The Missouri House Rabbit Society
May Happenings
You Are Invited To The Bunny Expo, Sunday, June 14
11am to 4pm, Humane Society of Missouri, 1201 Macklind, St. Louis
Admission is free.
Our biggest event of the year and the biggest in the Midwest.

Wellness Exams, Noon to 2pm: Dr. Linda Beisswenger will be give complete exams for $49, the same price as if you traveled to her clinic, Hope Animal Hospital in Fenton.  With every exam, she will donate $5 to our chapter.

We believe a bunny should get a check-up every 6 months.  Dr. Beisswenger will be checking for ear infections, tooth problems, respiratory infections and everything else that might be bothering your bunny without your knowledge.

Bunny Spa: Free Nail Trims for all buns!

 $5 Spa Package adds:
scent gland cleaning ~ light brushing ~ massage


This Year
's Member TeeOrder Yours At The Expo!

This tee is FREE with a $20 new or renewed membership and you may order additional tees for $10. Membership is required for our foster parents.  If you adopted from us or the Humane Society, you received a year's free membership but it does not include a free tee.  You may purchase a tee for $10.

This "FREE tee with membership" offer ends June 30.  Your shirts will be available in August.  You can ask us to mail it and add $5 for postage.

You may pay for membership and order your tee at:
Our shelter in Fenton,
By Paypal on our website: HRSMOSTL.ORG
Our meetings in St. Louis and O'Fallon, IL
Or mail your order form and payment to the shelter.  Click on this link to print the order form, fill it out and mail with your check: HRS_-_Membership_Form_2015.doc
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Photos:  Bring any pet (except ferrets) for photos.
(Ferrets are natural enemies of rabbits.  Rabbits can react violently to their smell.)

Select your prints from a variety of poses. Take home a CD of all poses $25, or prints from $6 to $10.
Thank you to our members Katie Mosher and Mike Garavaglia for the photography and Bill Daly and Mary Stillman for the printing.

This is our new tunnel: 4-feet long, 10x10-inch openings on both ends, with wooden supports.

Thank you to our member Judy Jauer who cut designs in 40 tunnels!

The Expo will have many toys you won't see in pet stores.  We have wooden toys that are safe for bunnies because they are handmade by our volunteers who use only the type of wood and dye that are truly safe for a bunny to chew. 


  One-on-one demonstrations on how to pick up and hold a bunny and how to develop a relationship with a shy bunny.  Information on everything you need to know: a healthy diet, good housing, safe litter, traveling with a bunny, protecting the wires and cords in your home, veterinary care and much more!

Every Healthy Thing Your Bunny Needs:

Hay ~ Food Pellets  ~ Treats ~ Litter

Cage Pads ~ Cage Rugs ~ Hay Racks

Water Bowls ~ Litter Boxes ~ Bunny Emergency Kits


          Cubby Won't Eat Hay 

Cubby had been a good hay eater, but stopped.  His hay hopper remained untouched - day after day.  Cubby had come to us as a rescue with terrible teeth and had some recent dental work. 

But I scheduled a vet visit.  Perhaps he had a molar that was growing erratically and not allowing him to grind hay.  The vet used a speculum to push his tongue out of the way so she could see the molars, which are set far back in a rabbit's mouth and under the eye sockets.  She saw nothing abnormal.  If his teeth weren't causing him a problem, why had Cubby lost interest in hay?

I decided to offer him a different kind of hay and bought a bag of Farmer Dave timothy with clover hay from our shelter store.  Cubby took to it right away!  So did my other buns.

Maybe Cubby was bored eating the same timothy hay day after day.  I can certainly understand that; I like variety too.  I decided to add more variety to their staple of daily timothy by adding oat and orchard hays.  Here are the hay companies we recommend for online orders:  American Pet Diner, Farmer Dave, Small Pet Select, and Oxbow Animal Health.

Springtime Online Facebook Auction! 

Check out the wooden bunny bed and the castle with ramp!
Also the bunny toy bench built and donated by our own Maggie Perez and Rennie Bodien.

See the auction items on our website:  HRSMOSTL.ORG

Hurry!  Auction ends Thursday, May 21

Sponsored by the national House Rabbit Society

Help Your Bun Get Rid Of His Winter Coat: 

Pool Boy gets a brushing with a Furminator tool.  Overcast spring days with cool temperatures are ideal for outdoor brushing.  Pool Boy feels secure because I provide a non-slip surface by placing a rubber bath mat on the table, topped with a towel.

Be sure to ring your table with an exercise pen.  Even easy-going buns can be startled by a loud sound or the sight of a hawk flying overhead.  They will see a hawk before we will because their eyes can spot things above them and behind them.

My exercise pen: The Midwest x-pens we sell in our shelter are great for stationary enclosures to house a bunny but I also have the white, portable pen in the photo.  It weighs only 13 pounds and folds, accordian-style to 12 inche - easy for me to carry.  It is a WARE Small Animal Playpen, model WA00718.  We don't sell it but you can find it online.  When I bought it years ago, I found the cheapest price on Wayfair for $46.40.

