Fostering Rabbits
The kids had now flown the nest and I was looking for something to occupy my time. Driving to work I noticed an ScottishSPCA van in front of me and decided working with animals would be an idea.

On my return home I scoured the web for something I could, and would like to, do for animals and found FBRC. I have now been fostering for 18 months and have fostered 7 rabbits.

Tyson
Tyson was a very inquisitive, intelligent, lively and friendly rabbit. He loved to be petted and cuddled. Tyson enjoyed exploring around his hutch and considered himself a stunt man jumping on and off the roof of the hutch.

He loved his toys; the tunnel, the flower pots and toilet rolls.

Tyson was not keen on sawdust and preferred to lie on hay or wood. I would put a substantial amount of sawdust in his
bedding and covered it with hay, but only put a slight covering of sawdust in the living area as otherwise he kicked it all out the hutch to lie on the wood.

Catriona

Catriona was a very destructive and aggressive rabbit when she first came to stay.

After an escape which my husband foiled she was nicknamed “Psycho Bunny”. She never forgave my husband for catching her and continually attacked him.

Her second attempt was scary as I could hear her but couldn’t see her. Eventually we decided to lift the hutch and there she was stuck underneath.

After neutering she calmed down and became a very docile and lovable rabbit. The change in her was enormous.

Coffee and Cream

Coffee was tiny but cute, loved to be petted and was easily handled. He enjoyed playing in the big run and was nearly always first into the run and last out. He loved to hide in the tunnels and boxes.

Usually you would see his nose or behind sticking out from a tunnel. Coffee had a very sweet tooth and proved difficult to feed initially but he loved broccoli and sweetcorn. He liked to sit on the patch of grass in his run.

Cream was much bigger than Coffee and was certainly the Boss. Often she would nip Coffee in the behind. If Cream and Coffee met head to head in a tunnel Coffee always came out backwards followed by Cream. Cream did all the digging but would use the small hutch when the weather deteriorated. Coffee hid in his plastic tunnels. Cream was more curious than Coffee and would investigate new toys first. Coffee would think and watch before interacting with anything new. Cream adjusted to the nuggets easily but also enjoyed the broccoli never touching the sweetcorn. She was more difficult to handle but would go into the carry case easily. Put the case on the ground and Cream would hop in especially if they had been out in the run all day. Coffee you had to chase as he never wanted to leave the run.

Marvin and Tammi

Marvin and Tammi only stayed with us for 2 days. Marvin hardly came out the hutch, Tammi was more adventurous.

Marvin had an ear infection and we had fun trying to put drops in his ears.

Two very large and cuddly rabbits.

Nadine

Nadine has been our most challenging rabbit yet.

A young terrified rabbit, who runs at the slightest noise. Catching her or persuading her to come out the hutch has been difficult. She did not interact with us at all. Progress has been slow but with patience she now eats from my hand and both my daughter and I have had cuddles. She has also been seen to be on top of the hutch. We took her indoors one night when the weather was really bad thinking she would be terrified. We gave her a cardboard box to play with and she hid in the box all night only coming out to eat and toilet.

A Varied Role

As far as I am aware Tyson, Catriona, Marvin and Tammi and Coffee & Cream have all found their forever homes. Nadine is still looking for theirs.

I love working with the different personalities and having to find new methods to care for each individual. My husband who was not keen on me volunteering for this now fully interacts with each rabbit. He can often be found out playing with the rabbits especially when we had Coffee and Cream. The fact that FBRC are always there to help or give advice makes it enjoyable and stress free.

Join The Team

If you would like to become a foster carer with Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care, please visit http://www.fairlybelovedrabbitcare.org/foster

Melinda, Pauline's Adopted Rabbit

How I began

I Melinda, Pauline's Adopted Rabbitwas looking for a companion for my baby Continental Giant, so needed something a bit bigger than your average rabbit. After a chance meeting with an existing foster carer I had a look on the FBRC website and found Melinda.

Through the adoption process I found out more about the charity and the fact that there were many unwanted rabbits. As there is a network of support through Facebook I noticed a plea for more foster homes and decided that I could put what I had learnt from my own experience to good use and offer a temporary safe, caring home for rabbits in need

I started off with just one fostering placement, as many of the foster carers do. However for those who have the space and are happy to take on more placements you could foster more than one single, pair or group of rabbits at a time.

