Disclaimer: This story was never meant to criticize anyone (including the ex-owner), but more of hoping to create a positive environment for all bunnies’ lovers and for their bunnies. Pets are for lifetime; true, but only when one is able to afford it.
During the last few days of May 2016, I happen to come across an advertisement online; the owner is looking for potential adopters for her rabbit as she is going to be posted overseas for work. I viewed the ad and decided to drop a message to the owner for more information. Shortly after, she replied and after some information exchange, she asked if I would like to view the rabbit before deciding, I agreed. The next day, I met her and the rabbit at the void deck below her apartment.
It was shockingly filthy; visually and physically. The said rabbit was so sad and weak looking. She explained that his pee stains was from the UTI he got few months ago but he had already recovered from it, he is also not sterilized due to the UTI as well. He had bad, bad pee burns in between his legs and his bum, so she will pass me the meds along with him as well. I knew I had to do something. I agreed to pick up the rabbit on the day after.
1st June 2016; I picked up the rabbit and rushed him to the vet clinic which had his previous records. At the reception, I gave him a new name as I registered him for consultation. He was soon seen by the vet. We took x-rays, blood test, fecal test and urine test. He weighs only 1.3kg and we can easily feel his spine down his back. We came to a conclusion that he is tagged with so many issues that only time will be the judge of how he would recover. We collected a bunch of medication and we headed home.
I had a playpen setup ready at my already-small-and-cramped balcony, a simple litter box, a handful of hay inside and a water bowl for him. As I placed him into the playpen, he looked very confuse as he slowly explores his new area. When he finally finds the water bowl, he drank and drank and drank, for a good 3 minutes.
After mopping around, spraying pee and poop everywhere, he looked at me as if asking me something. How I wished I could understand animal language. He must have tons of things to ask and talk to me. Then I tried picking him up to start wiping off some of the stains at his bum area and also to apply the meds for the pee burn as well as feeding him the oral medication for his liver issues; he did not struggle at all, a very nice tempered little boy, for now. When everything is done, I returned him into the playpen and watched him poke his nose everywhere. Then he hop into his little box, he flopped.
I am just another average bunny owner like everyone out there. I rarely groomed my own rabbits (I engage groomers to help me with that) and I never had a bun that has this much of health problem to deal with. But knowing that I gave him some comfort by bringing him home, I guess, I’ve did quite well. To owners out there, I just want this story to be an advise. I’m not saying that abandoning your pet because your MIL/FIL/son/daughter had allergies is a damn good reason. My point is more of knowing when to let go instead of holding on to your pet knowing that you are no longer able to provide time to care for them. In this case, the owner had to be overseas for long period of time. During her absence, the rabbit was down with UTI and was passed to a friend who had barely the basics of how to care for it. Things gone so wrong that by the time the owner had returned for it, the damage was done, very badly. Who’s the victim? Everyone involved is, especially the rabbit. No one expected or wanted this to happen but look, it had happen eventually.
I am very mad at the owner at first; not gonna lie. But then I asked myself, what if the same situation happen to me? Maybe I couldn’t afford raising them anymore for a reason I couldn’t solve, do I send them to a relative whose 5 year old child wanted a cute rabbit as a pet and then think it as case close? Or perhaps I should post online looking for owner but in return receive comments from people saying that I’m heartless to abandon my rabbit, questioning me why I couldn’t put in the effort to bring it overseas with me. At that point, I feel grateful instead, because that owner knew her limits was up and took efforts to rehome the rabbit to me after asking me quite a bit of questions like am I going to sterilize him eventually, whether I have other rabbits at home, am I planning bond them together etc. If a person just wants to get rid of the rabbit, why would she have asked that much?
At the end of the day, I just want to say that everyone have their own sets of problem. If everyone could keep their pets and care for them till their last breathe, of course that’s the ultimate ideal situation. But in reality, it’s really not that possible for some people. Do we really have to judge them for having difficulties that they can’t solve? Or how about we help by giving better suggestions, like adopt it! Or helping to foster, ask around for good potential adopters on behalf if the owner is short of time, share your experience if you have gone through similar situation before etc. Let’s be more kind with our words; commenting “Karma will get you for abandoning your pet. Hope that your children will abandon you too” is not going to help in any way. P.s. abandoning a pet IS a crime in Singapore, rehoming it properly is not.
I shall end off the first part of the story (I’m longwinded, but his transformation will amaze you, I promise!). This boy is getting his second chance in life. Even if I’m a greenhorn in caring for a rabbit this dirty, I hope that eventually he’ll be a happy little fellow who can live his life to the very last bit. I gave him a name that means strong and powerful, hoping that he will eventually transform into a charming big boy.
His name is Magnus.