Brushing is a good thing:  You will be amazed how much loose fur is hiding under your bunny's coat. Brushing will make your bunny feel better and he won't be ingesting needless hair when he grooms himself. 

The Furminator is the best brushing tool I have found.  For bunnies, we like the Short-Hair Cat, Small Tool.  The Furminator tool is sold by PetSmart and Petco.  It's pricey but worth it.  You can find Furminators online but you may unwittingly be buying a knock-off from China that will look identical - even the package is identical - but the tool will not be the same as the official Furminator.  Caveat: The Furminator is not the best for Angoras.  A brush with soft-tipped pins works best.

Our meetings are free and open to the public.

St. Louis - 7:30pm Tuesday, May 19:  Joy's topic is "The Total Rabbit," a very informative presentation she gave at the national House Rabbit Society conference in September.  Joy was accredited by RACE (Registry of Approved Continuing Education) by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards so the presentation was accredited for all veterinarians and vet techs.

Bring your bunny for a nail trim (free for members; $5 for non-members.)  Bring a towel so bunny can relax on your table and a bunny snack of hay or greens.  We will have hay, pellets and other supplies for sale.  We meet in the lecture hall of the Humane Society of Missouri, 1201 Macklind Avenue, St. Louis.  Macklind is one stoplight west of the St. Louis Science Center.

O'Fallon, IL - No meeting this month:  Our next meeting is 7pm Thursday, June 25 with our annual
Bunny Races.
  Bring your bunny to race for prizes.  Bring a towel so bunny can relax at your table and a bunny snack of hay or greens.  We have a new meeting location: Caseyville Township Building, 10001 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights.  Questions? Contact Pat Daly:


   Update on messy Marci:

In March Happenings, I told you that this unbelievably messy bunny was living at my house.  We rescued her but couldn't offer her for adoption until she learned to use a litter box.  It is not unusual for an unfixed bunny to have a pen that looks like this but Marci came to us spayed.  When bunnies are fixed, they typically want to be clean and tidy so what the heck was going on with Marci, we wondered.  My plan was to fill her pen with litter boxes (Photo 2), forcing her to use them.  Then, I would remove them, one by one, until she was using one box.

That was my plan, but I had a thought:  What if Marci did not like living in a floor pen?  Perhaps she would prefer a crate on a table, like most of my other buns.  I moved her into a 48-dog crate and, immediately, she kept it clean.  Not a stray poop anywhere!  Everything was in the litter box, as it is supposed to be. 

Conclusion: The type of housing can alter behavior.  If your bunny is messy in a floor pen, borrow a 42- or 48-inch dog crate and try it.  If your bunny is aggressive in a crate, try a floor pen.  Your bunny may be happier.                                                              
If you have this cage, get rid of it!

It is too small for any bunny.  There is no room for a rectangular litter box large enough for your bunny.  The tiny door will cause your bunny to cringe when you pull him out.  A paw could catch on the wires.

It is no surprise that bunnies housed in this cage often become ill-tempered and aggressive.  Shame on pet stores for selling it for rabbits.

     24 Carrots to Megan Goss for organizing our first-annual "Tortoise and Hare 5K."

Sunday, May 3 could not have been a more beautiful day to run or stroll through Fenton Park and along the Meramec River.

The event drew 123 registrants and netted $2,000 for our rescues.
  Thank you to everyone who participated, our sponsors and our volunteers.

Toy-making Saturday, May 23 at the shelter

You are invited to join Lorena Werkmeister to make cardboard & paper toys for the shelter bunnies from 1-4pm Saturday, May 23 at our shelter.  The toys are simple and you can stay and help as long as you wish.  Make and take home a toy for your bunny too.  Tell Lorena if you will be joining her:

Outreach Events

We take bunnies to many community events in order to educate the public about the joy of having pet bunnies and how to care for them.  If you would enjoy helping, please call Marjorie Manahan at 636-734-3964 or  

PetSmart adoption events - on Saturdays:

Saturday, May 16, 11-4pm, Brentwood Promenade
Saturday, May 23, 11-4pm, Chesterfield

PETCO adoption event - on Sundays:
Sunday, May 24, noon-4pm, Brentwood Pointe, Eager Road

Foster Homes Needed

Shy Bunnies Need Temporary Fostering:  Our Chapter Manager Joy Gioia has several bunnies in our shelter that need personal attention to overcome shyness.  When adopters visit the shelter, the shy bunnies hide in their cardboard boxes or cower in the far corners of their pens so they get passed over for adoption.  Do you have time to teach them that a human can be their friend and petting is a good thing? 

Older Bunnies Need Permanent Fostering:  Some of our shelter buns are older and it is sad that they might never know the joy of living in a home with a parent who loves them.

