Neighbor's rabbit is hurt and in very bad condition, How to help ?

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Scarlette

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My neighbor got a new bunny for her 6 year old child, Amelia (it was a birthday present for her), I've seen their habitat and it is HORRIBLE, the poor bunny lives in a petstore cage uses a water bottle, is on a ALL PELLET DIET, no toys, no hay, the bunny is 2 months old, a grayish/blue holland lop (Name is Sophie), she looks super cute, but is really skittish around people. The first week Amelia got the bunny she attempted a few times to cuddle with the bun, the rabbit kept kicking her and biting her on the arm, now she barely remembers to feed Sophie, because the the rabbit won't "play" with her. Yesterday the Mom attempted to clean out Sophie's cage, the rabbit darted under the sofa and wouldn't come out of it for 4 hours, the mom ended DRAGGING the rabbit in the cage by the hind legs and literally THREW her in the cage. Today I saw her limping around the cage trying to eat and drink from her tiny water bottle, and nobody even NOTICED or CARED. I'm really worried about Sophie and her current condition, I want to tell my neighbors how to take proper care of the rabbit, but I don't want to sound rude or anything, but I really need to help this rabbit. Does anyone know how to help this rabbit and how to tell my neighbors how to take proper care of this bun ?
 

Apollolyptic

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If it were me, I would at least mention that rabbits need hay to survive. "They'll die without it" is kind of an oversimplification but it works to convince people. It's very possible they don't know they need it, and maybe (hopefully) they'll give her some if they do. I know you don't want to be rude, but I think this crosses the line from 'animal's care could be better' to 'animal's care is endangering their life' which warrants butting in, in my opinion. Maybe sort of a "hey guys, I see you got a rabbit, you know I've had rabbits for a long time, and just to let you know..." insert how to actually care for a bunny here. It's a tricky situation to navigate for sure, but if you can make a difference in her care, it's worth butting in! I'm going to be optimistic and hope that they mean well but just really have no idea what they're doing, and they'll take your advice. And like Nancy said, they might not even want the rabbit anymore if their kid is bored (sigh). Maybe offer to rehome her for them if they don't? (If you can do so, of course).
This whole post makes me sad, that poor bun. I hope she gets into a better environment soon.
 

RunnyBabbit

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Its important to be careful with your words, you dont want to scare them off. Tell them to watch Lennon the Bunny. Tell them everything the rabbit needs. In this case it sounds like it'd be best if they rehome her. It seems like the parents dont care and obviously the kid had absolutely no idea how to care for her. Start by telling them how to care for her and if it seems like they aren't willing to do that bring up rehoming. Also, she probably needs to go to the vet. And it's possible she could go into GI stasis.

I would have a talk with the parents and explain that they'll need to care for the rabbit and teach their daughter how to respect her and be gentle. I would ask them to get a playpen, toys, hay, a litter box, a water bowl, and they probably dont have grooming supplies.
Just tell them the rabbit needs these to survive. Anything to get them to do that.

Sorry for rambling on, I'm yty9ng to type this quickly 😅
 

Mac189

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Man, this breaks my heart... poor bun. I agree with suggesting rehoming, 6 years old is too young for a rabbit. However you plan to handle this, I would approach in a friendly manner and gently describe how sad a life this is for a bun and that the rabbit will die or suffer greatly without better care. I wish you the best of luck, this a horrible situation for you to be stuck in.
 

Preitler

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I think care tips are good, but I wonder if it will help much. I definitly would try to help at rehoming.
To me it sounds as if they are already tired of the toy, it's not what they expected, and they don't seem well prepared. A hamster would have been a better choice. Or a cat.

A rabbit is 10 years of chores, vet bills, clipping claws, brushing fur etc., if you don't enjoy it there's no point in doing it. Rabbits are not cuddly pets, lots of misconceptions about that out there. It takes time, learning, and effort to gain their trust, without that it will remain that skittish, fighting,caged animal. And soon stinky, if chores are neglected.

What was their initial reason to get a rabbit? Teaching the kid to take responsibility for something, to have something to care for? Or did the daughter think they are so cute that she absolutly wanted one?

