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Rabbits/Trying to help abused/neglected foster rabbit


Hi, to start thank you so much for reading this! I have owned two rabbits for over five years now and I decided to foster a rabbit. I brought home Bonnie a few days ago and right away I noticed her behavioral issues. To start she is afraid of human touch, whenever I touch her she will allow me to but she gets very scared and slightly shakes and her heart races. Another thing is if I try to pick her up she will claw and do anything to avoid this and then she will run in circles for a long time and then go to a corner and shake. I really want to help her become adoptable so I tried a passive method. I sat in a pan with her and read for hours in multiple sessions. I let her come up and sniff me and walk around me. I tried many times to offer her a small treat and pet her but she still got scared and repeated the same things. Do you have any ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again so much.

Hi Ellee,

Do you give her a box that she can hide in?  I would continue to do the reading thing but put a cardboard box in her x pen.  I turn them upside down and cut holes on both ends so they don't feel trapped.  It will take a lot of patience but hopefully she will start to realize that humans aren't so bad.  I wish I could offer you more ideas but it seems you are already doing what you can.

I wish you and Bonnie luck.



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Paula Murdock-Briggs


I am a licensed American Rabbit Breeders Registrar. I do not show rabbits anymore nor do I breed them. I do believe it is important that people that chose to breed rabbits do so with only purebred and genetically sound animals or that they have a thorough understanding of genetics prior to breeding. I have chosen to keep my registars license to help the 4H youth in my area. I do stay current on all breeds, varieties, show rules, regulations of the ARBA. I have spent the past 8 years focusing on rescuing and caring for PET bunnies who were no longer wanted. I am the current CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I was appointed CEO of the rescue organization and sanctuary in 2008. We gained our 501(c)3 IRS tax exemption status in 2012. We have taken on the task of rescuing unwanted PET rabbits as well as some farm animals. I teach genetics and health to the local youth as well as register and promote the breeding of only purebred and genetically sound animals. I rescue PET rabbits. These are rabbits that lived in peoples homes and were either surrendered to us or sent to the auction for meat. While I believe that all bunnies should be pets, I understand that people raise them for other reasons. I will answer questions from anyone, regardless of their purpose. I will reject any questions that are considered unethical or inhumane.

Little Angels Animal Sanctuary.

President and CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I have over 10 years of experience working closely with a veterinarian that treats rabbits. We have studied and treated nearly every illness that can affect rabbits.

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