This is the story of Taz, adopted by one of our volunteers:
My Name is Schotzie Now
Taz was about a year old when he came to the House Rabbit Society. His time was up at the SPCA. He was as cute as could be, a Netherland Dwarf and all of one pound 10 ounces. He had tattoos in his ears, so he was used either for breeding or as a show rabbit. You won't usually see pure breed animals turned in to the SPCA. Taz had some behavioral issues, so he probably wasn't serving the purpose of either a breeding rabbit, or for show. He was turned in to the SPCA as if he was an appliance that was brought back to the store because it did not work.
It was true that Taz did have some issues. The Volunteers at the shelter had to put on leather gloves and wrap a towel around their arm just to reach into his cage to clean the litter box. Taz would not only bite you, but he would not let go!
Taz was quickly neutered, hoping that would calm him down. Even at the Vet's Taz was a handful. He was put in a fish tank and given gas to sedate him enough that the vet could put him under for the operation. However, his behavior was learned over the past year of his life, and it would take time to unlearn it. We don't know why he behaved so badly, maybe his previous owners hit him. I could not imagine anyone striking an animal that weighed less than two pounds!
Since Taz was not adoptable with his biting, I took him home to foster. I was hoping I could work with him and give him time to overcome his fears. I hand fed him his carrot every morning. He would eat while I was holding the carrot to learn that my hand was good, and would not hurt him. I would handle him a little each day so he would get used to it. You should have seen the look on my Uncle's face when I brought Taz downstairs at Christmas with my leather gloves on! He thought I was nuts for bringing him into my home.
Little by little Taz's behavior improved. He doesn't bite at all anymore. His name is Schotzie now. That means Sweetheart in German. It fits him so much better than Taz. He sleeps in bed with me, just lying at my feet or next to my pillow. He runs and plays and does binkies. Binkies are jumps for joy in bunny body language. I couldn't imagine not having Schotzie. The bite marks are gone, but the happy bunny is here to stay.
Next time you are considering adopting a bunny, please consider ALL of the bunnies in the shelter. The ones that may have a behavioral or medical problem may just turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you.