Looking for something good that’s come out of this pandemic? I think one silver lining is all the outpouring of offers to help our animals. We receive emails and phone calls daily with offers to foster animals and for that we are truly grateful. In the heat of an emergency we are not able to onboard new volunteers or fosters, but we are slowly getting to the point where we can start some of the paperwork via email. But our regular volunteers stepped up by the dozens and took home all of our adoptable animals!
That’s the second silver lining. These animals not only didn’t have to sit in cages and kennels – without volunteers here to give love and attention, they were in a real home environment and enjoying the good life – walks, backyards, 24/7 attention – they hit the jackpot! (second best to being actually adopted.) Which is a bonus for anyone thinking of adopting one of them. We learn a bit about each animal while they are here but we’re seeing them in a stressful, artificial environment. Is the dog housebroken? We wouldn’t know. Do they sleep through the night? Don’t have an answer. How do they react to the mailman or delivery person ringing the door? Can’t say. So much we don’t really know when the animal is just in the shelter but by putting them into foster homes we learn a lot!
If you’ve liked our Facebook page (and you should!!) you probably saw a recent post with pictures of Bonnie Hopps, one of our young rabbits, in her foster home. Some people would be amazed at seeing how comfortable a house bunny can be with that kind of freedom but you really get to see the personality come through when a bunny isn’t caged. There isn’t a picture of her with the other pets in the home but the comment is that she gets along with both the dog and cats so it’s possible to have a mixed family. You just have to know that your dog is not predatory and do a proper and supervised introduction. Seeing Bonnie stretched out in front of the fireplace is a different picture than most of us think of when we visualize a pet rabbit. How many of you think of a hutch in the yard with a lonely bunny in it?
The foster parents also caught a great video of Bonnie making bunny happy sounds while being petted. Rabbits are thought of as silent creatures but they do make little chirps and chatters when they are content – similar to a cat purring. Watch the video and you will clearly see that this is a happy bunny. The other way rabbits show their happiness when they are playing is what is called a “binky.” That’s when a bunny jumps in the air – almost clicking their heels together! If you see a bunny running around and suddenly popping into the air, that’s a binky! You can almost feel their joy in the freedom they have.
Bonnie, and her sister Judy Hopps, who is being fostered in a different home, are both looking for their forever homes but the bar just got raised. Now that they’ve experienced the good life of being a house-rabbit we can’t imagine adopting them out to a place where they would just live in a cage. So if you, or someone you know, are looking for a new house-pet and love what you see in our Facebook post about Bonnie, please submit an adoption profile. It is available on our website and can be faxed or emailed in to us. We have started doing virtual adoptions so they are available now to go to their new families. What are you waiting for? They can’t wait to explore your house!
Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at email@example.com.