CHAPTER 160 – The Big Rescue
Abigail half-napped in her spot by the window. It was Friday morning and she had just finished breakfast and was spending time beside Dad while he read his messages. Suddenly, Dad gasped. She opened her eyes and raised one ear.
“Oh Abigail! One of our local animal shelters just took in 88 rabbits from a bad situation. That’s a lot of rabbits to house, feed, care for, and find homes for!” explained Dad. Fortunately, the nice new facility had plenty of space to house the rabbits but taking care of that many rabbits was a bit overwhelming.
Dad continued, “Auntie Heather from the Rabbit Haven is rallying the troops. She’s asking for volunteers to help clean cages, feed them, clean them up, and take some of them for medical treatment.”
Abigail raised her other ear. Dad had her full attention, now. Abigail, always ready to help her fellow bunnies, hopped into action and came up with a plan. She thought, “I’ll ask my boss Belinda at Small Pet Select to ask the big boss Mr. Gordon if he can donate some hay and food. We can ask the nice man, Mr. Kozy, at the produce market if he can donate some greens. I’ll donate this week’s willow harvest to them. Could you take pretty pictures of them like you do for all the Rabbit Haven rescues?” Dad smiled at Abigail, “Well, that’s a pretty tall order, but sure Abigail, let’s see what we can do.”
By Monday, the wheels were turning. Mr. Gordon agreed to send 50 lbs of Orchard Grass Hay and 50 lbs of Small Pet Select rabbit food. Their friend Jessica from Small Pet Select also sent 50 lbs of Orchard Grass Hay and 50 lbs of rabbit pellets. Abigail reached into her rescue fund and ordered another 50 lbs of Orchard Grass Hay and 50 lbs of rabbit food.
Mr. Kozy, the nice man who runs Demartini’s produce market, donated two cases of romaine lettuce and a case of kale. Dad went for his weekly willow harvesting trip and picked a large bag of fresh willow for them. Then, he drove to the shelter to deliver all the greens.
At the shelter, he visited each of the rabbits to deliver their treats and introduce himself. Some were eager to meet him while others were terrified and cowered in the back of their kennels. In a soft voice, Dad reassured each rabbit, “I know you’re scared and confused. Don’t worry. You’re safe here. You’re going to be fine. You’re with humans who will take good care of you. You’ll have to stay here for a little while until we get you all cleaned up, but then I’ll take your picture and we’ll find you a loving forever home! Things will only get better from here. I promise!” Then he gave them a little pet on the head.
One of the rabbits, Little Spot, was frantically ripping up the newspaper in his kennel. Dad opened the kennel door and said, “Hey there, what’s the matter?” Little Spot came to the front of the kennel and put his head down. Dad recognized that sign from his own rabbit, Bentley. “Oh, I see. You want pets!” he laughed. He stroked Little Spot’s head and ears. Little Spot calmed down and was happy.
Another rabbit was banging in his kennel, making a huge ruckus. Dad looked in, “What’s the matter big guy?” The rabbit thought, “I’ve got cage fever!” Dad opened the door and let him out. The rabbit ran up and down the room, dragging a piece of newspaper along like it was his security blanket. He was so happy! When he was done playing, he hopped back into his kennel without any prodding. “Good boy!” praised Dad as he handed him some willow.
Dad brought his portable photography studio to the shelter. One by one, he’d explain what he was going to do, give them some time to become familiar with the set, and then photograph them. Meanwhile, other volunteers like James and Tom cleaned the cages every day and Vicki gave each bun a brushing and nail trim. Auntie Heather was busy arranging more donations, scheduling medical visits, and finding other rescues to take some of them.
At night, Dad sat at the computer editing all the rabbit photos. Abigail sat up by his feet and wondered, “Dad, are the rabbits going to be OK?” Dad looked down and said, “Yes sweetie. They’re all going to be OK. You did good!” Abigail sat back down. She was relieved.
To view the rabbits available for adoption, visit https://therabbithaven.smugmug.com/Adoption-Rabbits/Santa-Clara-Animal-Services-Rabbits-May-2021/
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