No, despite the title, this is not a post about catching escaped bunnies. Just thought I'd update you on what's been happening this month, especially for those of you that don't follow us on Facebook.
Re-homings are continuing well with usually 1-3 a week. After a period of mostly singles being re-homed (to join a family after bonding with their own rabbit), it has been exciting to see increased interest recently from some new bunny fanatics wanting their first pair or trio. Of course, as quickly as our bunnies move on to their new dream homes, more people are calling to say they want to give theirs up or telling us about bunnies in need. The waiting list is as depressingly long as it has ever been, unfortunately.
Baby bunnies were a big part of May, with several sets even being born at the Rescue in the last two months. This brought the sinking feeling of all the extra work, money, space and time to look after so many new arrivals in one go. Then followed the high pitched *squee* that comes from looking into those adorable fluffy little faces. Stress, *squee*, stress, *squee*. Repeat. But maybe you've heard enough from me this month about that!
Caroline has moved out of her parents home again, this time to live with close friends and super-volunteers Ellie and Mick. This of course means her new home is extremely rabbit-friendly, with lots of extra bunny space, so she has taken some of our special residents to live with her. It is an exciting development for Caroline and a big bonus for those poorly and elderly buns that now have luxury indoor accommodation and beautiful green play areas outside, but I will miss seeing all those sweet buns every week. This goes especially for Purdy, Hoppy and big soppy Angus - how will this blog survive without them??!! Oh well, I am happy for them.
The month has been an interesting transition for me. As some of you will know, earlier this year I decided I needed to quit my duties as Committee Member, Director and Trustee of the charity and that became official this month. The extra time it has freed up means I now get to do things like sleep and take lunch breaks, which is probably doing my health no end of good (no more weird chest pains and much less dizziness, though becoming caffeine-free also helped there). I am still involved as a regular volunteer and it does feel odd at times not being a key decision maker, but with energetic volunteers like Cat and Amy taking on more responsibilities and bringing their youthful enthusiasm to new projects, the Rescue is certainly in good hands!
Speaking of projects, there have been quite a few physical changes at the Rescue this month. Even more of the aviaries have now been paved for easier cleaning and disinfecting (and harder digging in/out!) and some of our older style accommodations have been necessarily replaced/updated with more spacious runs/aviaries. For sick and vulnerable bunnies it has always been difficult balancing their needs and making decisions on where to house them - the Rescue hospital is cosy and indoors, but the space is necessarily small and not suitable for longer term stays. To address this, the Rescue has now acquired a new structure which is enclosed on all but one side to protect against the elements, hopefully giving the best of both worlds. Two of our long term vulnerable pairs were then able to move into this last Saturday and start enjoying a much better quality of life.
Cat has been very busy, popping up all over Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire to run awareness days, along with her hard-working team of helpers. Not only has this succeeded in raising the profile of rabbits and the Rescue, but we are starting to form much better working relationships with local businesses and organisations. This even includes pet shops, some of whom in the past were the partly responsible for many of our intake, so this is a particularly rewarding development.
The big news was the arrival of our latest planning permission agreement. Previously the Rescue was required to re-apply for this every 1-2 years, but the new agreement has been set for a 5 year period! Not only is this a great relief, and one less chunk of work for Colin for the next few years, but it also makes planning developments much simpler knowing that we won't need to consider any sort of move or additional restrictions any time soon.
The month also brought us much sadness. We lost our dear beautiful Dalmatian Rex Majestic, who was particularly special to me, and poor little special needs bun Dodger, whose loss was an especially heavy blow to Caroline.
As I am writing this (Thursday night), I am also waiting to hear news on Velveteen who broke her leg this morning and unfortunately was left with amputation as the only practical option. We know that rabbits, as with many animals, cope well on three legs, but the initial shock and serious surgery will make the next few days very difficult for her. For all the miraculous post-op recovery we've seen from strong-willed bunnies, including my own little fluffy fighter Whisky when he had his face lifted off and sewn back on, I can't forget the heart-shattering tragedies we've experienced. Like losing Porridge in 2011 after her dodgy teeth were taken out and then Serena last year after her eye removal. These next few days with Velveteen will no doubt bring us much worry so I am really trying to stay strong and believe she is going to be one of the fighters.
Well, that was May. Thank you everyone for your support and for coming back here each day to check up on how we are doing. Let's look forward to more exciting developments (and hopefully less of the sad bits) in June!