Rabbit Haven Logo Home About the Haven How You Can Help Adoption Showcase Success Stories Caring for Your Rabbit News & Links
114 Rabbit Confiscation in the Santa Cruz Area
Update: December 19, 2011
Dearest friends - Just a note to let you know that all the confiscated bunnies were safely removed form the shelter by 12-17 EveryBun is SAFE!- We are working to prepare the final update on this rescue. watch the web - Amazing success story -Holiday miracles. Watch for our final report and learn where to go to adopt these special rabbits. I will have the report finished today!

Love, Auntie

Update: December 8, 2011
Three Santa Cruz County veterinarians donated their time Sunday, December 4, to provide spay and neuter for 32 remaining confiscated rabbits. These are the last to be spayed/neutered out of the 114 that were recently confiscated by local authorities from an Aptos Breeder.

Find out more, including pictures and a description of the SpayAThon.

Update: December 1, 2011
Awesome Vet trio Providing a Spay a thon for Santa Cruz shelter rabbits this Sunday!

We are very excited to announce that a Spay-a-thon for the confiscated Shelter rabbits will be held Sunday December 4th! There are many many bunnies that need help, and they all need to be spayed and neutered before they can be adopted out.

There are three special veterinarians who will be helping out: Dr. Hilary Stern from Avian and Exotic in Monterey, Dr. Erika Sullenberger from Animal Hospital of Soquel, and Dr. Sarah Hawklyn from Aptos-Creekside Pet Hospital. In addition to the veterinarians, technicians and RVTs from Felton Veterinary Hospital, Animal Hospital of Soquel, and Aptos-Creekside Pet Hospital will be volunteering their time. Rabbit Haven will be providing Metacam for the bunnies, as well as volunteers to carry rabbits to and from the surgical area. Rabbit Haven volunteers will also be watching over bunnies as they wake up from anesthesia.

This is truly a gift of love for the rabbits from these veterinary professionals. We are very grateful for their continued support during this large rescue.

Update: November 28, 2011

Haven volunteers are now scheduled seven days a week and loving it! Contact Heather at 831 600-7479 or email director@therabbithaven.org to schedule morning, afternoon, or weekend shifts. Haven volunteers are so loving and amazing. What special people. They are so compassionate and caring. We have reduced the number at the shelters from 120 to 67. A total of 41 have been taken in by The Haven and many more have gone to other rescues. Two were adopted yesterday also. The Haven's foster homes have also been super busy taking in these displaced rabbits.

Thank you to all The Haven volunteers that are helping every day to provide a loving environment for the shelter rabbits. Thank you to the shelters for housing the rabbits and giving us time to save them. Thank you to Leslie, Ben, Mark, Natasha & Lily for the awesome help with spay/neuter transport! We need over night housing assistance for up to 6 bunnies as they come back in from spay neuter. Just overnight then they go on to the shelter next day.

Thank you to House Rabbit Society, Harvest Home, San Jose Rescue group, BUNS, RabbitEars, SaveABunny and Rabbits Rock for rescue assistance! We have until December 17 to get them out of shelter. The shelters can really only house nine in Santa Cruz and four in Watsonville. This is a tremendous stretch for the shelters and the Rabbit advocates at the shelter.

If you have some time, why not spend a few hours with these bunnies? They have already improved so much in just a few short weeks since being taken from the deplorable conditions they were housed in. The kindness and attention of the volunteers helps them so much. Can you lend a hand for a few hours this week? Contact us now!

Photos are now available of the rabbits at the Watsonville and Santa Cruz shelters. These rabbits need adoption or rescue by December 17. Please contact us if you can help by adopting, fostering or rescuing.

Update: November 21, 2011
HI! Love, Mimzy (thank you for helping me and my friends)

The Rabbit Haven's awesome volunteer group is in action in Santa Cruz at the Santa Cruz Animal care and control center and at the Watsonville annex. Rabbit Haven fosters are also busy as can be caring for 36 new foster rabbits. Our new fosters include Animal Hospital of Soquel, and many other caring people tryig to help these rabbits. The facts as we know them today are that 114 rabbits were confiscated from a breeder. They came in late Sunday November 6. Many came in covered in fecal matter and wet from rain - they were in such sad condition. They had been living in horrible housing units of wire cages stacked with fecal matter and urine. They were starved and without even the most basic care. No water or food. Many had injuries from eye lacerations, missing limbs and ears, and infected hocks. Several had serious abscesses and injuries requiring surgery. All the rabbits suffered from dehydration and poor living conditions. Injuries and infections were all exacerbated by the nasty conditions they were forced to live in. On the bright side, all these rabbits are now living in clean enclosures with fresh water, food and hay provided every day. Rabbit Haven volunteers also provide the TLC they so deeply need. Kudos to Santa Crux County animal control for doing an excellent job of confiscation and offering the space for the rabbits to be in two large groups. Applause to the volunteers hard at work making a huge difference in the lives of these rabbits. Together we are changing their lives.

