Tragic news: Over 30 UVic bunnies shot after escaping from safe haven

By: Christine Tam, 

Dozens of rabbits who narrowly escaped a cull by the University of Victoria broke out of their safe haven in Coombs, B.C., Tuesday, only to be shot dead by a neighbour. 

Rabbits on the University of Victoria campus


The beleaguered bunnies were living at the World Parrot Refuge when they escaped from the compound and hopped onto an adjacent property, according to refuge owner Wendy Huntbatch.  

Huntbatch told that she received a complaint from a woman who lives beside the refuge that the bunnies were trespassing on her property. 

“She was very irate about it and she said they were pests and they were eating their grass and they have to go right away,” she said. “She was in a vicious mood.” 

Conservation officers and refuge employees were on their way to catch and remove the rabbits when they heard gunshots. 

 World Parrot Refuge employee Yvette Abgrall said it was very frightening. 

“We heard gunshots – pow pow pow pow – we started screaming and went running. There were over 30 of them shot,” she said. 

 Huntbatch said the neighbours were unhappy about the parrots and the rabbits at the refuge. They could not be reached for comment. 

“They said it was because the bunnies were eating their grass. I mean how much grass can bunnies eat? They have about 25 acres of grass,” she said. 

Huntbatch called the killings unnecessary. 

“They have as much right to life as anything. They only live eight years and they’re all spayed and neutered,” she said. 

These unlucky rabbits were among hundreds that were relocated to refuges in B.C., Texas and Washington after UVic announced plans for a mass extermination to control the population. The project was a result of animal activist groups and refuges stepping in to save the bunnies. 

Susan Vickery, spokeswoman for Ears, which heads the relocation project, told she is in shock. 

“Personally I find it outrageous and just deplorable really. We responded quickly in two hours and they didn’t even give us a chance. It was too late,” she said. 

 Cpl. Richard Van de Pol said RCMP are investigating the incident but criminal charges are not likely. 

“If a rabbit is being held captive and they leave the area they are held in they are considered to be a wild animal,” he said. “Right now there is nothing to suggest any criminality.” 

While there may not be any legal implications to shooting the rabbits, Vickery thinks there will be backlash from the community. 

“A lot of people are very angry,” she said. “I’m in shock and just wondering how I can minimize any future incidents.” 


From Phyllis O’Beollain, Dayton Small Pets Examiner

Many of us with disabled pets worry about them when we are not at home. My rabbit is severely mobility-impaired, but still she manages to scoot around her sheepskin-covered living area. The problem is, if she turns too sharply to the right, she rolls onto her “good” side and is unable to right herself.

My disabled darling BJ with his best friend Maya (cat)

I am blessed with a neighbor who faithfully checks on Oreo when I am at work, to ensure that Oreo is not stranded for hours without access to food and water. What about those not so fortunate as I?

While not an inexpensive option (approximately $300 for the system), the Vue personal video network enables pet owners to look in on their companions from a browser or iPhone or other flash-enabled device.

The Vue works by utilizing small wireless cameras – up to fifty for each gateway – that can be positioned anywhere inside the home. These cameras are the size of a package of Tic Tacs, wireless, and can be moved about depending upon where your pet tends to roam. These cameras are also easily relocatable.

You plug the gateway into your Internet router and the cameras sync up instantly. You then log onto a secure website to check in on your pets from virtually any location. You can view, record, playback and share video clips and snapshots from your browser or iPhone.

There is no software to load or storage space required on your hardware. The service plan for your account includes 2gb of storage for $19.95 per year – first year free. Your secure VueZone account gives you.

  • A watch page: lets you view and record live remote video from all active cameras and gateways
  • A playback page: where you play recorded/stored video and snapshots
  • A share page: lets you easily share live video or recorded content with family, friends and favorite sites
  • All the tools you need to set up and use your network – you can even schedule automatic viewing/recording

Vue comes with a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee when purchased directly from, and the first years’ service plan is free.

And now, a word for the nerds:

VueZone FrameMesh technology was developed for the defense department (how cool is that?) and enables streaming live video using wireless video transmission technology and battery-powered cameras. FrameMesh is a redundant, packet self-correction networking protocol. It forms the foundation of a secure, ultra-low-power wireless video camera network that installs easily and can be extended without sophisticated technical requirements.

And no, sadly, the Vue people did not send me a free sample of the system to try out, I just think this sounds like a great idea AND my TekkieFriend Alex says this is a very good value for all that you are getting. It could have so many applications: checking on elderly parents, home security, and spying on your teenagers to name a few.

