Fostering

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HalaBuns

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Hi everyone

I have recently joined a FB group in Dubai which provides help and support to small animals, many of which have been abandoned. They frequently need foster spaces and I would really like to help, but I want to make sure I have done my homework first in terms of the impact it will have on both my bunnies and myself, so we don’t all end up stressed and potentially regretting my decision.

I live in a 2 bed, 3 bath apartment and my bunnies are completely free roam. 1 of the bathrooms I rarely use and I could set up as a space for one of the rescues.

To give some background on my bunnies, they are both girls, spayed in June. They were rescued by a lady in April / May after being dumped 😢😠. I adopted them in June, shortly after their spay. We then moved house in September. They are very settled now, but have of course been through a lot of ups and downs, moving a lot etc. They are my absolute priority, so if bringing another rabbit into their space at this point is likely to cause them any further stress, I will leave the idea.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you 🙂
 

Madelyn L.

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As long as your buns can’t get into the bathroom, having the rescue in your bathroom would be a good idea! Just make sure the rescue has plenty of active engagement (toys, puzzles, etc.) to keep him occupied. Maybe for some part of your homework time, you could go hang out in your rescue buns bathroom and do some of your homework. I hope it works out! If u decide to foster, keep us posted! 😊
 

JBun

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The major issues that could occur bringing in a new rabbit(or any new animal), is that it could spark territorial behavior like poop or urine marking, and it could even possibly cause referred aggression to occur with your bonded pair, where one lashes out at the other from having a new animal smell in their territory. Now, these could all settle down after a week or two, or may not even occur at all, but there is the potential that either could occur and the effects could be longer lasting, even to the point of having to separate your current bonded pair. Even if the rabbit is kept completely separated and confined in a separate room, your rabbits will still be able to smell it and hear it.

I don't want to discourage fostering at all, as it's such a kind thing to do for animals in need. But it's best to be aware of potential effects that can occur with your current rabbits, when considering and making the decision on whether it's something you want to take on or not.
 

HalaBuns

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Thank you very much for your replies.

I think I would be a bit nervous about how my girls would react, so for the time being at least I don’t think I will offer or commit to anything. They are finally so happy in their lives and I would worry about disrupting that and losing their trust.

There are just so many buns (and other animals) needing help here every day, it just tugs at my heart strings and I wish I could take them all in 😔
 

HalaBuns

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So I’m really considering this again. We don’t have any rescues or shelters here. Any buns who are taken from whatever horrible situation they are found in have to go to a foster space, as there are no other options, or the person that found them has to keep them until they can be adopted.

We have 2 or 3 ladies who co-ordinate the rescuing, fostering and adopting on top of their full-time jobs and families and they are totally overwhelmed with bunnies. Every day a bunny is dumped, released, or needs to be taken from a dangerous situation (in the last week alone, there have been 2 bunnies spotted being kept in bird cages in supermarkets). They are desperate for foster spaces, even a bathroom and each day that passes I feel more guilty about not stepping forward to help.

My concern still remains about my buns. I have no intention of letting them meet and ideally I would prefer they did not even have an awareness of one another (but not sure how easy that would be). My buns have not claimed my bathrooms or kitchen as theirs, so that would be the space I could offer. It wouldn’t be ideal and certainly not long-term, but it would offer a place for the bun to be away from danger, heal, have some good food and receive love and care before being homed.

Aside from keeping the door shut, are there any other measures I could put in place to reduce my bunnies’ awareness of there being another rabbit in the house? Or manage it at least.
 

LizzyMayHarvey

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That is such a sweet and thoughtful idea! ❤
I certainly am no expert whatsoever but I will share my experience.

I have one Flemish Giant bunny that lives in the front yard and she is the sweetest thing, but anyway, we were given a neutered/spayed 2 year old brother and sister bonded pair of mini lops. We tried to introduce them to our bun but the girl is very savage to our FG and and scratched her up. She isn't the friendliest rabbit anyway and I think she doesn't want our FG girl to steal her brother. XD So we seperated them from our bun so they do not hurt her. They can still see and sniff our Flemish through the bars but that has not affected the mini lops relationship in the least. They even switch cages sometimes so the mini lops can have more space for a bit.
I suppose in your situation it depends on you bunnies personalities and how strong their relationship is. Who knows? Maybe they will be friends with the fosters! If I were you I would go ahead and foster some buns and I would even let them see each other, not necessarily bond or anything, but just meet. But please don't take my word for it as I may be totally wrong and I don't want to give you the wrong idea.😜 Just my personal opinion.
 

