The Missouri House Rabbit Society
March Happenings
Happy "St. Patrick's Day" from Daphne, one of our rescues who found her forever home.


Run or walk with us Sunday, May 3 in Fenton.  Please register now!

Register online


Register by mail: Print this form and mail it with your payment: Tortoise & Hare 5K Mail in Form

Our first 5K has been organized by volunteer Megan Goss.  Let's help Megan make this event a success by asking our friends to join us:  Facebook:

Cubby Goes To The Doctor.

We recommend that a rabbit see a vet every six months.
It is tempting to put it off a $50 wellness exam when a bunny seems perfectly fine, but I took Cubby for his exam.  I mentioned to Dr. Linda Beisswenger of Hope Animal Hospital that everything seemed normal except Cubby wasn't eating as much hay as usual. 

Dr. Beisswenger used a speculum to examine the molars far back in Cubby's mouth.  She could see that his molars were wearing unevenly and one had an overgrowth - a spike with a sharp point.  Rabbits use their molars to grind hay to a pulp so it can be swallowed.  If it hurts to chew, a bunny will avoid hay. 

Because Cubby is nine years old, we wanted blood tests and a urinalysis to make sure Cubby was healthy enough to be anesthetized for a molar trim.  He had surgery and is doing fine.

This is the text on the photo of a patient having dental surgery at Hope Animal Hospital:

A very long molar spike has gouged out the inner cheek where infection was removed.  The molars behind it are completely out of alignment because the bunny could not chew properly.  If this bunny had gone in for regular checkups, this could have been avoided and the spur removed while it was still small. 

Joy Gioia, our chapter manager, added: "This bunny now faces a lifetime of dental problems that would have been avoided if the bunny had received six-month checkups."

Can You Help With These Fun Events

We think you will enjoy volunteering for these events because you will be helping the public pet bunnies. 
You will also be conveying the important message that a bunny is a 10-year commitment, not a disposable Easter toy.
  The events last only a couple of hours.  Please tell Marjorie Manahan you can help. 
Call her at 636-734-3964 or send a message:

Saturday, March 21, 9am to noon:  Easter Egg Hunt at Cambridge Engineering

Saturday, March 28, 10am to 1pm:  "Eggstravaganza" at Missouri Botanical Gardens

Saturday, March 28, 11am to 1pm:  Easter Egg Hunt at O'Fallon (MO) Family YMCA

Saturday, March 28, 10am to 2pm:  "Bunny Fair" at Dierbergs Market, Des Peres

Sunday, March 29, 3-4pm:  Easter Party at Delmar Gardens West

Friday, April 3, 2-4pm:  Easter Party at Friendship Village

Saturday, April 4, 10am to 2pm:  "Bunnies At The Boulevard" in The Boulevard St. Louis (opposite the Galleria in Richmond Heights)

Saturday, April 4, 10am to 2pm:  Easter Egg Hunt in Fenton Park

Adoption Events This Month

PetSmart adoption events - on Saturdays:

Saturday, March 14, 11-4pm, Manchester Road in Ballwin
Saturday, March 21, 11-4pm, Brentwood Promenade

PETCO adoption event - on Sundays:
Sunday, March 8, noon-4pm, N. Hwy. 67, Florissant
Sunday, March 15, noon-4pm, Brentwood Pointe, Eager Road

House of Horrors 

We get constant calls from people who want to "donate" their bunnies to us.  When we ask why, they often tell us the bunny is "messy."  I can understand their frustration; the pen of an unfixed bunny typically looks like the photo below.  The caller usually has purchased a baby bunny from a pet store or breeder.  A baby is no trouble but, in 3 to 4 months, it reaches puberty with hormones raging and one thing on its mind: to mate.  It pees and poops wherever it pleases and to mark territory.  When an unfixed bunny is messy, there is no hope that it will clean up its act unless it gets spayed or neutered.  Once fixed, a bunny will almost always start using a litter box within a month.

Marci, the Exception: 

We've known some fixed bunnies with poor litter-box habits.  The bunny in the photo is spayed and about 3 years old.  Her pen must be cleaned every day - and she is at my house! 

Our chapter accepted her Feb. 26 from the Edwardsville Police Department after she had been found running loose on a university campus. 

I took her to our vet and learned she was already spayed.  Marci, as we named her, is a sweetheart, but no one is going to adopt her unless I train her to use a litter box. 

Tough Love, Training Marci: 

I left an opening for the water and food bowl but covered the rest of her space with litter boxes, leaving her no choice but to use them.

After several days, I will remove one box.  If there is pee and poop on the floor cloth, the box will go back in.  I will continue the testing, removing one box at a time until she is faithful to one box.

I will give you a progress report in the next Happenings.
I hope Marci is a quick learner.

  If you bunny has been faithful to his litter box but has started peeing outside the box, suspect illness and make an appointment with your vet.  One of our members found out that her bunny had a urinary tract infection.  Your bunny may have arthritis and the vet can prescribe a supplement to ease pain and restore mobility.  Ask for our suggestions on making a litter box easier to use for bunnies who are old, arthritic and have poor mobility.

If your bunny leaves a few poops around, don't be concerned.  Consider it his way of personalizing his environment.  But pee is a different matter.  You really shouldn't see pee anywhere but in the litter box.
Why won't Marci use a litter box?
It is likely that Marci's owner housed her in the cage pictured here.  You will see this "rabbit starter cage" in pet stores but it is a waste of your money.  There is no room for a decent-sized litter box; the manufacturer expects you to fill the bottom with litter.  The bunny pees and poops, the litter gets wet and stinky and the bunny has to live in his toilet.  He never gets the opportunity to use a litter box and keep himself clean. 

