posted on May, 5 2011 @ 09:07 PM
Oh my God, I feel so distraught. We have lost our 5 beautiful rabbits to a vicious dog who lives next door.
Last year on 15th June 2010 a neighbour of my sister had a litter of baby rabbits and as I used to have rabbits many years ago, my sister bought us
two rabbits, a male one; Caramel and a female one; Kim. Caramel was a half lion mane with blonde hair and white around the eyes and belly. He always
had a tuft that hung over one eye, that Kim always licked in exactly the right place. He looked like a surf dude rabbit, with a surf dude attitude to
match; nothing fazed him.
Kim was a petit blue grey that had jet black eyes. She was forever moving, never still, always tidying up the hutch and I believed they loved each
other. And we loved them. We put them in the hutch my sister bought them in the back garden.
They were left together in the same hutch too long after they had 'matured' and soon Kim was expecting her first litter (unbeknown to us!). Their
hutch had been brought from outside, into the summer room (like a conservatory but cheaper and draughtier) over winter but it was still getting too
cold at night, so we gave them their own radiator and put polystyrene tiles all around their hutch. And put a duvet over the front of their hutch.
One day just before Christmas my eldest DD 17yrs old went to feed them and came rushing back to say there was blood in the hutch. My first thought
was, she's had babies, which when I went looking, was found to be correct.
Seven kits born on 15th December.
Our initial ecstatic joy turned to sadness when we realized the Arctic-type weather that had struck England, had lead to the hutch being too cold for
some of them and a few had died already. Kim had been feeding them well enough and Caramel was sitting over them to keep them warm but none of this
had been enough.
So it was all hands to the pump to get the hutch into the front room.
We put the last two surviving kits on hot water bottles, thickly wrapped in towels and they picked up, so we put them back with their mum and dad,
hoping that she wouldn't reject them.
2 o'clock in the morning, Kim went into the nest box to feed them and I saw her come out, thump her back leg and Caramel looked down and literally
sunk into the hutch floor, his ears went down and I knew that the last of her first litter had died.
Last Christmas in our household was a somber affair. No one felt the Christmas spirit.
We then moved Caramel into another hutch, so we now had two hutches in the front room, thinking we would wait till it was Spring to let Kim try again
but Caramel had other plans; he met her for a few seconds and that was all it took.
One month later on 15th January 2011 eight kits were born and Kim became hyper vigilant and was being the best mother she could be. The runt had
crawled out from the nest over night and had died during the night. We put him in a box and left him in the Summer room, as the ground was still
There was a white rabbit that had also escaped the nest but she was fine, as she turned out to be the strongest one. We put them in a 2 litre ice
cream box and Kim was very grateful as she now didn't have to go searching for them in the straw.
They went from strength to strength, Kim was getting thinner and they were getting fatter. Tragedy nearly struck a few weeks later when the white boy
kit was found laying down and not moving. I picked his little body up and prayed for him through my tears. My thoughts were for my daughters; my
youngest DD is twelve and both of them had already shed too many tears. I couldn't bear another baby bunny death.
By the afternoon he was moving around but he had now became the runt. We named him Pompom. Later when we knew for certain we would be keeping him, we
changed his name to Roddy.
The independent female white kit we called Alice (from Wonderland). I decided from the moment I saw her I wanted to keep her. Alice became my
favourite as she was fearless and would try to climb everything and go everywhere.
Both the white rabbits had the clearest blue eyes, which we thought was odd as both their mum and dad had brown or black eyes.
Sarah was a female, grey who looked as if she had smudged her nose in black ink. She was a timid rabbit but very loving. I was her favourite human and
if I hadn't given her a cuddle when they had been let out, she would be in a foul mood and her siblings would all keep out of her way.
Two females took after their dad; blonde and white. One we kept and called Isabel and the other is now called Buttercup by my sister, who has
seriously caught the Bunny bug. My sister also kept a full Lion mane, grey male called George and the only black, long haired female she called Jack
(named after Jack Black as we first thought she was a male.)