The Rabbit Haven provided the first evaluation of the rabbits brought in at both Santa Cruz and Watsonville shelters. We found eye injuries and infections, lacerations, bite wounds, fur loss, bone malformations, abscesses, missing limbs, missing ears, upper respiratory issues, neurological deficits, dehydration, and a variety of other injures. Staff carefully moved males and females apart and formed new living groups of males or females. After this we provided nail trims and health checks on all the rabbits. Two rabbits were so critically ill they needed to go to the vet immediately as they could not stand. One girl had to have an emergency surgery for prolapsed vaginal area with necrotic tissue build up. Her surgery was at Aptos Creekside by Dr. Hawklyn and Dr. Seri. Dr Hannah Good came into the Santa Cruz shelter to evaluate the first group of rabbits. She evaluated about 12 rabbits finding lacerations, eye abscesses, significant hock injuries, upper respiratory infections, skin issues and fur loss. Three rabbits from this group went to Aptos Creekside and to Haven medical foster sites. Dr. Hilary Stern came into the Santa Cruz shelter to evaluate the sick rabbits there. She donated her time to look at 20 rabbits identified as having a possible medical issues. Dr Stern provided a medical exam, diagnostics for the injuries and placed many on medications. She asked that three rabbits have surgeries, including two with cut off ears that had serious abscesses under the injury sites. These surgeries are pending. The rest of the rabbits have been seen by a vet and all on their way to good health.

The recent confiscation has caused an extreme overload on the shelters so we are providing Haven assistance to care for these rabbits. We are working in partnership with the county to accomplish our goals - To provide for and to protect the recently confiscated rabbits. Eventually to spay, neuter and then to adopt each rabbit into permanent loving homes.

The good news: At the end of the first week after hours of medical support, care, grooming, cleaning and handling we can see that the rabbit are truly beginning to improve. Their little soaked feet have dried and the dirt has been removed. The debris has come off of their skin. The rabbits are so beautiful under all that dirt! Surprisingly the rabbits are fairly social and each day they are calming more and coming up for pets. They seem to realize that they have landed in a very good spot. What a wonderful transformation to behold. It is amazing what lots of love, good food and proper care will do for these rabbits. We anticipate that every rabbit will make it through and hopefully will be made available for adoption in December and January.

The Rabbit Haven is organizing towel drives, toy drives and volunteers to care for rabbits at Santa Cruz. Many new foster sited have been set up - or in the privacy of their own home in Haven foster sites. We are also looking for new volunteers and new fosters. We need your help please. We need volunteers at Santa Cruz shelter and possibly at the Watsonville shelter. We need all shifts to be covered. Call Heather at 831 600-7479 or email director@therabbithaven.org to let us know what day and time you can help. We need fosters - It is simple to set up and learn all that you need to know. You are provided with at Marchioro or x pen and a full starter pack to help you get off on the right foot with fostering.

We still need donations to continue to provide these shelter rabbits with all they need to get well. Donations can be sent to The Rabbit Haven's PayPal account or by check. We need hay, 50 pound bags of Oxbow food, fresh greens any day of the week delivered to Santa Cruz or Watsonville. Just call and we will let you know what is needed week each week. It looks like we are going through 8 bags of litter each week for the large group, and one bale of grass hay every seven days. So much is needed. there are many ways that you can help. We look forward to hearing from you. Blessing to everyone that has contributed so far: House Rabbit Society, Rabbits Rock, Harvest Home, Business guild, Scarborough Lumber, Scotts Valley Feed, Pet Pals, Furrrescue, Dr. Hanna Good, Dr. Sullenberger, Dr. Hawklyn, Dr. Seri and Dr. Hilary Stern. Great thanks to all of our private donors too!

This Thanksgiving we are thankful that these rabbits were confiscated and that they can finally get some good care and treatment they deserve.

