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The Big Rescue

On the 8th February 2018 ARC was involved in its biggest rescue of 44 rabbits, the majority of which were Californian cross youngsters, some as young as one week old. These poor souls had originally been bred for the meat trade and were then taken in by a disreputable rescue. Here they had all been living in awful conditions . . . breeding and fighting, unneutered and unvaccinated.

Most of the bunnies arrived in a reasonable condition but a few had bad bites suspected to be from rats, from fighting or trying to escape. One female, Nellie, had a huge gash in her stomach. Merlin had a large abscess on his back, probably from a rat bite and poor Binky had an infected testicle from a bite which had to be removed… ouch! One of the Mums, Tui, was pregnant again and had eleven more babies. Sadly they all died… she was just too exhausted.

They were all given the TLC they needed, vaccinated against Myxo/VHD1 and RHD2, neutered and treated for mites. Apart from sadly losing the babies, one of the week old babies and Nellie (following complication after her spay), the remaining buns have thrived and are now all well and healthy. To date we have rehomed all but two of them (both boys, Scott and Dandy) to wonderful homes.

It was a difficult time for the rabbit rehoming team, both financially and emotionally but we got through it and just wish we could find homes for the two remaining boys.



To celebrate the anniversary of this rescue, we set up a Facebook Page called ‘ARCs Californian’s and Friends’ – to get updates from their new owners and to share photos of how they are now.

This is the story of Daisy rabbit who endured a lot, but happily still pulled through. At ARC we like to give our animals the best possible chance to enjoy a long and happy life….here is the account from one of our volunteers:

“In March 2018 I noticed a large lump growing on Daisy’s back right leg around her ankle which Wendy at Twickenham Vets successfully removed under general anaesthetic.

She recovered well but unfortunately it came back again and started ulcerating. It was removed again in July.”

Leg with lump

Lego post op

“After the lump was removed for the second time, Wendy (the Vet) and I had a long chat about Daisy’s prognosis and it was looking grim. If the lump came back again the choice would either be to put her to sleep or have her leg amputated.

I was dreading the lump coming back, but it did, more quickly and bigger.

I did a lot of research on various forums about how well rabbits cope on only three legs and I was amazed to see that most did remarkably well and learnt to adapt to their new way of life.
Daisy is 6 years old and having already had two surgeries that year I was worried it would be too much for her. But I decided I couldn’t give up on her and made the appointment for the leg amputation operation.

On the day of the operation, waiting for the call from the vets was agonising but at 1.00 Wendy rang to say the op had gone well and Daisy was trying to move around.

Now back home, her partner Sidney helps to keep her eyes clean by grooming them for her and she has found ways of balancing so she can keep herself clean. I have to help her clean her ears as they normally use their back legs to do this, but other than this, you wouldn’t know she only has three legs . . . my tripod bunny.
This was three months ago now and there is no sign of any lumps coming back. It was a difficult decision, but I definitely made the right one!

This little video shows just how well she is doing now, what a little star she is:



We have a really active Facebook page, but our site tends to miss out on the action. We will try to publish some of the best stories here, but if any “guest bloggers” have any amazing stories you wish to share please submit them to and we will aim to add them!

We have now received our first stories and will be posting them soon.
Thanks for your patience!

Re Facebook so please check out all the action there – we have our ARC frontpage and also FBgroups which can be joined if you have adopted one of our animals or are a volunteer for ARC.