Anyway, water bottles are not the best option, but they work well enough a big part of all pet rabbits. They don't die from a pellets only diet, but (expensive) issues like teeth and health problems might get much more likely - I think that is a better approach than saying something that is easily debunked. There are better, more prosaic care videos than that Lennon stuff - imho Lennon is just too cute and cuddly to be representative.
Cage isn't optimal, but that can be addressed when they realize that it's not what they expected.

What you can do is point out what a rabbit needs, what is good for it, and that there is the option of rehoming it. I have no idea how braoch the subject, I have no experience with 6 year olds. or parents in this situation, but something along the lines "hey, you sure want the best for the bunny, right?"might work.

Thanks for caring.
 

Niomi

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Maybe you could find a little book on rabbit care to give to them, or print off some articles from rabbit web sites on rabbit care. Giving them information on rabbit care might go over better than pointing out what they are doing wrong. Their frustration with the rabbit probably stems from their ignorance. I think it would be a good idea if you could offer to help without sounding judgmental.
 

Scarlette

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Update :
I finally had the courage to talk the mom !!!, And she said she was actually thinking about giving away the rabbit because her daughter wasn't taking care of it, then she proceed to ask me if I wanted the rabbit or not, in which I said yes !, she is now freed from her cage in an x-pen with a proper food and setup 😁. Sadly, I won't be able to keep Sophie because my parents said so, but I'm going to nurse her back to health and then send her to a private rabbit rescue (which my friend's aunt owns), I've already contacted her, and she agreed to take the rabbit in when she is back to health. Sophie's been doing fine since I bought her back from my neighbor, she's been eating hay and pooping, but still really shy and will run back to her cage if I get too close, but overall she is doing great. Tomorrow, were going to take her to the vet to see what is wrong with her leg.

*+. Best of wishes to Sophie .+* 🥰 😁
 

Niomi

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Update :
I finally had the courage to talk the mom !!!, And she said she was actually thinking about giving away the rabbit because her daughter wasn't taking care of it, then she proceed to ask me if I wanted the rabbit or not, in which I said yes !, she is now freed from her cage in an x-pen with a proper food and setup 😁. Sadly, I won't be able to keep Sophie because my parents said so, but I'm going to nurse her back to health and then send her to a private rabbit rescue
Great Job! I believe that you just saved a life. Good luck and I hope everything turns out well.
 

Bunnylover14

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It is so sad how people get rabbits and then don't even take care of them. Good job for talking to the parents, I agree with niomi that you saved that bunnys life.
 

Remy The Rabbit

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Great job! Sophie was honestly living in horrible conditions and 6 years old is way too young to own a rabbit, let alone all the work that comes with one. My name is Amelia too and I almost thought you knew me somehow when I first looked at this, LOL. So happy to hear Sophie will be well taken care of now :D
 

Mehidk

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Thank goodness you stepped in! Sophie deserves a better life and you just gave her that chance to have one.

I really wish parents would stop assuming a child would take full responsibility of any pet. This little girl is 6!! She’s too young and the mother should have researched more about having a rabbit instead of just getting one because “it’s cute”.
 

K1marie

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Kudos to you! You did your good bun deed for month for certain!! This was so disturbing to read.....but unfortunately - it goes on WAY more than people realize. Stories like yours are why I got invovled in Rabbit Sancturay myself.
 

RunnyBabbit

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Update :
I finally had the courage to talk the mom !!!, And she said she was actually thinking about giving away the rabbit because her daughter wasn't taking care of it, then she proceed to ask me if I wanted the rabbit or not, in which I said yes !, she is now freed from her cage in an x-pen with a proper food and setup 😁. Sadly, I won't be able to keep Sophie because my parents said so, but I'm going to nurse her back to health and then send her to a private rabbit rescue (which my friend's aunt owns), I've already contacted her, and she agreed to take the rabbit in when she is back to health. Sophie's been doing fine since I bought her back from my neighbor, she's been eating hay and pooping, but still really shy and will run back to her cage if I get too close, but overall she is doing great. Tomorrow, were going to take her to the vet to see what is wrong with her leg.

*+. Best of wishes to Sophie .+* 🥰 😁
That's amazing!!! Hopefully the parents will realize how much work animals take and won't get a puppy, kitten, or any other animals really until they are all more responsible.
 

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