Jack was the fun one who would start the 'chase me' games and she would jump on her siblings backs and was a total party animal. Alice was the
natural leader but when she was put on the sofas she only let us cuddle her for a few seconds at a time, as she had important exploring to do. Sarah
just loved being cuddled and stroked, so she soon found a place in our hearts. George used to bury himself in shredded newspaper and still does. He
was the next runt but now he is cocky and his has really long hair. Buttercup was like her dad and took everything in her stride, not timid, just
happy and didn't care for exploring. Isabel was timid yet loving and loved being held. Roddy had had a slow start and was the baby and was a mummy's
boy. He loved being held and would stay still for a long time while I sent him healing energy. This seemed to work as he started to put on weight and
grow, he even started to get a personality. A cheeky personality it turned out to be.
While Kim was diligently feeding her brood, my sister and I found second hand hutches on Ebay. My sister bought a three storey affair, that looked
like a Tudor house. It even had painted on curtains, on the windows. Now that they were all weaned 6 weeks after their birth, my sister took her three
rabbits; Buttercup, George and Jack to their House.
We decided to put Isabel and Pompom back in with Caramel and Kim, as Kim was acting slightly insane and was driving Caramel to distraction, with her
tidying up. She would even try to tidy him up which I think annoyed him, as he had learnt to tidy up in his bachelor hood days and he now knew what to
do with the newspaper and straw. I even thought he did a better job of it, as he would put everything in neat little piles. Food and snacks in one
corner, toilet in the other. Bedroom was for sleeping in.
We found out that Isabel' s teeth were misaligned and this was making her a slow eater, so we asked Caramel to look after her and teach her how to
grind her teeth. Roddy was still small and wasn't eating well without his mummy nearby. He became so much happier after he was put in with his mum
and dad. Kim now fussed over them and Caramel was grateful. He even licked the two babies clean. Parenthood suited him.
That left Sarah and Alice in the other hutch, they now had more space but they seemed more tense with just two rabbits left, after coping with 8
rabbits in one hutch.
Kim bit my eldest and it was this that finally prompted us to put them all together as it was getting cramped in Kim's hutch.
Our Ebay buy; we called Bunny mansion as it was 8 feet long, 5 feet high and 3 feet deep. It had a run underneath and a window in the main sleeping
area. It even had a toilet area where the nesting box was, on the side.
I had a few repairs to do to it as it wasn't perfect but apart from a bolt handle that kept dropping off, it was deemed solid by myself, my daughters
and Kim who inspected it thoroughly after we had moved them all in. That was three weeks ago.
There was a ramp from the main area to the run, which Alice loved and was the first rabbit to go up and down, she was made for this hutch. None of the
other 5 rabbits went down the ramp for 2 days. Kim was the next rabbit to try it. Every night one of my girls would put them to bed and shut the door,
and then open the door in the morning. Soon all the rabbits were running up and down like pros. We had found out earlier on in Kim's life she was
only ever happy if there was enough food and water, so we made sure that there were three bottles of water and 3 bowls of food and snacks.
We noticed that all the Bunnies were happy except Caramel, he seemed to be getting tenser and more fearful.
Kim took over the tidying up again and Caramel became the peacemaker.
While he was alone in the second hutch in the front room, he had come to view us as his extended family and would lick our hands, and our foreheads,
if you put your head near his cage door. He was such a loving rabbit but now he wasn't happy being cuddled and was desperate to get back to the other
rabbits. We just thought he was being a responsible daddy rabbit but it turned out to be something else was worrying him.
On 3 May, my spouse went back to work after a long Easter break and we were late getting up. My youngest was with me telling me about her dream and we
heard my eldest scream. She ran downstairs then ran back up to get dressed. She said a dog is in the hutch. She told me later Kim was still alive at
this time. The next door neighbour was trying to get her dog out. The bolt's handle had dropped off and this had made it harder to get the dog, I
wish I had fixed it before we had put them out in it. It had never crossed my mind that a dog would get into the hutch. We found out that the dog
bitch had pushed the wire at the back of the run underneath and the staples had popped out.
By the time she had got there this viscious Bull terrier type dog had killed Roddy upstairs, Alice was badly injured near him and was barely alive, I
could see Kim and Sarah were not moving, eyes open, downstairs close to each other.
I did triage; I stroked Roddy he wasn't breathing nor was Kim or Sarah. Isabel, seemingly unhurt, was at the bottom of the ramp and Caramel was at
the top, bleeding and hunched over.
