mail at hstarr@somera.com.

Volunteer Corner


A new feature we are adding to the newsletter is the Volunteer Corner. Each newsletter will highlight a volunteer's unique and individual contributions to BUNS. We are hoping some of these stories may inspire you to come and enjoy our fun!

Darcy Freegard

Darcy is not only a shelter volunteer and a foster care bunny mom, but she has also taken on the huge responsibility of coordinating the volunteers, and assisting with adoption follow-up calls.

Darcy joined BUNS in February, 2000, inspired by her son Phillip and his long desire for a pet rabbit. In order to learn more about bunnies, and to ensure this was the best choice as a pet for him, Darcy and Phillip began volunteering at the shelter. Soon after she began volunteering, our volunteer coordinator moved out of town. Darcy took on this onerous task. Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Darcy is married to Kevin, and the mother of our two youngest volunteers, Phillip,8, and Mathew, 5. She also works for the County of Santa Barbara.

Darcy's husband Kevin, with his skills as a carpenter, has been a great asset to BUNS as well . He built our Guinea Pig Tower, and has offered his services for other projects in the works, and has assisted at previous Bunny Festivals. Our hats go off in deepest gratitude to this kind-hearted family.

The Lucky Life and Many Loves of Oliver

Oliver, an all white half-lop, was born along with six siblings at BUNS in August, 1994. BUNS found caring homes for all the growing babies, except for Oliver and his brother, Wendell. Oliver and Wendell became a bonded pair, but soon became "rowdy" as all teenage bunnies do. The founder of BUNS, Dorothy Diehl, was overheard to say, "If someone would get these bunnies neutered, I would take them." A most generous and devoted BUNS volunteer, who wanted to remain anonymous (we think it is Nancy Britton), took Dorothy up on her offer, and soon the neutered brothers arrived on Dorothy's doorstep.

Dorothy tried to find Oliver and Wendell a permanent home together, even booking them on a KEYT television show. But the boys were fated to stay with Dorothy. Sadly, in July of 1995, Wendell died of myxomytosis. Ollie was lost without his brother, until Dorothy introduced him to another BUNS foster, a black French Angora named Betsy. Betsy was very sweet and kept Ollie company until she died at an old age from kidney failure.

After a suitable mourning period, Dorothy introduced Ollie to Harriett, a white English Angora from BUNS, who turned out to be the love of his life. Ollie and Harriett were both "all over" white and visitors assumed they were littermates. They played in the backyard, grazed on clover, and spent nights cuddled up in the garage. Unfortunately, Harriett, too, was older than Ollie and began to show signs of aging. Even when she was paralyzed, Ollie went into the garage every night and cuddled up next to Harriett and showered her with bunny licks and kisses. One day, in 1999, Harriet was not in the garage when Ollie came in; she had gone over the "Rainbow Bridge." Ollie was terribly bereaved. He looked all over the garage for his fluffy friend. Thereafter, whenever he would hear an unusual sound, he would look up, hoping it was his Harriett coming back. Ollie was so depressed that he did not leave the garage for days.

Some months later, Dorothy went back to the BUNS dating service and brought home a black shorthaired bunny, but Ollie, perhaps still mourning Harriet, refused her company. He also turned-down his next blind date with another BUNS foster, a shorthaired apricot-colored bunny. Ollie was now six-and-a-half-years-old and becoming set in his ways. Dorothy thought that perhaps Ollie was no longer interested in dating. While a "bachelor," Ollie watched over all the bunnies who came to board, foster, and live with Dorothy. He began to recover and didn't mind when Dorothy would teasingly call him "Ollie-slug," for his habit of munching the garden vegetables. One fateful day, Jean

The stunning Consuelo/Crystal.
Silva, BUNS president, called and asked if Dorothy had time to groom Consuelo, a white French Angora who had been in the shelter for almost a year. A kind volunteer had fostered Consuelo, but had difficulty grooming her easily matted fur. Consuelo soon visited Dorothy's house for a "make over" and fostering. Consuelo spent evenings in her hutch in the garage, near Ollie. Although Consuelo had a sweet personality like Betsy, and beautiful white Angora fur like Harriett, Ollie remained aloof. Still the renewed Consuelo was interested in Ollie and not put off by his "stand-offish" ways. Gradually, Ollie and Consuelo spent more time together, hiding in the bamboo teepee in the backyard and sharing clover treats. As Consuelo grew back a full silky Angora coat, Dorothy changed her name to Crystal. Now, Oliver and Crystal spend evenings together in the garage and appear ready to live "happily ever after." So Ollie has transformed from a slug to a prince and Consuelo has transformed from a ratty shelter bunny to Ollie's princess thanks to the many caring volunteers at BUNS. Dorothy formally adopted Crystal in January, 2001.

