Yesterday was possibly one of the busiest days we’ve had so far at FBRC, and as with most days we enjoyed our highs and lows. It was overall though, highly productive!

We started our day rehoming our current “stars” Roxie & Velma. These dutch sisters had attracted a lot of interest, and a race between three families had started to see who would be able to meet our home check requirements first (we operate on a first-come first-served basis judged on satisfying our home check requirements). We had met their new owner the previous day which had all gone very well, and Sunday saw the pair moving into their new home. Their owner and her children were all very excited to welcome their new additions, and we’ve already heard that they’re settling in very well.

Next we were off to a household we’ve been dealing with for some time. They have a large number of rabbits needing rehomed, and we’re slowly but surely managing to get her rabbits into new permanent homes or at least into our foster care network. On this occasion we were collecting 4 rabbits: three boys which were due to fill our current foster care vacancies and Cassie, a young female with a “funny walk” caused by an oddly set broken leg which she had suffered from at only 4 weeks old. We’ll come back to Cassie’s story in a bit.

Unfortunately, this is where our story takes a turn for the worse. The three boys (Chip, Lumiere & Cogsworth), all from the same litter, had been kept in the same hutch since they were separated from their mother at 8 weeks old. All had been going well until just a couple of weeks ago when they had started to turn on each other. This is typical of maturing male rabbits, who don’t like the competition. The problem is almost always solved with neutering, which is one of the many reasons we insist on neutering all rabbits, but there has not been an opportunity or the funds to get these boys into foster placements and neutered as yet. On opening the hutch door we noticed that the floor of the hutch was badly smeared in blood, and we knew that something wasn’t right. On first glance though all rabbits were healthy and moving fine, to the extent that they were all difficult to get a hold of. We’d been told that one of the boys was the bully and we’d decided he was going to be fostered separately, but we had hoped we had caught the other too young enough to have them neutered and keep them as a bonded pair. I didn’t want to do too much investigation of the rabbits until I was in a cleaner environment, so we got them all into their carriers and headed off home for a better inspection.

On getting home we realised that it was Chip who was suffering, and he was still bleeding. We noticed immediately that he had a horrendous groin injury and that on this occasion it was too severe for us to deal with, so I arranged to take him to the emergency vet (out-of-hours service). The vet confirmed that his scrotum had been ripped open (probably by one of his brothers) and his testicle was now extruding from his body. By this stage he had lost a great deal of blood. We discussed options with the vet and, after a lot of difficult discussions and careful consideration, we determined that the best solution for him was to have him put to sleep. This “simple” procedure would normally have cost approximately £20 – £30 but as we were using the out of hours service, we faced a bill of £161! Talk about making a bad situation worse?!?

We decided that we wouldn’t risk having the other two boys paired at this stage, as we were fairly certain that one of them was not willing to share his space with another rabbit, and after the vet bill we couldn’t be certain when we could afford to have them neutered. So they are now being placed in separate foster placements.

It was now approaching 5pm after a long day, and we were still very much only half-way there!

Next stop was off to setup a new foster carer. Over the past few weeks we had been running campaigns for equipment for our foster carers. We have received some very kind donations of hutches, but sadly we were drawing a blank for decent runs. One of our new foster carer’s garden didn’t really allow a free-reign environment, so a run setup was essential to get them up and running. In the end we “bit the bullet” and purchased a new run earlier in the week (eBay is a wonderful thing!). So on Sunday we loaded up the car with the hutch, the run and Lumiere (Lumi) and headed to their new foster home. Everything’s now all setup, and Lumiere is settled in well. His foster family will give him excellent experience of handling, children, other animals and more, and will ensure he’s socialised ready for a new home just as soon as we can find one for him.

Finally, we turned our attention back on Cassie. Cassie was taken to her new home where for the first time she was going to be given the full run of a rabbit-proof garden, lots of space, lots of attention and most importantly her new boyfriend Sooty. Sooty had recently lost his previous buddy, a family cat, and was desperately looking for company. We helped with an initial introduction session, and as hoped all went very well. We’re told this morning that whilst it’s very early days, all is going well and we’re hopeful they’ll have a very successful friendship for years to come.

All that remains now is to safely get Cogsworth settled with his foster home, and all is done. But as it was now after 9pm, we decided that could wait for another day.

It wasn’t the end of the day for me though, as I returned home and logged straight on to the computer to update the website, respond to some emails and continue developing the new website (due to be launched within the next couple of weeks hopefully).

Sunday therefore really showed the extent of the work we need to do here, and doesn’t even come close to the other areas such as fundraising and awareness events which we need to do to keep the service running smoothly.

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone involved for the support they offer us, and for any donations we have received. If you think you can offer any help, either financially or as a volunteer, please do get in touch with us as all help is very much appreciated!