A Rescue Rabbit and a Treasured Teddy Bear
The Kindness Ranch is an animal sanctuary in Wyoming which offers homes to animals which have been used in research. Two of the many animals which have found forever homes at the sanctuary were Sally and Dutch. These were a pair of rabbits which had spent ten years at a veterinary school where students used them to practice on.
Life in the Veterinary School
Veterinary students practised administering injections on the rabbits and used them to learn how to draw blood. The rabbits were kept in separate wire cages during their time at the school and these injured their feet. The rabbits spent almost all of their time in these cages or on the examination table. They were occasionally taken outside but enjoyed very little recreation time and lacked mental stimulation.
When the rabbits became too old, they were released to the Kindness Ranch where the staff decided that it was time to spoil them. They were both given custom built homes with multiple levels and toys for comfort and stimulation.
Teddy Bear Friends
As neither rabbit had been neutered the pair were kept in separate cages but could see each other. To mitigate their loneliness, they were both given teddy bears. Dutch pretty much ignored his but Sally was quite partial to her toys. Then Dutch sadly passed away. The two animals had never been able to interact and yet Sally seemed very depressed when her rabbit friend disappeared. The staff at the sanctuary decided to give Sally Dutch’s teddy bear as it still retained his scent.
Sally groomed the teddy bear for half an hour and soon became obsessed with the toy. She continues to groom the teddy regularly, cuddles it and drags it around by the arms. When her cage is being cleaned out she guards her toy and won’t let sanctuary staff near it.
Sally was extremely nervous when she first arrived at the sanctuary but soon learned to love the staff and to revel in their company. She would sit and stare at them until they paid attention to her. Sally was now a very happy bunny!
Happily, the veterinary school where Dutch and Sally spent most of their lives has since stopped using live rabbits in classes. It provides fake animals for students to work on instead and so no more rabbits will suffer the miserable lives that Dutch and Sally endured.