I stroked Alice and she grunted 4 times as if to say I tried to look after Roddy. I said to her I am so sorry this had to happen to her. My hand was
shaking. My whole body was shaking. I was trying to gain control over my faculties. I started to pray over her and her back legs started to move but I
had to stop and get a drink of water as my mouth went dry as a bone. When I came back to her my neighbour said she had passed away.
I phoned my sister and my spouse. Then I cuddled my now very distraught girls.
My eldest got the pet carrier ready and we put two towels in it, then Isabel and Caramel carefully. My eldest also got our porridge breakfasts in a
flask. My spouse had taken my car as the Volvo's battery had died. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as I was in no fit state to drive, I
couldn't even remember how to get to the Vets, even thought it was only 5 minutes drive away.
So I had to ask my neighbour to drive us which she did. We left the two survivors at the Vets and prayed for them both. Isabel was a miracle, she was
totally unhurt but Caramel had a broken jaw. He had the operation and survived but I think his heart had been broken and his fear had come upon him,
and he died two days later on the 5 of May 2011.
My sister buried the first four that had died, in a box in our garden near the Wendy house, later she added Caramel's body. We had a funeral for them
and put their souls into God's hands.
I am still numb and angry and so sad. I am trying not to hate and to forgive. But I found out from the neighbour in the car journey, that this dog had
been jumping the 3 foot fence and obviously this is what had been upsetting Caramel. If only my neighbour had told us of this and we would have found
the money to put trellis up to 6 feet.
The fence is her fence and we only put it up 6 years ago as my Norweigan Elkhound jumped over and nipped her after she had screamed her flipping head
off at him and scared him witless. Since then my dog has had to be tethered everytime he went out as I couldn't afford to put the trellis up. It
would have cost 150 GB pounds.
It cost us, not her, to put a totally new fence up. Her dog broke two fence panels last year and she nailed chipboard to it.
Last year we were 50.000 GB pounds in debt and an inheritance was the only thing that saved us from bankruptcy. This neighbour thinks we are really
rich but we have to pay double the amount of mortgage compared to the amount they pay for rent. We have had to buy new double glazing and repair the
kitchen with 2nd hand cupboards and replace the rotting porch. Basically all the inheritance has now gone. She has had the council put in a new
kitchen, new windows and back door and a new central heating.
I also have adrenal exhaustion,Vitamin D deficiency, Potassium deficiency and phosphate deficiency. In other words I am quite ill and so are my girls.
This stress is going to put us back.
WHAT HAS REALLY PISSED ME OFF IS THAT THIS NEIGHBOUR'S MOTHER SAID IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY; THAT WE PUT OUR RABBIT HUTCH TOO NEAR THE FENCE.
Our garden is only 16 feet wide and 50 feet long with only two places it can go. The other space needs a water butt moving.
My girls are now petrified to go out into their own garden, as the neighbours are not going to get rid of the dog nor are they going to tether the dog
when they put her out for toilet duty. By the way they put up a 3 foot pale fence on their other neighbour's fence, just last week. So they must
think that height is adequate, mustn't they??? And this also means they knew this dog was escaping into both their neighbours gardens. She never ever
I am now dealing with the trauma my girls are going through, as they saw some of the rabbits being killed. My youngest had to sleep with their mum
that first night, as she couldn't stop shaking and was feeling sick.
My eldest was closer to the baby rabbits as she had looked after them more then us and she can't stop sleeping or crying. She has had red eyes since
I know that this is not the same as the tragedies that have been going on all around the world but we felt as if these bunnies were part of our
family, and it feels as if we have had 5 members of our family murdered for nothing but a bit of sport.
That is my rant and I write this as a memorial to Caramel, Kim, Alice, Sarah and Roddy.
Isabel is now back home and indoors again, as we don't trust the vicious dog, and she needs to get over what happened. The Vet said she needs lots of
loving and she seems to be eating well and has shown signs of feeling safe as she has laid on her side and licked my youngest's hand.
My sister thinks that Buttercup is now pregnant, so she has asked my eldest if she would look after her, as she has had experience of caring for a
pregnant rabbit. But what I am worried about is, what if the first litter don't live, how is that going to affect my girls?
I miss Alice so much.
If I knew how to upload photos I would post one for you to see how different they all were and how beautiful my rabbits were.