June 2013 Newsletter
Flash inspects the goodies from Wish List
Dear Friends of Rabbit Haven,

We know that you, the Friends of Rabbit Haven, are some of the most generous folk on earth.  This was proved to us again when, within the first month of updating our Wish List, Sue was overjoyed to receive a huge package of wished for items.  She sends special thanks to Elaine, Scott, Patrick & Melissa - and if anonymous gifters let her know who they are, she'd love to recognize them, too!

If you haven't had a chance to peruse the list, it's up with much needed items both large and small.  So check it out at Wish List  The rabbits all thank you!
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Bernie, a big, beautiful Flemish Giant,
 chillin' in the shade
Summer time - and the livin' isn't so easy when you wear a fur coat
As summer heat comes, don't forget that while you can put on lighter weight clothing to cool down, your rabbit is always in his lovely fur.  Temperatures above 75 are HOT to a bun.  Here are some tips to keep your rabbit comfortable and healthy.

-Be sure to provide your rabbit a place that's out of direct sunlight.  Remember it can get sunny inside, too!  Curtains, shades and blinds can come in quite handy.

-Stone, marble or ceramic tiles can give a nice cool feeling to warm bunny bellies.

-Fans can provide coolness - but be sure they're not blowing directly onto your rabbit.
-Freeze some water bottles and leave them out for your bun. They enjoy lying in the cooled air around these bottles and may even lick some condensation off the sides.

-Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Be sure to provide plenty of water for your rabbit.  Add ice cubes when it's warm.  Think about providing an extra water bottle if you'll be gone, or if the dish might tip over.  Give them plenty of veggies - and leave some of the water on them after you rinse them.

-Rabbits use their ears to help regulate their body temperature.  Lightly (we repeat, lightly!) mist their ears with water, but NEVER wet the ears completely.

Watch out for the following danger signs:
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Hot ears
  • Listlessness
  • Wetness around the nose area
  • Tossing back of head while breathing rapidly from open mouth.
Should your bunny show these signs, your first goal will be to relocate your bunny to a cool place away from any sun. Dampen the ears with cool (not cold) water as this will help to bring down his/her body temperature.  Give your bunny plenty of fresh, cold water with a few ice cubes in it and call your rabbit savvy vet IMMEDIATELY for further instructions.

Also during warm weather, constantly be on the lookout for FLY STRIKE.

This is a potentially deadly threat to rabbits that is more common during the warmer months. House flies are attracted to odors such as urine, feces and diseased or infected areas on a rabbit. The fly will search out a warm, moist place to lay their eggs; though, they can lay their eggs anywhere on your bun. Once this happens, it takes 8 - 12 hours for the eggs to hatch into maggots. They then consume the diseased and/or soiled areas on the surface. Once this food source is exhausted, they begin burrowing into the animal and feeding off their healthy tissue while releasing a toxin that will eventually lead to shock in the rabbit. Sick, disabled, wet, injured and obese rabbits are at a higher risk for this infliction, but all rabbits should be checked at least daily and more frequently if they spend time outside.


Bot Flies are another type of fly that also lay their eggs on or near where rabbits dwell. The eggs look like tiny yellow seeds attached to the rabbit's individual hairs. The seeds (eggs) are then opened by the animal cleaning the infested hair or by brushing up against the eggs. The larvae then begin burrowing into the rabbit and grow much larger than the housefly maggots. This larva has the appearance of being a mass and is referred to as a warble tumor. They release toxins like the Housefly larvae. Unlike the common housefly, bot flies are attracted to the rabbit itself rather than odors. Fatal damage from Fly Strike can occur in as little as 72 hours.


  • Listlessness
  • Small patches of off-white mush on fir
  • Tiny yellow seeds
  • Maggots on skin and in hair
  • Burrowed canal(s) into the rabbit
If your bunny has fly strike:

First off, remove every maggot and egg you can find. Tweezers work well for the maggots (you must kill them once removed) and a flea comb works well with the egg removal. Do not try and remove a bot fly maggot yourself. Be sure and check the rabbit ALL over for them, as they can be anywhere! Next, get your rabbit to a vet IMMEDIATELY!!  This is an emergency situation!


Click on link below to get more information provided by the Rabbit House Society, a great place for all sort of information regarding rabbits.

House Rabbit Society: Fly Strike 


All of us at Rabbit Haven wish you and your beloved buns a happy, healthy summer!  



Mork calling Orson!
Nanu, Nanu!  Mork & Mindy... & some little surprises

On Saturday, June 1, Sue got a call from a desperate woman in Olympia who had seen a couple of bunnies running around next to a busy road for a few weeks. The little male was in the street when she decided it was time to rescue them.  And, so, Mork & Mindy came to Rabbit Haven.  But quicker than she could say, "Shazbot!" Sue realized they weren't just a duo.  Mindy was pregnant and due to deliver any minute.