My Fosters

Snow White & Tianna

Snow White, who is blind & deafTiannaThese girls were my first placement. Although Snow White has additional needs (she is blind and deaf) their characters soon shone through. With the support from the charity I learnt how to do daily checks and was able to get assistance when I was concerned for their health. They both quickly settled in to family life and enjoyed exploring.

The girls recently were transferred within the network so that they could get spayed as part of the Glasgow University Neuter Clinic (FBRC currently provide all the rabbits for this neuter clinic). So instead of them travelling back to me they are now with new carers within the network.

This allowed me to get a new placement:

Mum, Dad & The Kids

Mum, Dad & The Kids

The family, Arthur, Bella, Maisie & Daisy. These guys came in as a group of 4 and as I had space to keep them together for now they joined my foster family. They are relatively new to the network, but are settling in well.

FredFred
Fred, I was lucky enough to have the space to take in dream boy Fred, this cheeky wee guy loves to jump out of enclosures so required a fully enclosed living area .

More Than Fostering
Well that’s the fostering side; there is also the opportunity to get involved in promoting the charity, rabbit welfare and fundraising. At first I was very nervous about doing local events but with support I gained confidence and even dressed as a giant rabbit to raise much needed funds.

I started helping out at Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care a year ago as a Care Assistant and love every single minute of it. I have had my own bunny for 5 years and he is very much loved but I know he is one of the lucky ones.

A rabbit care assistant’s main role it to care for the bunnies who enter the network at our larger foster carer’s sheds in Lenzie or Falkirk, and look after them until they are either fostered or adopted out. The role is much, much more than cleaning out hutches.

Most of the rabbits that I have been caring for have often been neglected and shy away from human contact and even cleaning out can be a stressful and challenging time. I love spending time getting to know the bunnies, never rushing them and letting them come and trust me. There is nothing more rewarding than having a wee bunny on day one terrified and hiding in the corner of the hutch while you deal with them to seeing them poking their nose out the doors waiting for you and starting to play with all your cleaning tools, tossing them up in the air and sitting on your dustpan!!!

One particular case always warms my heart is Velvet. This bunny was the most nervous bunny I had seen. First day I met her, I spent time speaking with her and not touching her, within a few weeks she started to come forward and take an interest in what I was doing until she eventually let me touch her. I couldn’t stop smiling all night. This routine carried on until one night she jumped as I was cleaning the floor. I thought she had got a fright but oh no, every time I looked at her I was treated to a binky (an uncontrolled, excitable jump that rabbits do). For us rabbit owners, we know that this is a sure sign of one happy bunny. That is when I realised that I can make a difference to these bunnies lives. Patience and trust can conquer all.

Being a Care Assistant has allowed me to grow as a person and has challenged me in a lot of ways: learning how to hold bunnies, give them medicine and how to adapt all my silks to suit each bunny’s needs as every one of them is different and comes from a different background.

What I love about the charity is that I am not restricted to being a care assistant. I am a volunteer and I have been involved in a lot of different areas such as fundraising, awareness days, temporary foster of 6 baby bunnies (such a chore……..sigh), vet trips, clean up days……………the list goes on and on.

Most of all I have met a wonderful group of people who are dedicated to helping promote the welfare of these wonderful animals and I am proud to be part of the team

Would you like to join us? http://www.fairlybelovedrabbitcare.org/volunteer

Fostering rabbits is the best and a fantastic experience!

You get to care and love each foster rabbit while helping them on their journey to a new permanent home with the right owners. That’s the most important part and the happy ever after that makes fostering the best job in the world.

Rabbits are wonderful pets but need the right people to care for them.

Our first placement was Harley about six months old and very cute. He had his own personality and his own way of doing things. He didn’t enjoy being handled but with patience and daily interaction he got used to us and we got use to him.

Whenever we went on holiday Harley went to his holiday home at FBRC and we couldn’t wait to get him back when we got home.

Happily he was adopted ( well he was very cute) and we were so proud of him. Although sorry to say goodbye it wasn’t long until we welcomed Coffee and Cream, our first bonded pair of bunnies, and a new adventure began…..

If you love rabbits and have space please considering fostering the rewards are huge! Of course you will need all the details but if you want to know more you only have to ask.

Volunteering for FBRC has been a fantastic experience for me. I have learned a lot, met so many friendly people and have gained lots of furry friends.

Spending time with the bunnies is like a therapy for me. Whenever I am in a bad mood or just feel homesick the bunnies brighten up my day. They can make me laugh in more ways than I ever thought. There is no better feeling than holding a fluffy bunny in your hands.

