The Missouri House Rabbit Society

Holiday Greetings
from Cinder (left), Sweet Pumpkin, and Indy who is guiding the sleigh
 in this photo in our 2015 calendar
Get them now for holiday gift-giving!

Have you had it happen that a friend or neighbor surprised you with a little gift and you had nothing to give in return.  A calendar as sweet as ours will delight anyone who receives it.  To have calendars mailed to you, go to and place your order.  The price is $12; shipping is extra.  We are selling calendars in our shelter store and our meetings (Dec. 11 in O'Fallon, Illinois and Dec. 16 in St. Louis.)  If you need help with calendars, contact Pat Daly:

Bridgett is confused.  Can you tell her if she is an up-eared bunny or a lop?

Bridgett is most likely a Dutch/Lop mix, according to Joy Gioia, our chapter manager.   Lop breeds have ears attached on the sides of their heads whereas up-eared breeds have ears attached very high on their heads.  As lop babies grow, the weight of the ears becomes too much for the cartilage to support, so their ears drop.  The ears of up-eared buns are high on the head where the cartilage is strong enough to support muscles so that even Flemish Giants with huge ears are able to hold them erect.

Joy says mixed-breed buns with lop and up-ear genetics have ears attached halfway between high and low on their heads. That gives Bridgett the charming ability to position her ears like the wings of a plane.  She is showing off the airplane position in the photo.  I've also seen Bridgett drop both ears to the lop position when she is relaxed, and raise both ears erect when she is alert.  (Have I told you, Joy, how much I appreciate your wealth of information when I write Happenings?)

Bridgett's Story:  We receive constant calls from individuals who want to surrender their personal bunnies but our priority is bunnies that have been abandoned outside at the mercy of predators and starvation.  Bridgett had been put outside when her owners were evicted from their house in Fairview Heights.  She was foraging in the neighbors' gardens but they were worried about her safety and asked if we could rescue her.

I live in O'Fallon so I went to the vacant house in the early evening and saw the bunny in the backyard.  Every time I approached, the bunny hopped off.  I got on my knees and crawled after her through the damp grass, speaking to her in soft, reassuring tones.  We played this game for quite a while before she stood still and allowed herself to be taken.  My husband I adopted her and named her Bridgett.  Pat Daly

Our store is stocked with holiday gifts for buns and humans!

Would your bunny like a cardboard Critter Castle (shown in bottom photo) or Vacation VillaA dangling wooden toy or willow tent?  A house with a ramp (at top of photo.)  Our store is packed with all sorts of goodies.  Bunnies get bored easily so it is best to have a stock of toys and rotate them.  And bunnies love chew toys, whether it be a cardboard box,
timothy hay bungalow, willow candy cane or seagrass mat.  I make sure my buns always have something to keep them occupied when they are awake and active during the night.  We also have bags of Farmer Dave clover hay.  My bunnies love it.  It is only available once a year and we have it in our shelter store for $10.

For people gifts, we have tote bags and soft attache cases with our logo, a bunny tee in dark heather with a new design for only $10, Petmate top-loader carriers for only $38 and Furminator brushing tools for only $29.

Store Hours:
  7pm to 9pm Monday through Friday
9am to 4pm Saturday
1pm to 4pm Sunday

The store will be closed on Dec. 24, 25, 31, and Jan 1.  

  Our shelter is located at 75 Elizabeth, Fenton, Mo 63026
You must be a member whose dues are current to shop in our store.
  Membership is $20/year and can be paid at the shelter.

Photos of the national House Rabbit Society conference:
  Go to bottom of Happenings to view photos of the conference we hosted  Sept. 27-28 that brought together chapter managers and educators from across the country.  You can view some photos at the bottom of this newsletter.  If you would like to see more, send a request to Joy at  Type conference in the subject line.

Messy Butts:  Gina (left) is a bunny with a long history of messy butt.  Specifically, she overproduces cecotropes and they stick to her anal area and tail and harden like concrete.  Every three days, I had to give her a butt bath and apply salve to her red, inflamed skin.  I knew I had to try to make changes for her benefit - and mine.