Update: November 9, 2011
Bunny looking for food in a waste filled bowl Filthy water container Rusty wire hutches filled with feces

The 116 Rabbits confiscated from the Aptos Breeder have now been stabilized and are set up in clean rooms at foster and at our two shelters. Most have injuries and all are malnourished - They are in desperate need of loving support to make it through. You can see from these photos the deplorable conditions these rabbits were living in, with insufficient food and water and filthy cage areas. They have all been removed from this site now, and are safe for the moment. You can view a short video clip showing some of the rescued bunnies on YouTube.

Many have been placed into Haven foster sites. All will receive medical care today from Dr Hanna Good - Two critically rabbits went in to see Dr Seri and Hawklyn at Aptos Creek side-Monday Other vets in the area have agreed to take in some of these rabbits to care for as well (Dr Erika Sulllenberger). Animal Hospital of Soquel

Community response has been good- Loads of product were initially provided by the Rabbit Haven and private donors - Groups of volunteers are now being scheduled to go to the Santa Cruz sites and Wat site. Call Heather to arrange a time to help these rabbits (cleaning light grooming and feeding) 831 600-7479. Please volunteer even a hour a day over the next two weeks these bunnies need your help.

The shelter staff support to care for this large number of rabbits. 116 rabbits Plus the shelters were already full - Now this. If you have ever wanted to volunteer to help the rabbits Now is the time. If you are too busy, donations are happily accepted. We are going through hay bales one per week per major site and going through tons of food thanks to SV Feed Scotts Valley we were able to get discounted projects Monday to be able to feed all these new rabbits. They are so amazing. Tiny rex, lops, Dutch mix dwarfs. Sadly all in poor condition. All need care, love and support. Please help us help these rabbits survive.

In just two weeks we hope that they will be available for adoption (if the county wins the court case-I bet he will!) These rabbits will be the most wonderful little friends. Coming form such a tragic life they are now is the lap of luxury -next they will need spay neuter services and then they can come home to individual adoptive families. Thank you to donors who have contributed Harvest home, HRS, Rabbit's Rock, Annie's blankets and a variety of private donors.

Call Heather immediately if you can foster 831 600-7479 or Email director@therabbithaven.org

November 7, 2011
Major rabbit confiscation - 114 Rabbits need urgent help !!

Bunny missing an ear Scared rabbits at the shelter

These poor rabbits lived in unbearable, fifthly conditions, with cages stacked up high and urine and feces nearly reaching into empty food containers. Santa Cruz Animal Control confiscated every rabbit there. Kudos to the officers who saved their lives.

114 rabbits in all were confiscated - Dwarfs, Rexes, and mixes, many missing ears and limbs. Most of the rabbits are nutritionally starved, food and water was scarce at this site. The shelter will begin treatment of the obvious injuries and illnesses right away. The shelter veterinarian will evaluate each rabbit's health condition today and staff was working non stop over the weekend just to get them safe into some kind of cage. At the least they will have food and water at the shelter, and urgent medical care will be provided.

The Rabbit Haven will work hand in hand with the shelter and rabbit advocates to find foster sites, assist with bunny moms and litters, and to provide volunteer support for these rabbits right now. We are organizing donations of food, supplies and cash for veterinary expenses as well.

Supplies that are needed immediately:

  • Bales of alfalfa, oat, or orchard grass hay - two needed ASAP each shelter-
  • Bags of pelleted rabbit food - six 40 pound bags each shelter - Most brands ok, bulk please.
  • Water bottles - 50
  • Food dishes, 5" plain crocks - 60 needed
  • Litter boxes - 50
  • Towels
  • Litter (Barn Dry or other rabbit safe organic litter) - six 40 pound bags for each triage site
  • Xpens, super pet simple plastic bottom rabbit cages large with tops or large dog crates

Your support will help these rabbits heal and will keep them safe. Please call (831-600-7479) or email (director@therabbithaven.org) immediately if you can help. If you would like to donate suppplies, we can arrange a drop off location in the Santa Cruz area. If you would like to donate cash, you can use The Rabbit Haven's PayPal account or donate by check. We are starting today with the most basic needs to get these rabbits started on their recovery.

If you would like to volunteer to care for the rabbits, volunteer help is needed at two triage sites. These rabbits need basic care like nail trims, cleaning their soiled fur, cleaning their pens and feeding. We will work out a schedule for any volunteers who are available to help.

We will post additional information and photos as they become available. Watch our wesite for updates.

Bunnies in the shelter overflow area Baby rabbit with skin irritation and fur loss

Home |  About the Haven |  How You Can Help |  Adoption Showcase |  Success Stories |  Caring for Your Rabbit |  News & Links

Red Acorn Logo