I am really honoured to be part of a team that helps these amazing little creatures

I first started fostering in July 2012.

I had bunnies as a child but hadn’t had bunnies for years. My husband wasn’t sure about having bunnies so we decided fostering would be a great idea: we could help bunnies in need and I could convince my husband we also needed to have bunnies of our own and that didn’t take much effort!

Our first foster was a lop called Travis. He had an amazing character bouncing round the house and doing crazy laps of the living room. It was hard to let him go to his forever home as I loved him but it was a great feeling to know we had been able to make him happy before he left.

My husband loved having him to stay too so we fostered a few more bunnies after that.

It’s such a great experience: you are doing something worthwhile and you get to cuddle loads of bunnies. What could be better? I now have 2 buns of my own – one I fostered, Pumpkin, who I couldn’t bear to part with and I got her a husbun also from the network, Woody. Buns are best in pairs.

I love fostering. I had to take a break for a short while, but FBRC were very understanding and supportive, and are happy to be flexible with their volunteers. I am hoping to get back to fostering soon!

A brief chat with someone led me to join up to be a foster carer.

My first foster was Frostie, and from the moment I set eyes on him I was In love. I’m what you call a failed fosterer, ’cause within 2 weeks I had adopted him as my own.

My next 2 were Rosie and Jim, who I feel in love with again. But I was brave and let them find a new home.

With the amount of rabbits looking for homes I feel great satisfaction helping them all find there forever homes. I love going out and spending time with them.

Some are frightened and need reassurance, and I love sitting with them till you gain there trust. There is nothing better than going out and they come running to greet you, and then you get nose rubs.

As well as the rabbits I have met some great people and made new friends. There is always someone there to listen. A great bunch of people.

My last foster was Princeton, who has just left to go to his forever home this week and I’m excitedly waiting on my next foster placement coming to stay.

Hi my names Kerryann and am 21 years old.

I was diagnosed with M.E., Reynolds disease & depression and I also have stomach problems.

When I joined Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care as a volunteer my goal was to help animals, also thinking it might help me build my confidence up and meet new people and go outside as I have anxiety about meeting new people in case they judge me.

I joined the Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care team a year and a half ago and since then I have had 29 rabbits. From cute and patient ones to the ones that love to bite. But spending time with them, helping them and getting them rehomed was the best feeling I have ever had.

I fell in love with Posh and Becks, one of my first placements. They were sweet, kind and loving and it always takes time to let them gain your trust but after a while it feels amazing, like you have achieved the most wonderful goal in life. At the time I didn’t think I was ready to have my own rabbits and they got rehomed. They are now in their new home, and they’re happy.

I’ve had my ups and I’ve had my downs. My first proper experience was when I had the 4 Composers. Two sadly died whilst they were with me. Yes it was hard but it’s one of those things you have to learn to deal with. The other two were very poorly too. I took them to the vets and they did say they might pass away as well. I kept them in the house with plenty of hay, they wouldn’t eat though so me and my mum hand fed them every few hours and eventually after a week they started to become better and better. The achievement was amazing especially for my first time dealing with sick rabbits. They recovered fully and they now have a new home as well!

Dealing with rabbits isn’t always easy but if you take your time and know this is what you really want to do anyone can do it. Myself, my mum and dad have learnt a lot over the last year. I have gained some confidence and I do go outside a lot more to clean, feed and water them and make sure they’re warm. They also need plenty of exercise and plenty of nose rubs and cuddles.

At first I didn’t realise that rabbits were best bonded with another rabbit and now every time I see bonded rabbits I think that’s the way every rabbit should be for company and cuddles, and also because if a single rabbits on its own they would be pretty bored. It’s just like us humans – we all need someone to love.

I recently adopted my first rabbit Hey Diddle Diddle (now called Biscuit) and hopefully he will be bonded with my other rabbit Fluffy. You Never know I might get another one to make it into a trio 😉

The main things I have learned over the year is rabbits are not just to buy for the kids for Christmas, as its not them that are responsible for them! Parents must take full responsibility for the rabbits. You cant just give up on them. I’ve also learned that every year they should get there jags and when they come to you for a forever home make sure they’re neutered. Neutering females especially as it reduced the chance of cancer. It also helps their temperament. They need at least 90% of hay.