To house our bunnies, we use wire dog crates with plastic tray bottoms and we want them to be minimum of 42 inches long or 48 inches long.  Or we use big floor pens, like the one pictured above with Marci.  We sell crates and pens at our shelter.

Our shelter and store will be closed Easter Sunday, April 5.
On Saturday, April 4, we will be open 9am to 4pm.

Normal Hours At The Bunny House
7pm to 9pm Monday through Friday
9am to 4pm Saturday
1pm to 4pm Sunday

Our shelter is not open to the public.  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.
Our first-time adopters and Humane Society adopters receive a free one-year membership but
you must get a membership card from Marjorie Manahan:

Question for Scooter, The Bunny Editor

Question:  "How can I find a good vet for my pet rabbit?"

Scooter's Answer:  "My best advice is to find a pet rabbit organization in your area and ask what vets they use to fix and treat their rabbits.  You will see a list of House Rabbit Society chapters and affiliates on
You may have to drive a distance to reach a vet who is qualified to treat your rabbit, but it is worth the time.  In our chapter's history, we have heard many sad stories from bunny parents who wasted money and put their bunny at risk with unqualified vets who told them they "see" rabbits, but lacked the knowledge and experience to diagnose and treat them.

If you live outside the St. Louis area and cannot find a vet, contact us and we will scout our network for a recommendation.  Contact Pat Daly:

You will find a list of St. Louis rabbit vets that we recommend on: 
We have members who drive two and three hours to bring their bunnies to St. Louis.

Missouri Breeder Surrenders 21 Rabbits.  We Are Asked To Help.

The Humane Society of Missouri is overwhelmed with a large number of animals surrendered by a breeder in St. Francois County, including 21 rabbits.  We are the best, and only organization that can place these bunnies with people we have educated to be good bunny parents, so we will help.  At present, the rabbits are with the Humane Society but we will accept them next week, get them health-checked and take care of any medical needs they have.

The breeder surrender arose right after we accepted six bunnies from a woman entering a shelter for abused women.  We would always accept bunnies in a situation like hers but, sadly her story is on
e we hear too often: She bought two bunnies purported to be males; four babies were born soon afterward. The babies are darling little Rexes, only 4-5 weeks old, and are getting lots of attention in our shelter. 

Donations Will Be Appreciated
Meeting all these bunnies' needs will put a strain on our financial resources, and donations will help us see this through.  If you can contribute, go to header on the top of this page, click on VISIT HRSMOSTL.ORG and click on the link.  That will take you to our main website where you can donate through Paypal, or mail a donation.

On behalf of all these bunnies in need, thank you.

To read details of the breeder surrender, go to

This Netherland Dwarf (tiny bun) and Mini Rex are among the 21 bunnies given up by the breeder.

Our meetings are free and open to the public.

St. Louis - 7:30pm Tuesday, March 17:  FUN, GAMES, POTLUCK, LEARN ABOUT GREENS AND HERBS.  Bring your bunny to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with bunny games, a potluck, and a bit of learning about greens and herbs that bunnies can have.  We will do nail trims and sell supplies at the start of the meeting, then play games for prizes and learn about greens and herbs.  Bring a finger food to share.  Bring a towel so your bunny can relax on your table and a bunny snack.  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, April 23.  We have a new location: Caseyville Township Building, 10001 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights.  Bunnies welcome!  Questions? Contact Pat Daly:
                                                       Requests  (The Bunny House Needs Some Skilled Help)

Civil Engineer Needed:  Do you know a registered engineer? We need one to prepare a site plan of our shelter and proposed detached garage to submit to St. Louis County in order to get a permit to build the garage.  Contact Pat Daly:  Type Engineer as the subject.

Plumber Needed:  Do you know one?  We have a problem with a urinal that overflows (yikes) and the water fountain isn't working right.  Contact Joy Gioia:  Type Plumber as the subject.

Handyman Needed:  A piece of guttering on the back side of the shelter needs fixing and the awning over the back door is unstable.  Contact Joy  Type Handyman as the subject.

Electrician Needed:  We need an electrician to pull a line and install a 220 outlet in the garage for an a/c unit; install some overhead lights in the loft and add one outdoor light on the front of the building at the corner.  Contact Joy Gioia:  Type Electrician as the subject.

Do You Know A Couch-Potato?  Do you know a retired person who could snip wires in the baskets we use to make our hay hoppers?  We can provide a snipper and Dremel sander.  Contact Pat Daly: or call 618-920-0705.

Are You Crafty With An X-Acto Knife?  We have designed a new toy that requires cutting designs in cardboard.  We want to unveil it at our June 14 Bunny Expo.  You can do this at home and employ your own creativity.  If intrigued, contact Pat Daly:

Paw Notes

A Short-Term Need:  One of our members will be undergoing surgery and chemo for breast cancer.  She has one of our larger foster homes and worries how she will care for the bunnies during her treatment, which will begin shortly.  It would help if someone could take a single bun or bonded pair into their home on a temporary basis.  Please contact Pat Daly: or call 618-920-0705.

A Long-Term Need:  One of our members wants to join the Peace Corps and needs a two-year placement for her bonded pair of Angoras.  She will cover all expenses and provide extra compensation for their care.  Please contact Pat Daly: or call 618-920-0705.

Missouri Lottery Scratcher Tickets:  We would love to have your non-winning tickets.  They earn us points for products we use at the shelter.  We will take your tickets at the shelter or our meetings.  In our shelter store, you can drop them in a bag marked "Lottery Tickets."  Thanks a bunch!

This video was made by Alison Giese of the San Diego House Rabbit Society.  We could have some fun at our meetings if we had an agility course like it.  Anyone interested in making one for us? Contact Pat Daly:
Happenings Author: Pat Daly, volunteer and educator
Share your stories, photos, videos, questions for Scooter with Pat:

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