Abandoned rabbits in Edinburgh alive and well

August 28, 2010
The Scotsman  

Two pet rabbits were abandoned by their owners with little food and no water outside an animal welfare charity – 18 months after the charity had moved out.  

Rescued pair of lop-eared Netherland dwarf rabbits


The bunnies were cooped up in a pet carrier and ditched at the front door of the old Scottish SPCA building on Queensferry Road and were left overnight. SSPCA ambulance driver Emma Phillips helped rescue the stricken animals – one of which was pregnant – after the charity was alerted by a neighbour.  

“If they hadn’t been found it’s unlikely they’d have survived more than a couple of days,” she said.  

“A van was seen stopping outside the building the previous evening and it may be that whoever was responsible was in that van and had hoped we’d find the rabbits in the morning. However, it’s quite clear that we are no longer at the premises. More importantly, it is unacceptable to abandon an animal in any circumstances, which is not only cruel but also an offence.”  

The Scottish SPCA has appealed for anyone with information to come forward.  

Anyone who is prosecuted for abandoning a pet can be banned from keeping animals for life.  

The rabbits, a male and a pregnant female, were both lop-eared Netherland dwarfs – a smaller breed than most rabbits that typically weigh between 500g to 1.6kg.  

“Someone from the business next door found the rabbits at the front of our old premises at Braehead Mains, on Queensferry Road, at around 9am,” the ambulance driver said.  

“It is very lucky they were discovered as they’d been left in a carrier with only a small amount of food and no water. There’s a good chance the female could be pregnant and it may be that’s why someone dumped them. They’re both in good condition and they’ll be looking for new homes soon.”  

The rabbits are now recovering at the Scottish SPCA’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Balerno.  

“Sadly, rabbits often turn out to be unwanted, usually because they have been given to children as gifts,” added the 23-year-old. “They can be great fun at first but when the novelty wears off the parents are often left to clean up and care for them, which can be for a long time as rabbits can live for over eight years. Many end up being handed in to our centres, abandoned or are neglected.  

“Rabbits often aren’t ideal for children and families but they can make fantastic pets if their owners understand and are able to meet their needs.”  

The Scottish SPCA moved its animal helpline, which also serves as the charity’s head office, from Braehead Mains to expanded premises in Dunfermline last year in order to deal with year on year increases in calls.  

Source: Edinburgh Evening News, Edinburgh, Scotland

Cobb county rabbit rescue at risk of closure

By Janel Davis
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The rabbits residing at a home-turned-rescue shelter in northeast Cobb County were given a short reprieve Tuesday while shelter operators and the county try to reach a compromise on zoning issues.  

Edie Sayeg and a group of local volunteers are seeking a land use permit to continue operating a rabbit rescue out of a house in northeast Cobb County. The case has been continued until September.


Mark and Edie Sayeg, rescue group volunteers and owners of the home along Shallowford Road, are seeking a temporary land use permit to continue operating out of the house zoned residential instead of moving to a commercially zoned area.  

The County Commission voted Tuesday to continue the zoning hearing until next month.  

Prior to Tuesday’s hearing before the County Commission, which has the final say on zoning issues, the county’s planning board recommended the rabbit rescue permit be denied. County planning staff noted the rescue facility’s full-time operation, car traffic from daily volunteers and a few complaints about multiple cars parked during the center’s board meetings.  

The East Cobb Civic Association has opposed the rabbit rescue because the business is an “intense use” for a residential neighborhood, said association President Jill Flamm.  

The rescue currently has one volunteer who lives at the home and is the round-the-clock rabbit caretaker. The rescue group, operated through volunteers, takes in abandoned rabbits from area shelters and adopts them out to permanent homes. The house contains 20 pens; there are a maximum of 25 rabbits at the facility at any given time, Edie Sayeg said.  

Edie Sayeg, the rescue organizer and co-chapter manager of the House Rabbit Society North Georgia Chapter, said the rescue has the support of most of the residents in the neighborhood and has satisfied the planning commission’s concerns by holding its monthly board meetings in another location and handling more rescue visits through scheduled appointments.  

On Tuesday, commissioners sought some compromise on the rescue house — which also sells rabbit food and other items to help subsidize the costs — to further conform the rescue’s operations to fit into residential guidelines. Commissioners recommended limiting the sales to those who are adopting, or eliminating the sales altogether.  

“We’re trying to do what’s best for the rabbits,” said Sayeg, who purchased the home using her personal retirement funds. “We have shown that there is a real need for rabbit rescue in Georgia.”  

Before Sayeg purchased the house and renovated it for the rabbit rescue, the home was a vacant foreclosure, she said. Sayeg bought the house in September, and the rabbit rescue was in full operation in March.  

