animal welfare, Animals, Bunnies, Family, Foster care for animals, Guinea Pigs, ideas, MSPCA, pets, Rabbits

It Takes A Village to Rescue a Rabbit

“While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. There were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, “It makes a difference for this one.” I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.” — Loren Eiseley

Have you ever tried out a new store based on a friend’s recommendation, and left without finding anything to buy?

Rabbit transport takes no more effort than that, but you know in advance you won’t be coming home with anything.

"I Made A Difference for That One" Jeffrey

I participated in my second transport recently and was amazed that doing so little could help out so much and make me feel so good.   I transported one of two rabbits threatened with death by a “so over rabbits” owner.  The price of my heroic deed:  40 minutes each way and the small amount of gas my car used on the trip.

So how many people does it take to rescue two rabbits? In Jeffrey & Henry’s case, at least eight. One to recognize a need and act to remove, one to temporarily shelter the rabbits (Audrey), one to coordinate the complex logistics (Shannon), two (Terry & Aaron) to carry

Terry and Aaron on an early a.m. mission

Jeffrey, the rabbit, to me for the hand off, me to carry Jeffrey to the most amazing foster set up (Suzanne’s) and finally Terry and Aaron to drive Henry onto the wonderful people at the Medfield Animal Shelter.

When I expressed to Shannon my interest in writing about this trip, she mentioned that this was just par for the course.  Though extremely gracious and appreciative of our help and thrilled to save two lives, sadly there was nothing extraordinary about the rescue itself.  She would be writing about the

Henry could be a lionhead breed or just having a bad hare day

Hudson River rescue of dozens of rabbits. She also discussed the start of the post-Easter dump since a scant three days after Easter, a pair of 9-week old buns was discarded in Revere with no more thought than the paper bunny decorations some people choose to display, no, scratch that, the paper bunny decorations are at least stored carefully for the next year; these baby rabbits were turned out on the streets of the city. 

Luxury Rabbit Accommodations

I am happy to report those lucky babies ended up at Suzanne’s house too, if only for a week or so after she evaluated their health.  I got to meet them and the 9 others Suzanne fosters in addition to the three of her own).  Suzanne just moved into her house and when I

One person's trash is another person's treasure...Revere Buns

asked to take a picture of her and her own rabbits, she declined since there really wasn’t any place set up enough for a photo op with her big rabbits who do not like to be held.  Her person-house hadn’t nearly been unpacked yet, because the foster-house was her first priority.  It is immaculate, orderly and well stocked with rabbits and the things they need and like.  And there are no anonymous buns here; each is called by the name attached to their cage.  Suzanne really

Once you find your forever home, then you can relax (my Mystic)

wanted to promote the bunnies that needed a home, anyway, so she posed with the two Revere buns.  And just in case I needed spiritual or cosmic reassurance that I was in the right place at the right time, I noticed a name tag on one of the cages – “Colby” is both a big white bun and my last name. 

Seems I was bringing Jeffrey here for evaluation because he had some sort of eye issue, and Suzanne has developed a lot of medical knowledge.  She believes his eye issue is hereditary.   I am no stranger to rabbit eye issues;  my big bun, Mystic, had uncooperative ulcers for about a year so I felt this beautiful soft animal was a kindred spirit to her and was glad to hear he might not need the procedures and the associated costs that my rabbit did. 

Mom feeding two

We talked a bit but I hurried home because the guinea pig I was fostering had proven she was not obese by giving birth to twins in the morning.  I’m a relatively new foster parent and had no clue.  Just thankful Abby could handle things by herself.  When she learned of the births, Suzanne handed over a 10lb bag of high-end guinea pig food that had been donated in error.  So I made out on the deal.

Cuddle buddies and new babies (2 days old)

Every single person did more than I did on the transport, but that doesn’t diminish the role I got to play.  I recommend that everyone pitch in; even the smallest action makes a big difference.  And at the end of the day you too will be able to say:  “I made a difference for that one.”





  1. Be on the lookout for abandoned rabbits and call HRN (781-431-1211) if you see one.  Big hint, if the bunny isn’t petrified of you, it’s probably an abandoned pet.
  2. Friend HRN’s FaceBook page and repost their statuses, follow on Twitter.  These will be your alerts for transport and capture requests, too.!/pages/House-Rabbit-Network/201518592185?sk=info!/rabbitnetwork
  3. Assist in an abandoned rabbit capture
  4. Help transport
  5. Donate writing skills to the HRN newsletter
  6. Donate over abundant crops from your garden to a shelter checking first to make sure they need and can accept them. Rabbits love lettuce (not iceberg),  peppers, kale, carrots tops, parsley and other herbs.
  7. Donate hand and bath towels you don’t need or want anymore, but not if they are stringy and threadbare, don’t want the critters to choke
  8. Donate old newspapers
  9. Talk up rabbits as house pets to get the word out about how wonderful a house rabbit can be.
  10. Come to the next dinner fundraiser, last year on a specific date, people who went to Flatbread Pizza and ordered as they normally would, had a portion of their bill contributed to HRN. 

 By Alison B. Colby-Campbell

6 thoughts on “It Takes A Village to Rescue a Rabbit”

  1. Another great post to your Blog! Not to diminish in any way your rabbit transport story, I loved the opening. Too often I have allowed myself to be overcome with what can I (one person) do but making a difference in one life, a rabbit’s life, a homeless person’s life, my wife’s life, my child’s life is a BIG deal. The key is taking action and not me just pondering what can I do or what difference does it make. Kudos to your action!


    1. The opening story is the story really…and my experience just one of myriad. But it does amaze me that you can significantly make a difference with so little effort by just doing something very very small. And as you said take the action, and it’s okay if it’s a baby step


  2. Super rewarding day – June 23 – I just signed up to do another bunny transport for a part of the Calais ME to Billerica MA journey for a sick bun and when I went to the House Rabbit Network FB page I saw that the day the new newspetter came out someone already picked up on the Smallest Virtually No Cost Ways to help a bunny list I put in the article and posted that they wanted to be part of the call list for transport and rescue….I helped that one, too!!! Cost Zero, Reward – PRICELESS!


  3. Alison, I am staying at a friend’s home in Essex while she and her husband are away, taking care of her garden. I keep seeing a brown bunny outdoors and can get close enough to touch him. He (she) isn’t afraid of people at all. I’ve been wondering if it’s an abandoned pet, and wondering what to do for the little guy. He frolics and hangs out with a couple of gray wild rabbits (who DO run away when a human gets close). He seems like a really nice bunny. My email is Maybe we can send each other phone numbers?


    1. Can you get a picture of the rabbit. I think if you can touch him he isn’t likely ot be wild but I’d like to see him first. If he’s wild we should really interact with him. I will send you a ophoto of some wild babies to compare.


    2. Post a photo so we can see if it’s wild or not. If it’s wild leave it alone, if it’s an abandoned pet, I’ll call House Rabbit Network and see about a capture. Please post photos of all the bunnies as it may be an abandoned family. I will send you separately my email address so you can forward pics.


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