As Ollie's story shows, BUNS and its many dedicated volunteers save the lives of abandoned rabbits and provide them with loving human and rabbit companions. Ollie's story is proof that caring volunteers and supporters can make a companion animal's "fairy tale" life come true and enrich the lives of many in the process. If you have a story/photo you would like to share about your companion rabbit, please send it to BUNS.

Flies: Little Insects, Big Problems
During the summer and autumn, flies look to lay eggs in the fur of animals that smell of urine or feces, or have open wounds. Within 24-hours, larvae will hatch from the eggs. After hatching, larvae go to damp or soiled parts of the rabbit's body; particularly drawn to the folds of flesh near the genitals, and begin to eat the skin and secrete a chemical like a local painkiller. This is known as fly strike.

The rabbit will become quiet and depressed. A strong odor can be present near the rabbit. The larvae will eat the flesh and if undetected will cause large wounds. As the rabbit loses fluids from the wounds it goes into shock and dies.

Your rabbit is at risk for fly strike if it is over weight, has a messy bottom, urine scald, weepy eyes or a wet chin. However, even a healthy rabbit that happens to have a bout of soft stool can be at risk. Any warm, damp area of the body is a prime breeding ground for flies. Rabbits who are exposed to flies are at greater risk than those living and exercising in screened areas.

You can prevent fly strike. If your rabbit is over weight, put it on a diet by gradually reducing its food. Keep bot

toms free of feces and wet fur. Shaving the fur on the bottom can help with cleanliness. Ask your vet to unblock the tear ducts of weeping eyes. If the ducts cannot be unblocked, clean weepy eyes daily with a damp cloth. Have a rabbit with a damp chin checked for molar spurs and change their water from a crock to a water bottle. Daily inspection of your rabbit is important. If your rabbit has damp or dirty fur, daily inspection is mandatory. A magnifying glass will help you see eggs and newly hatched larvae. Eggs look like small clusters of cream of wheat. Daily grooming with a flea comb will remove eggs.

Keep your rabbit's housing area clean and free of feces and urine. Use a flytrap near outdoor cages. Screen outdoor cages against flies.

If you find fly strike take your rabbit to a vet as soon as possible. If there are delays, even of an hour or so, use a pair of tweezers to remove the larvae. Search carefully through all the damp fur several times as the larvae will move away from the area in which you are working. When you get to the vet, he will remove any larvae, shave the bottom, clean the wound, give the rabbit a shot of Ivermectin and prescribe antibiotics.

Bunny of the Quarter: Honey
Honey is another one of our "miracle bunnies." Honey was an owner turn-in at the shelter. Immediately upon arrival, it was obvious there was a major problem.

Honey had huge growths on each side of her mouth that looked like large heads of cauliflower. Our guess was that she had out of control jaw abscesses. Surgery was scheduled. After the x-rays were taken, it was clear that her jaw bone was intact and that there were growths in her surrounding tissue. The masses were removed and the wounds were left open to heal. Honey was then released to foster care where she had to undergo twice a day cleanings, antibiotic regimes, and syringe feedings.

Honey's face is now completely healed, and there is only a slightly noticeable off center nose. Her fur is growing back in around her face. Honey is very calm, has a sweet disposition and enjoys following you around the house. She is now available for adoption at the shelter. Please swing by and say, "Hello!"

Upcoming BUNS events:

· Fiesta, August 1st to August 5th

We'll be serving up smoothies at a booth in the El Mercado del Norte. Come join us or better yet, volunteer for a shift or two.

· Bunny Festival, September 30th

Held at the Santa Barbara Courthouse, there will be adoptable bunnies, Bunny Olympics, silent auction, bake sale and more fun than should be allowed in one afternoon.

More details inside.

Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter

PO Box 91452

Santa Barbara, CA 93190

Exciting Topics in This Issue:

· Volunteers Needed

· Life and Loves of Oliver

· Bunny of the Quarter: Honey

· Flies and The Trouble They Cause

Address Correction Requested