HalaBuns

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That is such a sweet and thoughtful idea! ❤
I certainly am no expert whatsoever but I will share my experience.

I have one Flemish Giant bunny that lives in the front yard and she is the sweetest thing, but anyway, we were given a neutered/spayed 2 year old brother and sister bonded pair of mini lops. We tried to introduce them to our bun but the girl is very savage to our FG and and scratched her up. She isn't the friendliest rabbit anyway and I think she doesn't want our FG girl to steal her brother. XD So we seperated them from our bun so they do not hurt her. They can still see and sniff our Flemish through the bars but that has not affected the mini lops relationship in the least. They even switch cages sometimes so the mini lops can have more space for a bit.
I suppose in your situation it depends on you bunnies personalities and how strong their relationship is. Who knows? Maybe they will be friends with the fosters! If I were you I would go ahead and foster some buns and I would even let them see each other, not necessarily bond or anything, but just meet. But please don't take my word for it as I may be totally wrong and I don't want to give you the wrong idea.😜 Just my personal opinion.
Well that sounds like you had a positive outcome! (minus the initial scratching).

As you say, I wouldn’t really know how my buns would react until it happened. I’m assuming one would be a bit of a jerk about it, just not sure to what extent 😬Equally, she may prove me wrong and not be the little terrorist I am worried about
 

bunny34422

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My friend rescued and is currently fostering a solo bun, but she doesn't want to disrupt the bond between her original pair after it took her months to get them together. So in addition to keeping them in separate rooms, she washes her hands and changes her clothes each time she interacts with the single before going back to her pair. It's a hassle and I think her pair's probably still aware there's another rabbit around, but they haven't really cared 🤷‍♀️ Maybe you could try that but like you said it all depends on the rabbits!
 

HalaBuns

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My friend rescued and is currently fostering a solo bun, but she doesn't want to disrupt the bond between her original pair after it took her months to get them together. So in addition to keeping them in separate rooms, she washes her hands and changes her clothes each time she interacts with the single before going back to her pair. It's a hassle and I think her pair's probably still aware there's another rabbit around, but they haven't really cared 🤷‍♀️ Maybe you could try that but like you said it all depends on the rabbits!
Yes I was also thinking that I’d have to do that to be on the safe side!
 

HalaBuns

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One of the ladies who co-ordinates the fostering suggested fostering a baby bun, in the hope it would cause less disruption to my two. Within a couple of hours of me agreeing, here we are...

This little angel was found dumped in the road yesterday and almost got run over. Not quite a baby, but still very young. He/she is incredibly thin, but has had a good amount of food since arriving. I’ve left her (we’ll call her a she as it’s easier) to rest as she is totally exhausted.

96EA8094-6AC3-445F-BC47-D8811427187E.jpegC0C1E0D0-BA70-48F6-9686-0733252209DC.jpeg3D7A7F9D-F7A7-4D28-A686-FB1E9F3CCAA4.jpeg

She’s incredibly affectionate and loves head rubs. She also has the longest tongue in the world 😂

I will get her vet checked in a couple of days when she is strong enough for another car ride, or sooner if she deteriorates. So say a prayer for this little one.

She’s in my spare bathroom within my 2nd bedroom / office and thus far, my girls seem completely unaware there is another bunny in the house as there are 2 doors between them. That set up may change, as my buns like to hang out with me in the mornings whilst I’m working, so then they would be passing by the closed bathroom door, but I can’t deal with that potential stress today.

Of course the space is not ideal. But better than being outside and unsafe.
 

LizzyMayHarvey

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She is so cute!!! I'm so glad you went ahead and fostered her. 🤗 I hope your buns accept her presence and everything works out. I think if I didn't have dogs then I would love to move my bunnies inside and foster some as well.❤
Please keep us updated!
 

JBun

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Just walked out to find one of my girls sat outside the door, watching and waiting. Got an absolute death stare. SHE KNOWS. It’s the most terrified I have felt in a long time haha
🤣 🤣 🤣

She's a beauty! Hope you don't have to endure the stare down for too long :p Maybe they'll decide they even like the new bun. One can always hope.
 