You can only order the Vue online.

Lauren McCall Workshops Coming This Fall

Lauren McCall, an internationally renowned TTouch practitioner and animal communicator, will be the guest of San Diego House Rabbit Society October 16-18 when she presents three days of workshops and private consultations.

Lauren gave us a quick preview of what to expect from her appearance in October:

Chandra: We’re excited about having you back in San Diego to share your talents with our supporters. Tell us more about to expect at the TTouch workshop.

Lauren: I’m excited, too! I just LOVE working with rabbits! They are very responsive to TTouch and we have had great success in helping shelter rabbits overcome some of their fears and reactive behaviors to interact better with people so that they can be adopted out faster. Of equal importance is that they can integrate into their new home and are not returned to the shelter.  So TTouch while works for behavior issues, it’s also great for health concerns too.

Chandra: You have quite a lot of experience with rabbits, don’t you? In fact, you have a bunny of your own.

Lauren: Yes, my bunny Zoë is 10 years old now!  I use TTouch on Zoe to help her with old age issues like stiffness.  I began teaching TTouch workshops at the HRS headquarters in Richmond, California in 2000. I’ve also worked at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah, and have worked with rabbits at various shelters all over the world.  I also recently created the world’s first TTouch Rabbit Associate Program, in Japan.  TTouch is excellent for reaching rabbits’ nervous systems and helping to calm them down. And as we all know, rabbits have a pretty sensitive nervous system.

Chandra: I imagine this will be great for people who live with bunnies or cats, but also for shelter workers or vet techs. What kinds of techniques will people learn?

Lauren: Expect lots of hands on fun. This is a very interactive class. I’ll teach the basic bodywork which is easy to learn; it just takes a little practice. We’ll discuss and demonstrate what can be done for specific health and behavior issues. I work very hard to tailor each class to the needs of the individual group and the animals that are there. Each participant should leave with a good feel for the basic TTouches.

Chandra: Then on October 17 you’ll offer an Introduction to Animal Communication class. Can anyone take that class?

Lauren: Absolutely! This is an ideal way to develop the ability to telepathically communicate, which we all have but have lost touch with over time. I have been teaching animal communication all over the world for almost 10 years now, and I am convinced that anyone can learn how to do it, if they practice.  We’ll work with photographs of animals and do exercises designed to help you make your own connections with animals. This is a small group workshop in a private home, the perfect setting for what will be a fun and interesting adventure.

Chandra: Then on Monday, October 18 you’ll be available for private consultations, whether people want to learn more about TTouch or animal communication, or have a one-on-one session with you and their animal friend.

Lauren: Yes, and those are open to rabbits, cats, dogs, any species.  If you can’t bring your animal, bring a photo.

Chandra: We know you are very busy, Lauren, traveling the world and spending a lot of time teaching in Japan. We’re grateful that you have the time to share your skills with the San Diego animal community. We’ll see you next month!

About Lauren’s Workshops:

On Saturday, October 16, Lauren presents TTouch for Small Animals. Rabbits and cats are welcome at this workshop taking place at the County of San Diego Animal Services North Shelter in Carlsbad. For more information and to register:

The following Sunday, October 17, Lauren offers her Introduction to Animal Communication workshop, in the intimate setting of a private home in Cardiff and a limited number of students. Participants work with photographs of living animals. For more information:

And on Monday, October 18, Lauren McCall will be available for private sessions in TTouch or Animal Communication, and rabbits, cats, and dogs are welcome to attend these. There are a very limited number of spaces left, so for more information and to register, visit:

About Lauren McCall:

Lauren McCall has spent years developing proven tools and techniques, in workshops around the world, to help you discover your innate ability to telepathically communicate with animals.  We all have this ability within us; it has just been lost over time due to our human reliance on speech.  She has an international client base for her animal communication work including the US, Europe, and Japan. Lauren travels and teaches both animal communication and TTouch and currently lives in Newberg, Oregon with her partner, 2 dogs, a cat, 2 guinea pigs and a very sweet rabbit named Zoë. Learn more about animal communication and

Lauren McCall at

Double Take: Can you find the differences?

Can you spot the differences in the two photos of that always adorable bunny boy Scooter?

San Diego HRS volunteer, artist, bunny sitter, and professional photographer Alison Giese created this photo puzzle of Scooter.

There are six differences between the two photos. Can  you find them all?

 To see the answers visit and scroll to the bottom of the home page.

Can you find the differences? There are SIX