Jersey Wooly rabbit sets longevity record
Jenna Antol has owned a Jersey Wooly rabbit for 14 years and 8 months. She wondered if he was the oldest rabbit of its breed on record.
“The Guinness Book has records for dogs and cats; I wondered if they had records for rabbits,” she said. So, she decided to e-mail the company.
To her surprise, the company did list rabbit information, and provided her with a slew of paperwork to prove his age. The process included veterinarian records, photographs, affidavits from friends and relatives, and a recent examination report.
The first veterinarian to care for Do was Thomas Curro at the Middletown Animal Hospital, she said. Then about eight years ago, Antol started working for the Atlantic Highlands Animal Hospital as a veterinary assistant. Since that time, Jennifer DeMeo and Amy Lesniak have been Do’s veterinarians.
Although the paperwork was tedious, she said, it was manageable in acquiring the needed information.
And, on June 16, she was notified by the organization that Do was indeed the oldest living Jersey Wooly.
“This is so exciting,” Antol, 28, said. “I’m so proud of Do.”
The irony of Do’s story is that when Antol first saw the bunny, in a pet store in Hazlet, he was in the corner of a cage near the birds for sale.
“The store owner said he wanted to get rid of the rabbit and gave him to me for free,” she said. At the time, the veterinarian estimated the rabbit to be about 5 to 6 months old and that he was a pure-bred Jersey Wooly.
The rabbit got his name because of his crazy, wild hair.
“He had spiked hair like Rod Stewart or Don King,” Antol’s mother Linda Antol said.
Oddly enough, Do has never had a carrot or lettuce to eat. Do eats timothy hay and rabbit pellets, Jenna Antol said.
“Maybe that’s the secret,” she said, referring to his longevity.
Of course, the only thing the three-pound rabbit has done for the past 14-plus years is eat, sleep and play in his cage, both inside the house and outside in his hutch.
The organization sent Antol a framed Guinness World Book plaque as a memento of the event.
The 2011 edition is due to come out in September, she said, adding, she is not sure if Do will be in that edition.
“I’m just excited about the whole thing,” she said. The only dilemma she seems to be having is where to find a T-shirt that says she has a pet listed in the Guinness World Book.