“The bottom line is if the [rescue] is removed and the property is unoccupied, with the state of the real estate market, it could remain that way for a long time,” said David Hunt, a 17-year homeowner in the neighborhood and rescue supporter. “The letter of the law and the good of the community are not always the same.”

NY Post: Paging Dr. Rabbit

By Rebecca Wallwork
NY Post
Click here to read the original article
August 29, 2010    

(Please see note at the end of this post)    

Bunnies are more than cute and cuddly – they are therapy for the soul

Bunnies are having a media moment. They’re everywhere, from the New York State Lottery’s Sweet Millions TV commercial to the Juicy Couture fall campaign in the pages of Elle magazine.    

But they’re also making appearances in hospitals, nursing homes and even colleges all over the city. That’s because bunnies aren’t just cute to look at — they’re therapeutic.    

Just ask Maria Grieco, a music teacher from Jackson Heights. She takes her two rabbits, Tosca and Rinuccio (named for opera characters), on pet-therapy visits four times a month and the one thing she hears the most on her rounds is: “I’m keeping them!”    

Tosca (top left) and Rinuccio are best bunny buds who use their loving demeanor to help elders, stressed-out students and other people in need. Maria Grieco is their proud owner.


Grieco got into pet-therapy a few years ago when she heard about the Animal Medical Center’s Pet Outreach Program during a routine vet visit with her female rabbit, 9-year-old Tosca.    

“I read how they visited hospitals with dogs, cats, a bird — and even rabbits,” she says.    

It wasn’t until a holiday meal at her brother’s house, however, that she decided to hop on board.     

“An elderly friend of the family was [there],” she remembers. “And her hands were knotted with arthritis. I put Tosca on her lap and she sat there quietly, letting the woman pet her. It looked to me like her arthritic hands were actually stretching out and relaxing as she petted Tosca. That’s when I thought, ‘She would be perfect for pet therapy.’ She always was a people bunny.”    

AMC’s Pet Outreach Program began in 1983 and they visit an increasing number of facilities across the city. Grieco and her rabbits visit a residence for the elderly, a senior’s day program, Coler Goldwater Specialty Hospital on Roosevelt Island, and the Guild for the Blind. They’ve even gone to Fordham University to help relax stressed-out students before their exams.     

“They were about 200 kids lined up to hold them,” she says. “I get such a kick out of seeing Tosca and Rinuccio’s effect on people. Tosca especially loves attention and being petted. People sense that.”     

According to AMC, some individuals respond better to animals than to doctors, therapists, or even members of their own family.    

Once in a while they see dramatic changes, like a stroke patient moving a hand doctors thought was permanently frozen to pet an animal. Studies have also proved that pet-therapy animals can help lower blood pressure. But most of all, pets bring smiles to patients’ days.    

Even Rinuccio, who isn’t as keen on being cuddled as Tosca, has taken to his role as a pet therapist.    

“The most extraordinary thing I’ve seen,” says Grieco, “is the time we were at a facility and I was sitting next to a woman who had a limb deformity. Rinuccio had been digging around on someone else’s lap so I picked him up, thinking he was done for the session. But I sat in the chair next to this woman, put him on my lap and let her pet him. Without any prompting from anybody, Rinuccio got up and walked from my lap to hers and settled down. He’s never done that before.”    

Grieco gets all the benefits of pet therapy at home, as well. “The interaction is on a more subtle level,” she says. “But they suit my temperament. They’re gentle, quiet creatures.”     

And they get along with each other, too: “Sometimes we humans are so demanding in our relationships, so I love to see the rabbits snuggled together, cheek to cheek, silently enjoying each other’s company. I think there’s a lesson in that for all of us.”    

To volunteer for AMC’s Pet Outreach Program, call 212-838-8100 x7348.    

Note: I love this NY Post story, but was very disappointed that the Post chose to feature a photo/description of rabbit sausage pizza on the SAME DAY.     

Also, the pet therapy article mentions Juicy Couture’s fall campaign that features rabbits. The Juicy site show   

In the past, Juicy Couture has sold many items made from rabbit fur (ear muffs, jackets, etc).  From what I can tell, their current site only shows “faux” rabbit fur products.    

Put on your “Diplomatic Activist” hat, please click  here to view the article. Register nypost.com to leave a polite comment on the article.

Sunday Sudoku…Bunny style!

Forget Sunday morning crossword puzzles…my newest addiction is Rabbit Sudoku (unfortunately, the site will not allow BNN to link directly to the game; when you get to the Web site the tab for Sudoku is on the blue menu bar, on the left side of page, second from the bottom).

It is more challenging than you might think! And perfect for those afternoon lulls in the workday when Spider Solitaire or E-bay just won’t do.