We cover medical expenses for fosters and we offer a foster discount on food and supplies.  If you can offer a temporary or permanent home, please contact Joy:

Bunny House and Store Hours

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

Volunteers may be at the shelter at other times caring for the bunnies but they are not there
 to serve customers with nail trims or supply purchases.  They are available only during the hours above.

Our shelter is not open to the public so we don't publish our address; contact Pat Daly:
You must be a member whose dues are current to shop in our store.

Our first-time adopters and Humane Society adopters receive a free one-year membership but
you must get a membership card from Marjorie Manahan:

Our Shelter Buns Indirectly Help The Poor

One evening, I left the shelter through the back door and noticed a pile of trash bags that contained the contents of litter boxes that had been changed.   Now, I have learned that the waste is being collected and delivered to a garden where food is grown for the needy.  The garden is at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Mason at Clayton Road.  The fresh produce is then given to Circle of Concern, a food pantry.  Bunny poop is rich in nutrients and a welcome alternative to expensive fertilizer.

Note:  Dumping your litter boxes directly on plants will kill them but you can use it as mulch (remove excess hay first) and place it around plants.  Or, compost it for a year.  A member told us her compost bin really started "cooking" when she added litter waste to it.

Elaine's Garden is progressing:

The photo shows a mulched blackberry patch on our  property behind The Bunny House.  The blackberry patch and tree seedlings were mulched with a week's worth of litter box waste happily donated by our shelter buns.

Our member Nancy Newcomer, a master naturalist, and her team has removed invasive plants, built two habitats for cottontails, and planted 25 oak trees, 25 hickory, 25 sycamores and12 sand bar willows.  They planted 25 blackberry bushes around the perimeter of the field. 

    This fall, the team is preparing to install "wildlife islands" with more oaks, hickories, redbuds, grey dogwoods,
    willows and perennials.  As naturalists, they are focused on native plants.

   These are three Missouri Master Naturalists involved in the project.


24 Carrots to Max Wawrzyniak. 
Max has been laboring 18 months on our back lot to keep it looking nice.  It is hard work: removing tough scrub growth and mowing uneven ground.  Max and his wife, Karen, were among the handful of original members of our chapter 18 years ago.  You may have met Max and Karen at the shelter on Saturdays when they clean bunny cages.

Will You Help Us Prevent Suffering?

We like to keep things happy in Happenings but, sometimes, we have to talk about bad things and address them.  We are providing links so it is very easy for you to make your voice heard.

Item 1.  Please send a message to the Missouri Legislature objecting to House Bill 479 that would prevent abused animals from being confiscated.  Animals would remain in the care of their abusers rather than going to the safe haven of a shelter.
Just click on the link and fill out the simple form.  Please do this as soon as you can.

Here is the link: 

Missouri, Don’t Give Puppy Mills and Factory Farms Special Protections 

Item 2.  Please sign a petition to stop cruelty at Pel-Freez, the largest rabbit slaughterhouse in the nation.  We suggest you do not look at the photos, just sign the petition.  Your signature could lessen the suffering of rabbits destined for the dinner table or fur market.  Please do this as soon as you can.

Here is the link:
Please sign petition to stop horrific cruelty at Pel-Freez   

Requests and Notes

Surveyor Needed:  Do you have a surveyor in your family or know one?  We need two points surveyed on our eastern boundary.  Contact Pat Daly:  Type "surveyor" as the subject.

Expo Volunteers Needed: 
Will you help us on Saturday, June 13 (loading and set-up) or Sunday, June 14 (Expo)?

1)  We need volunteers to meet us at the shelter at 10am Saturday to load the Ryder truck.

2)  We need volunteers at the Humane Society at 2pm Saturday to unload the truck and set up the lecture hall.  We will finish the job by 5pm.

3)  We need volunteers to man our exhibits during Sunday's Expo 11am to 4pm.  You can choose your hours or stay the entire day.  We need people for quiet assignments and interactive exhibits.  Perhaps you would like to brush and massage bunnies in the Bunny Spa.

4)  We need volunteers at the Humane Society at 3:45pm Sunday to pack and reload the Ryder.

Tell Bobbie Shewmaker what you can do and give her your cell number so we can reach you if we must.  Contact Bobbie: or 618-604-3063.  Thanks hugely!

Shelter Volunteers Needed: Perhaps you need service hours?  We particularly need help at the front desk to serve customers when the shelter is open to the public, especially 7-9pm Friday evenings.  Please contact Joy Gioia:

Community Outreach Volunteers Needed:  Please contact Marjorie Manahan:

Belated Thanks! Joy had asked me to extend her heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributed to her Christmas gift with cash and gift cards, but I neglected to include it in an earlier Happenings.  She was very surprised to find the envelope we tucked under her Christmas tree!

Happenings Author: Pat Daly, volunteer and educator
For the address and directions to our Fenton shelter, contact me:

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