Fostering

Hi, my name is Christine, a couple of months ago I decided to permanently foster a white bunny called Frosty from Hounslow Animal Welfare Society.

 fostering rabbits - frosty in his litter box Currently I have two house-bunnies of my own, Thomas (female black) and Smokey (male grey Dutch), they are both just over 3 Ĺ years (approx). Thomas was neglected by a family with young children who didnít clean her out and just layered hay, straw, hay, straw into her small hutch rather than cleaning it, she was about 5 months old. As you can imagine I was desperate to take her off their hands. Smokey was found in dumped in a cardboard box in London, he was in a state, and needed his front teeth removing due to them causing pain by overgrowth and neglect, I got him from the Mayhew Animal Home. Another bunny Iíve had the pleasure to have had was Thumper (harlequin lop), he was going to be taken to the RSPCA by my neighbour as she didnít like him, so to cut a long long story short (not to mention my female bun digging underneath the fence to sit on his hutch! (thatís just a beautiful love story for another time!!!)), I took him in Ė he unfortunately died from old age 18 months later in December 2000, but left me with beautiful memories of his short life with us and at least in those last few months he had a life of freedom, fun, love and began to trust me instead of being frightened of us humans as he always had done following being passed from home to home.

I learnt about fostering through a friend who I met a couple of years ago, and the idea had always stuck in my head that one day I would love to give it a go! I saw it as an incredibly rewarding job helping a rescue centre with the rehoming and care of their bunnies, and seeing my friend enjoying it as much as she did really made it something I just had to do! It just must be incredibly satisfying when those bunnies are found loving homes, and of course as I adore bunnies what a better way to get to love and cuddle more buns and be part of their lives whilst they are waiting for a new home!!!

Financially I couldnít afford to take on any more bunnies myself as I have three young children and am at home, but had the space and the love to give to a bunny or two. So just over four months ago I contacted the Hounslow Animal Welfare Society and asked them if I could help them at all. As I was a little out of their catchment area for short-term fostering, but they did mention whether I fancied the idea of permanent fostering, where I could provide a permanent loving home and they would cover the medical bills. Must have taken me about a second or two to decide this was just what I wanted to do!

At the time they had a number of bunnies who for reasons such as age or health problems really did need loving permanent homes, no-one wanted them because of their problems or age so they needed permanent fosters who would be happy to give them a loving home whilst they took care of the vet bills. That way the bunny could have a loving home that he/she needed, youíre helping the rescue centre with caring for one of their bunnies and you are freeing space at their place for yet another bunny needing a home of which we know there are too many needing new homes.

Jenny from the Rescue Centre mentioned Frosty to me as needing a loving home; she had had him since he was born on the 27th September 2000. The last of the litter, all his brothers and sisters went to loving homes. He is a medium bunny, white with red eyes (which put people off wanting him Ė goodness knows whyÖ heís gorgeous!!!). Plus to an accident at a previous foster home he developed teeth problems, and unfortunately now needs constant checking and visits to the vet to have his teeth filed down, which would put off any potential owner from wanting him due to the cost of his medical bills. Jenny said he was most deserving of a new foster home as she had had him for so long, so following a home check and my visit to her home (didnít take a lot of persuasion to have Frosty of course!) I PROUDLY took him home with me on the 20th of September 2002!!!

Heís settled in so well; binkys like mad around the garden, even more so than my two binky! Iím taking time with the bonding with my two and Frosty (no rush at all there! and no problem if it doesnít work out long term). They are all house-bunnies in big houses next to each other so they are all around us (and each other!) having lots of attention from our kids and us. His favourite pastime seems to be disappearing behind the settee to rip apart the long boxes I have placed behind there!!!! Due to his teeth problems I do need to keep an eye on how he is eating, and when I notice that he is struggling with chewing and looking uncomfortable then I take him to the vet for a check-up, so he does need my watchful eye on him!

I just donít regret the day I decided to foster at all! Iím just so glad that I made the contact with the Rescue Centre and am now doing it, it is as satisfying as Iíd imagined, and I just couldnít imagine not doing it now! Iím so proud of him, heís part of our family, and he knows it too!!! I get nudged, licked, chinned and a bunny who is just so happy to lie down and be stroked by us! He even puts up with my youngest (20 months) patting him!!!!!

Itís just great to be helping Hounslow Animal Welfare Society with providing a permanent loving home for a bunny who really did deserve a loving home (and there are more who need loving homes). He is so friendly, adores humans, loves attention, and so full of character, Jenny really did a wonderful job with him! I know she is so busy with her bunnies that she just canít give them all lots of her TLC, but she does so well even with all the bunnies she does have, and Frosty is a good example of her loving care! Plus on top of having Frosty I have met Jenny, yet another friend who adores bunnies as I do!

How to Become a Fosterer

For more information contact Rescue Centres in your local area. You can find out contact details for you local rescue by phoning The Rabbit Welfare Association National Helpline on 01403 267658.

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