Overproducing cecals is usually caused by eating too many pellets, too many treats or too little hay.  But Gina ate lots of hay, 1/4 cup plain timmy pellets and only two treats a day.  I eliminated her morning treat of a thin slice of banana - no improvement.  I switched her to ZuPreem timmy pellets, which often resolves messy butts - no improvement.  I switched her to Small Pet Select hay - improvement! 

I surmise that Select's second-cut timothy, being a stiffer hay with more stalks, provided Gina with more fiber than American Pet Diner's second-cut timothy.  Gina still needs an occasional butt bath, but her skin condition is greatly improved.  I could eliminate her evening treat entirely but she craves a sprinkle of oats once in awhile - and I hate to deny her bondmate, Hutch. (I'm sure you understand.) 

We've Got Hay!  Our store carries American Pet Diner (APD) and Small Pet Select, along with Oxbow first-cut for bunnies that need a high-fiber hay, alfalfa for underweight bunnies that need to gain weight, oat hay, a welcome treat, and Farmer Dave clover hay, which is yummy.  Bunnies like variety as much as we do!

Important Note: Our latest shipment of APD hay is not as soft as we would like.  Buns who like a little crunch in their hay don't mind, but some buns won't eat it and some of you with allergy sensitivity may react to the higher amount of stems and seed heads.  Instead, ask us for Small Pet Select's third-cut hay, which is soft and leafy and has no stems or seed heads.  We carry it.

Gina Gets A Butt Bath:
  Bunny fur does not dry quickly so I target just the messy area.  I support Gina's entire body in my left arm which is resting on a folded towel.  I shampoo with my right hand.  I use Zymox enzymatic pet shampoo which I buy online.  It is gentle and does a good job of cleaning and disinfecting. 

I rinse her well, pat her dry and apply A&D ointment A&D is a good healer and skin protector.
  Sometimes, I have used my blow dryer on low to dry her fur somewhat.

Question for Scooter, the Bunny Editor

Cindy Lanter writes:  "One or both of my buns got a plastic pumpkin and chewed the top off.  I'm worried they ingested it.  What to do next?"

Scooter:  "Do you see lots of small plastic pieces?  If so, they didn't eat it.  If they did eat the pieces, keep a close eye on them.  Be sure they are eating lots of hay.  Give them an extra water bowl and add a teaspoon (only a teaspoon)
 of flavoring like apple juice or pineapple juice to encourage them to drink.

"If they start acting like they don't feel good or they stop eating, take them to your vet immediately."

Tilt makes it quick and easy to do a year-end contribution at 
                                 If you want to make a tax-deductible, charitable donation at this time of year, plea
se consider helping the foster bunnies being cared for by the House Rabbit Society of Missouri.  We've had several givers who doubled their donations because their employers matched them.  Tilt immediately sends you a receipt. The campaign will be open until Dec. 31. 
We are a 100% volunteer group so every penny goes directly towards helping the bunnies.
Free Giving with the Schnucks eScrip Card:  I spent $103.43 on groceries and Schnucks donated $1.03 to our chapter (1% of my bill.)  It adds up - Schnucks gave $117 to our chapter for groceries you bought in September. 

It's so simple and doesn't cost you anything: Take a free eScrip card from the customer service desk. Activate the card by calling 1-800-931-6258.
  Tell the person who answers that you are activating the card on behalf of the House Rabbit Society of Missouri,
Group ID number 500 00 5368

Attach the card to your key ring and show it to the checker before your groceries are totaled.

Free Giving with AmazonSmile:   My husband bought a Vizio television for $678 (Merry Christmas to Bill) and AmasonSmile donated $3.39 to our chapter (0.5% of the purchase.) It adds up - AmazonSmile gave our chapter about $550 this year.

It costs nothing and AmazonSmile remembers our chosen charity and donations are automatic.  Nearly all products are eligible for the donation program; you will be told if your item is not eligible. Bill and I make all our Amazon purchases through AmazonSmile. 

                                                     Here is what to do:

                                                     1)  Go to 
                                      2)  You can use the same account number that you use for
                        3)  Select House Rabbit Society of Missouri as your charity.


