Kringle was abandoned at Chicago Animal Care & Control in 2012. He is an eight pound, seven-year old Californian rabbit. Sadly, Californians are often bred for commercial or backyard meat production. Chicago is also home to many live animal stores where chickens, rabbits, and ducks are sold for home butchering and consumption. Those that do not sell are often abandoned on the streets. Fortunately, Kringle was spared this tragic fate.
Kringle was transferred from CACC to Red Door Animal Shelter where he lived for six months while waiting for a home. Because of their size and red eyes, Californians are difficult to adopt in the same way black cats are challenging. To make things even more complicated, Kringle also has issues with his spine as well as a heart murmur.
During his six months at Red Door, Patty visited Kringle several times a week. A long-time volunteer with over twenty years of rabbit experience, Patty is also an expert and advocate for rabbit care and rescue. She loves Californians and finds their red eyes extremely expressive. When it became clear that Kringle's chances of adoption were slim, she brought him home to foster. She had recently lost her bunny, Claire, and her remaining bun, Clooney, was lonely. Once home, Clooney perked up and Patty decided to adopt Kringle. She took him to a chiropractor and discovered that his upper back was fused together which put pressure on his left lung and heart. After treatment, his condition improved and he was able to reduce his heart medicine.
Krissy was abandoned in a cardboard box with her brother. Both rabbits were emaciated, but Krissy more so. They were separated so each could be monitored and receive proper nutrition. Once she was healthy and spayed, Krissy was adopted, but was unfortunately returned a year later. By this time, Clooney had passed away and Kringle needed a new friend so Patty brought Krissy home. Rabbits usually take about a month to bond, but Kringle and Krissy took a bit longer. As you can see in the video below, they are now thoroughly bonded and spend their days grooming and cuddling.
In early May, Patty brought home a third Red Door bunny, Ebenezer. This adorable, black lop-eared bunny was abandoned at a manufacturing plant in a dirty carrier. He had ear mites in addition to an ear infection as well as a severe eye problem. His tear duct is permanently scarred and he needs his eyes flushed monthly and anti-inflammatory drops daily. While Ebenezer loves Krissy and Kringle, they are not quite sure of him just yet. They do touch noses occasionally through their pens, but there are also still tiny spats. Patty feels they are moving in the right direction and is hopeful that Krissy will soon have two boyfriends!
Patty describes rabbits as smart, gentle, curious and Zen like. Sharing her life with bunnies is peaceful and watching them play, groom, and snuggle is calming and almost meditative. Whereas cats like to jump up on furniture, counters, and people, rabbits like to burrow under things. They enjoy cuddling, but usually at ground level and dislike being picked up or held. She hopes Ebenezer can eventually become a therapy bunny through Bunnies in Baskets Visiting Therapy Rabbits.
Rabbits are now the third most popular pet in the United States, but still often misunderstood and ignored by many shelters. They are affectionate, social, and loyal companions. When spayed or neutered, they can be litter box trained and with good proper care can live 10-12 years. A rabbit's diet should consist of free access to Timothy Hay and fresh, washed salads twice a day. Rabbits form strong bonds with other rabbits, but do prefer to pick their own mates. For more information on rabbit adoption, care and nutrition, please visit Red Door Animal Shelter here.
One final note, contrary to popular belief, rabbits do not make good pets for young children as they dislike loud noises, sudden movements, and injure easily. Every year thousands of rabbits are purchased around Easter only to be abandoned in shelters or left outside to die alone a few weeks later. Please do not adopt a rabbit (or any animal) unless you are committed to providing a life time of love and care.