The Place Where Animal Lovers Come Together - Summer 2009
From the moment Jennifer Anderson spotted Phyllis at the Norfolk, Virginia SPCA, “I knew I had to bring her home. She looked too skinny and helpless in that cage.”
Phyllis, a Giant Angora, had been surrendered by a family that could no longer care for her. She had come to the SPCA so severely matted that she could neither move her legs nor eat.
Getting the Jump
on Summer with Rabbit Care Tips from a Pro
Gene Gillispie of Vienna, Missouri has been raising and showing rabbits since his 4-H days back in 1966, and he and his wife Sue have been ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association) judges for 32 years and 25 years, respectively. Currently maintaining 400 rabbits representing 11 breeds, Gene and Sue have learned a thing or two about caring for rabbits during the hot summer months. He recently shared a few of their most tried and true tips.
Have a great summer!
If you’re ready to offer your rabbit something different, Rabbit Chow® Gourmet is a fun-to-eat, wholesome diet with nutritious vegetables, fruits and seeds. It contains the same great nutrition as Purina Mills® Rabbit Chow® Complete Plus along with added “treats” like dehydrated papaya, carrots and black oil sunflower seeds. All these treats help provide your rabbit the enrichment it needs in a healthy, natural way.
Contains Yucca Shidigera
Contains Lactobacillus Acidophilus
Convenient and flexible—one product meets the nutritional needs of growing bunnies and more mature rabbits
A complete, highly palatable
As always, when changing your rabbits from one feeding program to another, make the change gradually, over a five- to seven-day period. Mix the new feed with the old, gradually increasing the amount of the new feed (it’s always important to allow time for the rabbits' intestinal flora to adjust to any new feed). Continue to feed at the same time each day—evening is best. Clean the feeding dish daily so uneaten food does not become stale and moldy. And always provide plenty of clean, fresh, cool water to rabbits at all times.
“The workers at the SPCA shaved an unbelievable pelt off her that actually weighed more than she did,” Jennifer recalls. “She should have been over six-and-a-half pounds, but she was only three-and-a-half pounds when I got her.”
Jennifer immediately put Phyllis on Purina® Rabbit Chow®, eventually transitioning her to Show Formula. “Today, she is a healthy, eight-and-a-half-pound, happy, bouncing bunny. She goes out on bunny walks all the time and people notice her. Her coat is shiny and beautiful and my furry friend is as active as ever,” says Jennifer. “Thanks, Purina.”
But Phyllis isn’t the only rabbit to be rescued by Jennifer. She also owns Sesame, a Flemish Giant put up for sale by a breeder who was decreasing his breeding stock, and Jammer, a 12-week-old Flemish Giant whose family didn’t realize how big he was going to get.
Childhood Affection for Rabbits
Jennifer’s affection for rabbits started when she was a child, “I had two. I grew up in a military family. My father was a Navy pilot and would be gone for six to nine months at a time. So pets helped fill that void.”
Jennifer’s interest in rabbits was reignited a couple of years ago when she saw Jack Hanna on TV with a Flemish Giant. “Just two weeks later I saw an ad in the paper. That’s how I got Sesame.”
Jennifer says she caught her first glimpse of Phyllis on the Noon News. “She was the featured Pet of the Week because no one would adopt her. By 3 o’clock, I had already picked her up at the SPCA.” Jennifer notes that Angoras are notoriously hard to care for. “I didn’t think my fiancé would still want to marry me after that,” she laughs.
A Shared Interest in Animal Welfare
Fortunately, her fiancé Rory is also a fierce animal lover. He’s a firefighter, but in his off-hours he also works with an animal education program called ZooPro Adventures. Together, they do presentations at schools, scout meetings and birthday parties to educate children about all the responsibilities that go hand-in-hand with owning animals. “We try to discourage people from adopting exotic or difficult-to-care-for animals. Phyllis or one of the other rabbits goes with us sometimes, and we let the kids love all over her.”
Thriving on Professional Formula
Jennifer, a registered nurse, is a clinical educator in the emergency department at a hospital and working on her master’s degree. Nowadays she’s feeding Professional formula to Phyllis, Sesame and Jammer. “It helps Sesame with shedding. Plus Phyllis’ hair is very hard to manage. The wool doesn’t grow right, so she has to be shaved all the time.” Because she couldn’t eat for so long, Jennifer says Phyllis ate like crazy at first. “Now she eats more normally, she grazes. Feeding Purina has helped to even her out.” “She’s a sweet, loving rabbit, and that makes me feel good,” says Jennifer. “Phyllis is also much easier to shave and brush now. She’s much shinier, more like an Angora instead of a frizzy mess. It’s nice to take her back to the SPCA and show her to them.”
A library of past issues of Better Animal E-zines and an introductory video is maintained and can be accessed by clicking here.
NOTE: If you wish to unsubscribe
to this publication:
Please send an e-mail message to Unsubscribe-BA@FeedDealer.com
and indicate you wish to unsubscribe to the Better Animals® electronic newsletter.
10715 Kahlmeyer Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63132
(c) 2007-2009 FeedDealer.Com
Powered by Agbusinessmail.Com
Unsubscribe Policy Statement