O'Fallon, Illinois - 7pm Thursday, Dec. 11: Join us for our holiday party meeting in the O'Fallon Public Safety Building (Police Department), 285 N. Seven Hills Road, opposite the YMCA.  We will offer nail trims, hay and supplies, toys and calendars to purchase, and a free gift for every visiting bunny.  We will have a potluck so bring a dish to share.  We will provide BBQ pulled pork and beverages.  We will play games for prizes so bring the children.

St. Louis - 7:30pm Tuesday, Dec. 16: Join us for our holiday party meeting.  Do you want to bring your bunny for photos?  Katie Mosher will take photos if enough people want them.  If you will bring a bunny for photos, send a message to Pat Daly right away:  We will offer nail trims, hay and supplies, toys and calendars to purchase, and a free gift for every visiting bunny.  We will provide beverages but bring a snack to share.  Joy is dedicating this meeting to our volunteers with a special PowerPoint presentation.  Are you are in the photos?

Adoption Events
  We will be staffing these adoption events and encouraging people to consider a bunny for a pet.  If you can help at any of these events, please tell Marjorie Manahan: or call 636-734-3964.

PetSmart adoption events - on Saturdays:
Saturday, Dec. 13, 11-4pm, Manchester Road in Ballwin
Saturday, Dec. 20, 11-4pm, Brentwood Promenade
Saturday, Dec. 27, 11-4pm, THF Blvd. in Chesterfield

PETCO adoption event - on Sundays:
Sunday, Dec. 14, noon-4pm, Lafayette Center in Ballwin
Sunday, Dec. 28, noon-4pm, Olive Blvd. in Creve Coeur

Boarding Your Bunny at The Bunny House

Boarding for the holidays is already very full.  If you want to board your bunny over Christmas or New Year's, please reserve a spot immediately.  Send a message to Joy at or  Our boarding fee is $12/day.

Request for Bunny Photos
Have you adopted a bunny from us?  Please give us a photo of your bunny - a good, clear photo in a jpeg format that we will use to create a presentation.  Include your name, the bunny's name, and the year you adopted if you know it.  Send to Joy:  Type bunny photo in the subject line.  Thank you!

We Went To Midwest BunFest in Columbus, Ohio

Midwest BunFest
is an annual event of the Ohio House Rabbit Rescue, which operates the Ohio House Rabbit Adoption Center.  We made our first-ever vendor appearance there on Saturday, Nov. 8. 

Joy and Maggie Perez departed in Joy's Expedition packed without an inch to spare - and returned with almost no product and $2,871 in sales!  Our expense was only the $25 vendor fee because Joy and Maggie donated the gas and lodging, and Maggie and Rennie Bodien donated the materials for the many hundreds of wooden bunny toys they have been making for months. 

Their husbands saw the wood and Maggie and Rennie sand it, dye it and assemble the toys with help from Thelma Miller and Pat Daly.  Maggie, Rennie, Thelma and Pat are volunteers who live in the Metro East.  You can purchase their toys in our shelter store.

That is Maggie Perez seated at the vendor table.

HRS Conference - A message from Joy:  "Thank you to every volunteer who helped with the conference.  It took scores of you to pull off a conference of this level and magnitude and you should be proud that we received so many compliments on the professionalism of the conference and your extraordinary hospitality: housing and transporting our visitors, accommodating their request and making them feel welcome.  I am grateful to every volunteer who helped in any way.  You are fabulous!"

                                                                                                 Marinell Harriman (right), founder of HRS,
  Conference Site: Humane Society of Missouri, St. Louis        interviewed by Mary Cotter of HRS.


    "Group Bonding" by Margo DeMello, HRS president          Dana Krempels of HRS in Miami

        Joy receives "Humane Hero Award" from the Humane Society

                                               Welcome reception at The Bunny House for our visitors

Paw Notes

Are You New To Happenings Click on past issues and scan for bunny tips that you will find useful.  April Happenings compared shocking x-rays of the stomach of a trim bunny and overweight bunny.  July Happenings carried the feeding guide we recommend.  August Happenings explained the mystery of scent glands and why we clean them.

Happenings Author: Pat Daly, volunteer and educator
Share your stories, photos, videos, questions for Scooter with Pat:
If you sent something for Happenings but it has not appeared, it may have been overlooked. Please resend.

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