A Bunny Story About Pet Adoption

by DFS-Pet-Blog on January 18, 2011

Lionhead Rabbit **Guest post from Ellen B.**

Bugsey is his name. He’s an adorable Lionhead bunny that was rescued by my co-worker, Janet, and her family. Like many pets, Bugsey ended up homeless through no fault of his own.

The story of this Lionhead bunny started when a breeder sold him to a lady who wanted to give the bunny as a gift to her friend’s daughter. RULE #1: NEVER give a pet as a gift!

The family hesitantly kept the gifted bunny in their garage. However, as September rolled around and they needed to find cold-weather accommodations for this bunny, they decided it was best to surrender it to their local animal shelter. The shelter called the breeder who refused to take back the 4-month old bunny.

Meanwhile, Janet’s daughter, Sammie, rescued a wild bunny that was attacked by a feral cat. She tried to nurse the bunny back to health, but it passed away a week later. During that week, she understood that if the bunny lived, it would need to go back into the wild.

BUT, it made Sammie want a pet bunny more than ever. She had been asking for a bunny for a few years, and her parents finally decided a bunny would be a good addition to their family. The local shelter didn’t have any bunnies, but an animal shelter in a neighboring town had a 4-month old Lionhead bunny named Bugsey.

Janet with her Lionhead bunny, Bugsey.

Janet with her Lionhead bunny, Bugsey.

Bugsey quickly adapted to his new family of 2 children, 2 dogs and 1 cat. Bugsey and the cat enjoy each other, but the dogs are not yet allowed to visit with Bugsey. At first Bugsey was possessive of his rabbit hutch so the children had to learn to approach him slowly. He no longer nips and is very calm, snuggly, and loves to have his ears and tummy scratched. He has about an hour each night that he gets out of his hutch and can hop around the living room or find a nice warm lap to sit on.

Some of Bugsey’s favorite things:

Bunny Essentials Recommended by Janet:
Lionhead-Rabbit

Have you ever adopted a pet? Leave a comment sharing your experience! Did your pet fit into your family right away? Where did you get your pet from? Was it a good experience?


Bugsey meets one of his new family members.

Bugsey meets one of his new family members.

Sammie and Bugsey are both very happy!

Sammie and Bugsey are both very happy!


{ 2 trackbacks }

Stories About Rabbit Adoption : The Rabbit Hutch Shop
January 25, 2011 at 5:08 am
Pets as Gifts: A Different Way to Give the Gift
December 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellen B. January 18, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I have adopted 2 dogs from our local shelter. Each acted right at home from the get-go. We currently have one dog and are seriously considering getting another.

Janet S. January 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm

To update, we have just started gradually introducing Bugsey and the dogs. Our dogs are Samoyed/Border Collie mix and very gentle, but I’m cautious because they are around wild animals a lot and I don’t want instincts to take over. I’ve held Bugsey on my lap while letting the dogs come and gently sniff him while I keep telling the dogs “gentle”. So far after 3 times, the dogs are getting less curious, Bugsey seems less anxious, and he even got a lick from Maverick. Sinjin just looks and sniffs. We are going to gradually keep working on it in baby steps so we don’t stress Bugsey out or risk any danger to him.

Bugsey is a lucky bunny. He will warm up to all of your animals. January 26, 2011 at 10:19 am

I bought a dwarf Netherland from a well known breeder a year ago. To this day he will not come to me when I open his cage door. He will run behind his igloo, if I want to hold him or pet him, I have to reach way into his big cage and get him, resisting all the time. I thought as he got older he would not do that anymore. He will let me know that he doesnt want to be held by nipping on my shoulder or my neck or jaw. Sometimes it hurts. I love him so much, being partially disabled, ( wheelchair ) I wanted a bunny to keep me company, and when he will want holding, he will sit at the cage door and will let me pick him up, but not often. He has a temper, rips up every piece of a towel that I give him to cuddle, it seems as if he really doesnt like anything. He has never played with anything or anyone. He loves to just sit and look. Sometimes he will fling himself around when I put him in the play area I have for him. Now, my question is: Is there anything I can do to change him. The pet shop said, that is just the way he is. I read about the wonderful Bugsey, and I want that for me and J.C Bunnie. Can you help me? Sincerely, Reva Zellers

Janet S. January 26, 2011 at 10:48 am

Reva –

Sorry to hear your bunny isn’t as friendly as you desire. I’m new at bunny ownership, but hopefully can help from our short experience. Can I ask you some more questions about J.C.? How old is he now? Has he been neutered? From what I’ve learned bunnies reach adulthood right around 8 months. Your bunny has basically just gone through puberty and males tend to be more aggressive. If he is not neutered, this may help with aggression. As for the nipping, that is the bunny’s only way of communicating. We had to teach Bugsey as he also nipped a lot to start. I read that bunnies shriek when hurt or scared so when he nipped and it hurt, we let out a high pitch shriek or “ow” so he knew it hurt us. We never physically responded, just vocally. He will still give me a little “nip” if I’ve held him too long, but it is very gentle now and you can tell he is asking to be put down to hop around. Does J.C. have any wood blocks or hay that he chews on? It is very important to a bunny to keep their teeth sharpened and he may rip up towels to do that. If you don’t want to spend money right now, the cardboard core of a roll of toilet paper, paper towels or wrapping paper becomes a great thing to chew. Otherwise, I recommend the wood “fruit” on our website. The watermelon and orange are a great bunny size and can be found here: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=6067%2010378%2021368&pcatid=21368 Bugsey likes to chew on those.

Is J.C. allowed to hop around outside his cage at all? I don’t know if that is physically possible for you, but if it is or someone can help facilitate that, he may get more and more comfortable outside the cage and not want to hide in it.

It sounds like you do have some positives with him! The fact that he is at the cage door when he wants attention is very good. I think progress will be about timing and knowing that you two might not always been on the same clock when you want attention. Pets are a joy, but also work and do take some training. Focus on and enjoy the things he does well and gradually work on the negatives a little bit at a time. I hope that can help you some.

Kate January 27, 2011 at 9:44 am

That is a very touching story. I got my one rabbit in a rabbit adoption center and I feel so fulfilled adopting it. It is such a great thing to rescue animals and I really build a bigger rabbit hutch just to accommodate new comer. I just hope all homeless rabbits would finally find their home.

Angela Lynn February 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm

What a nice cute little pet! I really like pets since then. In fact, I’ve 1 dog, 2 cats and a guinea. I’ve never tried adopting any pets so far but if there’s a chance why not. I really like to play with my pets when I’m home. The only thing that I noticed about pets is they easily get jealous when you introduce them another pet. Oftentimes, they hates about it but I think it’s normal.

Carol March 31, 2011 at 2:51 pm

I enjoyed the story of the adoption Bugsey is a lucky pet! It needs to be repeated a pet is not a gift for a young child. They want to love them but, really don’t have the maturity it takes for responsible cave giving to a pet. Glad it worked out.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: