Jade and Garnet were two little rabbits who lived separately, side by side in wire cages. Their cages had no protection from the weather. Fortunately, they were quite visible in a front yard and a postman was able to secure their release.
It was 95 degrees when we went to this house to pick these rabbits up. We took the awful cages with us and drove them to the dump, so they could not be filled with more victims. It was heartbreaking to see how they had been living. When we got the little rabbits back to River's Wish we set them up inside where they could acclimatize to a safe room temperature.
We had Jade and Garnet neutered and spayed several weeks after they had come to live with us. These poor little ones had already been through so much and it was necessary to acclimatize them to their new surroundings so their stress would be alleviated. As prey animals bunnies do not handle stress well at all. In fact, this can be fatal.
Jade and Garnet were adopted to a family. They kept them for one year. Our adoption contract stipulates that people must return the rabbits to us if for any reason they are not going to keep them. Pete and I drove out to the home where Jade and Garnet lived. The home was enormous. We entered the house and were led to the room where the rabbits were being kept. The rest of the family ignored us and seemed to care less about the reason we were there. As the woman led us to the lower floor, far away from the activity of the household, she said that she wondered why her children had lost interest. I could have given her a long list of 'why', but my focus was getting Jade and Garnet away from this seclusion.
We entered a sterile white room that was about 40 feet by 60 feet. In the far corner of the room were Jade and Garnet. My heart sunk as I discovered that they were in a make shift chicken wire pen and using a cookie sheet for their litter box. But the biggest shock was seeing a rabbit fur coat in their pen. The woman said that it was a toy and they liked playing with it. We could not get out of there fast enough. I scooped Jade and Garnet up and held them to my chest, promising that I would not let them end up in this kind of place ever again. The smug woman led us to the 'man door'.
Jade and Garnet returned to River's Wish where they lived for another year before they were adopted into a new home. A home that was rabbit savvy, kind and sincere. A home where the rabbits were a part of the family. A home that kept the rabbits where the humans lived. A home that did not have a pretentious 'man door'.
The image above is of a painting I did of Jade and Garnet. It is oil on panel. I wanted to show the warmth and closeness of their bond.