Momma Mindy
By the by, Mork & Mindy are probably only about 5-6 months old.  Just a reminder that rabbits are "prey animals", and as such have remarkable reproductive rates to help keep their species going.  Not only are spayed & neutered rabbits healthier, there are MORE than enough rabbits hoping for forever homes here at Rabbit Haven and in shelters all over the world.  For you Puget Sounders, don't forget that Northwest Spay & Neuter's mission is to promote and provide affordable, high-quality spay and neuter services for cats, dogs, and rabbits in an effort to stop the killing of animals due to overpopulation.


Seven baby bunnies
Mindy has proved to be a very good momma.  But that does mean we have 7 more little rabbits to find forever homes for as soon as they're old enough, and are spayed and neutered.  At this point, we also need to name them.  We're thinking of names like planets, extra-terrestrials and such.  Contact Sue if you have any ideas, or post on our Facebook page
Clockwise from the top:  Lollipop, Taffy, Frango, Skittles & Twix

Speaking of baby rabbits and names, we've named Nell's bunnies.  Since they were so sweet and loved to hang around people so much, Sue had the brilliant idea to name them after candy.  So, may we introduce: Taffy, Frango, Twix, Lollipop and Skittles.  They'll also be adoptable just as soon as they're old enough to be spayed & neutered. 

Taffy loves getting pets on Chelsea's lap

But, why wait to meet these little sweeties?  Contact Sue if you'd like to make an appointment to come and meet them, or to "reserve" a pair of these adorables for adoption just as soon as they're old enough.  Who can resist such treats?

Nell exclaims from her shady tube,
 "Sale?!?  Did someone mention a sale?!?"
Pet Supply Sale -
part deux

"Northwet" weather stayed true to its damp reputation last month, and very few people braved the rain for our outdoor sale last month.  Since July often brings more sun, you've got another chance to get some wonderful deals at our:
Gently Used Pet Supply Sale
Saturday & Sunday
July 6 & 7
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
11717 State Route 302 NW,
Gig Harbor (in the parking lot across from Charbonneau Landscape Supply). 

If the weather's nice, we'll bring along some charming, furry "Bun Ambassadors". Be sure to tell all your friendsSee you there!

Nutmeg, always the fashionista, is planning her ensemble for the Hop
Let's go to the Harbor Hop!

Hope you've marked Saturday, September 29 on your calendar for the social event of the season, the Harbor Hop. 

Our annual auction's always a blast, but we've got lots of cool new ideas planned for this year!  We're going with a 50's theme and there will be music, food, dreamy auction items and fabulous fun for all at the lovely Inn at Gig Harbor.

Tickets are $40 pre-sale ($50 at the door) and will be going on sale August 1.

Watch the next newsletter and our Facebook page for details and get ready to rock around the clock at the Harbor Hop.  Be there, or be square!

BB wonders if she could fly to Okunoshima Island with her helicopter ears.
Rabbit Island
Looking for an interesting vacation spot?  We've just learned about Okunoshima Island.  Located in the Inland Sea of Japan between Hiroshima and Shikoku, it has the sad history of being used as top-secret military site manufacturing poison gas for chemical warfare during World War II. Today, it's completely overrun with cute, fluffy bunnies who are the island's main inhabitants.

According to some sources, the rabbits were brought to Okunoshima to test the effects of the poison and released by workers when World War II ended. Others sources claim that a group of schoolchildren released eight rabbits while they were on a field trip in 1971. However they got there, the original bunnies of Okunoshima and their successive generations of offspring have thrived in their predator-free environment.  Though feral, these buns are quite used to visitors, and can be seen climbing on people's laps as they mooch for food.  The hotel even sells pellets for visitors to feed the rabbits.

A quick Google search for "Okunoshima Island" pulls up lots of sites such as this YouTube video.  While we never, ever condone letting domestic rabbits loose in the wild, it does appear the rabbits of Okunoshima Island are doing well in their island home.

Pandora and Loki discuss their dream of finding a forever home.
Looking for Forever Homes
As much as we love and take wonderful care of our Rabbit Haven rabbits here at the Barn, we know they'd all be so much happier with their own loving family.  Do you have room in your home and heart for a hopping, fluffy bundle of love?  All the rabbits in this newsletter (except Flash) are adoptable and waiting for you.

WE ADOPT TO INDOOR HOMES ONLY. Your rabbit should be treated as an integral part of the family. With good care and lots of love, rabbits can live to be 7-10 years old. We expect you to make a lifetime commitment to your rabbit(s). The primary caregiver MUST be a responsible adult. Our adoption fee is $65.00 for one, $120 for a pair (to cover spay and neuter costs). Please
contact Sue if you are interested in adopting.  A lifetime of love awaits you!


About Rabbit Haven
We are a non-profit shelter and sanctuary dedicated to the care of unwanted and mistreated rabbits ... until they all have homes.

Rabbit Haven barn
The barn is located in Gig Harbor, WA

Rabbit Haven
PO Box 2268
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335
(253) 208-4206

Sheena approved of this newsletter, though she does NOT approve of bows in her hair!