I have learnt a lot and if you spend time with them they’re not boring, especially if you care for them right! My rabbits love doing tricks; standing up for treats and you can also train the ones that are temperamental so they get used to essential handling and socialisation.

Anyway I just want to say thank you to every volunteer within the team for making me feel welcome.

If you are interested in joining the team, have a look at our volunteer opportunities at http://www.fairlybelovedrabbitcare.org/volunteer.

Our Rescue Services Assistant role, previously offered in partnership with Project Scotland, is an excellent opportunity to build experience of working as part of an animal welfare charity.

The role is wide-ranging, covering many aspects of the charity.  For full details see Rescue Services Assistant.

Bethie Lyttle

Bethie joined the FBRC in 2014 after leaving school at the age of 16.

School wasn’t suited to Bethie’s learning style, and she was keen to leave as soon as she could.  But that didn’t mean she was ready to give up on career goals.  With a desire for animals she was keen to strive towards a career in Veterinary Nursing, and immediately sought out options for further education that would allow her to achieve her ambitions.

She applied for our Rescue Services Assistant role in order to build the experience she would need to apply for the first stage – an NC Animal Care qualification, and covered 6 months in the post.

“Today marks the end of my 6 month volunteer placement at Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care & I couldn’t be happier with the end result.

“I now know ten times more about rabbits than I did previously, I have added to my rabbit family & have made plenty of friends along the way.  Most importantly though – I have gotten myself out there. I have experienced how horrific some rescue cases are and how ignorant people can be.  What better way is there to prepare me for my career? 

“I have taken part in educational events, fundraising events and educational talks with a huge range of age groups. My social skills are better than they were 6 months ago & I am now more confident than I have ever been! 

“I am so grateful for the opportunity I was presented with in November.  It has truly changed my life – I would not be such a different person and possibly would not have gotten into college without my mountain of experience from FBRC.

“A huge thank you to everyone who has supported me during my Project Scotland placement, particularly my mentor, volunteer supervisors and the other volunteers who have been great friends to me!”

“As a result of my placement I was able to complete an SVQ Level 2 distance learning course which I have passed with flying colours and I have also been offered another distance course by SRUC

“I am so glad that I got the opportunity to do the 6 month Project Scotland role.  It has been absolutely incredible and has given me the vast amount of experience I now have!”

Bethie successfully completed her Project Scotland with FBRC, and has now been accepted to start her NC Animal Care course in August 2015.

Natalie Casey

Natalie first started with FBRC as a Care Assistant in Lenzie, as she was keen to gain further experience in animal care as she progressed her plans for a career in Animal Care.

“I started as a Care Assistant in late January and quickly felt I was part of a very friendly team of volunteers who obviously work very hard to keep the charity going.  Not long in, David asked to speak to me and told me about the role of Rescue & Awareness Services Assistant supported by Project Scotland.  I was immediately sure that I wanted to do it and to this day, I will never regret that decision.

“For three months, I went every week for a minimum of 20 hours and had the chance to work along side the other Project Scotland volunteer.  This gave me a chance to build what I now feel are some firm friendships and also a much needed boost in my confidence which I was really lacking.  I gained a real wealth of experience in many areas of how the charity ran and rabbit health and general care as I for two days in my week would devote my time to the rabbits while the other two days, I got to experience a completely different side to things.  I was given a great deal of responsibility which I had never had to deal with before as I dealt with the public, sometimes in circumstances during which they felt very vulnerable which definitely helped me to develop my social skills and understanding in these situations which I know for sure will factor into my future.  I also got to spend a lot of time on the admin side of things collecting information write educational pieces to raise awareness on the proper care of rabbits and also to get creative coming up with ideas for events, charity videos and various forms of media.

“I owe a massive thank you to FBRC – the experience I gained there went a long way to help me gain a place on the course I had my heart set on.  I can honestly say that though I am sad to be finishing as a volunteer, I have gained so much from being part of the team, even for what seems like such a short time.  I have met some amazing, friendly people, tried so many new things and learned so much.  My time has really made me grow as a person as I now feel more confident in my abilities and myself which can only ever be a good thing.

“I would love to say thank you to David, Feona, all the wonderful care assistants and foster carers and of course, I can’t finish without mentioning, the rabbits – so many of you found a place in my heart and there you’ll stay.  I’ll be wishing for a forever home for you all!”

Natalie, who worked alongside Bethie in the role, has also been successful in her application for the NC Animal Care course, and is due to start in August 2015.