Mariam+Theo

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SHE IS SO CUTE! 😍 Praying she stays well and that she finds a new home soon!
Make sure you are spoiling your bunnies so they don't get jealous. Maybe your bunnies will learn to like her 🤷‍♀️😂
 

HalaBuns

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She is an absolute darling. Just need to get some weight on her, make sure she’s back to full health and then try to find her her perfect home. The bunny ladies here have started running weekly adoption days at one of the pet stores so I’ll take her along when she’s ready (the store doesn’t sell pets btw, but gives the ladies an area to bring some buns along).

I am actually hoping that “she” is actually a “he” as it might make life easier in the meantime with my 2 😂. Still very nervous there, it will be a few days before I let them any closer to her I think. They’re loving the extra snuggles they’re getting though 💕
 

HalaBuns

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So my sweet girl is actually a boy! 🙌🏻🎉💙. Had him checked by the vet today.

I also found out his story yesterday, because his “cage mate” also escaped, was rescued by a neighbour (who has refused to hand him back) and the adoption group were contacted.

Both boys spent most of their lives living outside in a bird cage, out in the sun with no shade (it rarely drops below 25c here, even in winter) with who knows what food and little water. They would often fight too, which is not a surprise given mine is 4-5 months old. It’s amazing they’re even still alive.

The vet said he is the sweetest, calmest little bun he has seen in a long time and that he is in great shape considering his ordeal. He doesn’t have as much muscle mass in his hind quarters as he should though, which is most likely because of his awful conditions and terrible diet, so hopefully not permanent.

We’ve had lots of flops over the last couple of days and I’ve been working from the bathroom floor for a couple of hours each day to keep him company, whilst my other 2 are sound asleep 😌. He uses his litter box pretty much 100% when I’m in the room (but a bit hit and miss when I’m not haha).

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I moved his blankets around because I was worried about his little bones on the hard floor, but then he picked another cold, hard place to flop earlier instead 🤷‍♀️ I’m guessing the velocity of the spin must be better on tiles? 😂

As my girls are being amazing frankly and don’t really seem bothered, I will expand his area out a little bit, give him more space to get those legs moving. And will book him in for his neuter in a couple of weeks.

I’ve decided to name him Noah, as he’s such a calm little chap. I’m so proud of him already 💕
 

Madelyn L.

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So my sweet girl is actually a boy! 🙌🏻🎉💙. Had him checked by the vet today.

I also found out his story yesterday, because his “cage mate” also escaped, was rescued by a neighbour (who has refused to hand him back) and the adoption group were contacted.

Both boys spent most of their lives living outside in a bird cage, out in the sun with no shade (it rarely drops below 25c here, even in winter) with who knows what food and little water. They would often fight too, which is not a surprise given mine is 4-5 months old. It’s amazing they’re even still alive.

The vet said he is the sweetest, calmest little bun he has seen in a long time and that he is in great shape considering his ordeal. He doesn’t have as much muscle mass in his hind quarters as he should though, which is most likely because of his awful conditions and terrible diet, so hopefully not permanent.

We’ve had lots of flops over the last couple of days and I’ve been working from the bathroom floor for a couple of hours each day to keep him company, whilst my other 2 are sound asleep 😌. He uses his litter box pretty much 100% when I’m in the room (but a bit hit and miss when I’m not haha).

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I moved his blankets around because I was worried about his little bones on the hard floor, but then he picked another cold, hard place to flop earlier instead 🤷‍♀️ I’m guessing the velocity of the spin must be better on tiles? 😂

As my girls are being amazing frankly and don’t really seem bothered, I will expand his area out a little bit, give him more space to get those legs moving. And will book him in for his neuter in a couple of weeks.

I’ve decided to name him Noah, as he’s such a calm little chap. I’m so proud of him already 💕
You are treating him so well! 😍
 

SirLawrence

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What a sweetheart!! You are being so good to little Noah! I love his big ears!

An both my buns love flopping on hard (cool) surfaces... it used to scare me to death; I was afraid they would hurt themselves!
 

JBun

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He's certainly feeling at home! And a complete dead bunny flop to prove it :) I know it's just further proof of how comfortable and happy a bunny is.... but even after all these years it's still a little freaky to see cause they make it look so real.
 

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