The Scratching Post is a weekly newsletter from pets columnist Kate Karp, bringing you all the latest news on pet adoptions, animal welfare and ways to get involved.
Vaccinate your rabbit against a fatal disease at Bun Chia Burrow
The clinic will take place at Bun Chia Burrow (see Pet events and announcements to make an appointment and receive the location address).
RHDV stands for rabbit hemorrhagic disease, a virus fatal to rabbits and hares. Like canine parvovirus, it’s highly contagious to both wild and domestic rabbits, causing internal bleeding and death in 100% of the cases. Even if your rabbit is strictly indoors, the virus can still be tracked into the house.
“A wild rabbit or hare in the United States contracted the disease in 2018,” Pokard said. “In 2020, we started seeing an outbreak throughout the U.S., mostly in the Southwest. I’ve never seen a rabbit survive it. But if a rabbit is vaccinated, they can still become infected but can potentially survive the disease.”
SD, one of a couple who runs the Bun Chia Burrow, said that one of the requirements for boarding is proof of vaccination against RHDV-2. The Bun Chia Burrowis a boarding and grooming facility for pet rabbits. It’s like a Four Seasons resort for Flopsy.
SD and her husband didn’t set out to create a B&B for bunnies when they got their first rabbit, Marshmallow, whom a friend found on her lawn several years ago. The friend had dogs and didn’t think it was a good idea to suddenly introduce a rabbit to the household, so she called SD, who had experience as a rabbit volunteer, and asked her and her husband to come over and meet the rabbit.
“She let me hold her — I just loved her!” SD said. Marshmallow has just celebrated her eighth birthday.
Marshmallow was the first hop down the bunny trail to the Bun Chia Burrow. During her volunteer time, SD found that she had a gift for bonding bunnies to each other — like effective yenta, she had empathy with the rabbits and was persistent and patient.
“Rabbits bond for life,” SD said. “They’re not like dogs, some of whom bond immediately and then walk off.”
The couple eventually extended their cottontail-couples therapy to include mobile grooming and consulting. After clients kept asking if they could board their bunnies with them, the Bun Chia Burrow was born, catering to an exclusive cottontail clientele. No other pets are accepted.
“Rabbits are prey animals and will get nervous around dogs and cats and even birds, even if they only smell them,” SD said.
Accommodations include a 5-foot-by-5-foot space at a minimum. Bonded pairs will get larger suites.
“The sides need to be tall because rabbits like to ‘periscope’ — that is, stand on their hind legs and look around,” SD said.
The rest of the amenities could charm the pocket watch off the White Rabbit: fine cuisine featuring three top pellet brands, fresh hay, comfy bedding. The staff will administer any medication the parents bring, including eyedrops and subcutaneous fluids. For recreation, there are chew toys, willow reeds, balls and sanitized apple branches that the couple gets from orchards. Activities include forage mats, dirt boxes and wading pools full of balls.
“Rabbits deserve as much pampering as cats and dogs,” SD said.
Check out the Bun Chia Burrow web page, and find resources and other information about rabbit health, meet SD and M’s resident rabbits, and see how to reserve a suite for your sweet bun!
Pets to adopt or foster
Bun Chia Burrow is many good things, but it’s not a rescue. If you’re ready to adopt a rabbit, The Bunny Bunch is a terrific one. The nonprofit lovingly cares for their rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas — they famously took in three burnt rabbits who survived a California Heights fire five years ago. Their website offers all levels of education, tips, special-event announcements, veterinarian and feeding recommendations. They, too, offer bunny-sitting services and boarding at their Cottontail Inn. You’ll go down a rabbit hole on the website if you’re besotted with bunnies.
If you’re ready to adopt, make sure your home and family are ready. Rabbits are delicate, and too many get dumped because the humans didn’t understand the level and type of care the creatures need. Make sure that children understand that bunnies aren’t stuffed toys and won’t weather overenthusiasm or squeezing.
If you’re ready to add a hutch to your home, here are candidates from The Bunny Bunch location at 10543 Bechler River Ave., Fountain Valley, with one other location in Montclair. Check out adoption information here.
Meet Sokka, a sweet multicolored brown lop boy, about 3 1/2 years old. He’s hoping that his handsome good looks and personality will get him a wonderful, forever home. He is sweet and playful, and he loves to keep an eye on everyone and nap on top of his hidey-house. He loves to toss his toys around his pen and often will have a new one in his water bowl each morning!
Priscilla, left, and Barry would be the perfect addition to any bunny-loving family. They love to lounge, and you can usually find them cuddling and grooming each other. Priscilla loves to be petted, and if you start petting her, Barry, who loves attention, will come right over and put his head under your hand if he sees you petting Priscilla. They’re a sweet, bonded pair who recently returned to Bunny Bunch through no fault of their own. They’re happy to be given another chance at finding the perfect home, one that will welcome them, love them, and keep them safe for the rest of their lives.
Pet events and announcements
Rabbit vaccine clinic
The clinic will take place Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. $35 for the vaccine if the first dose was given at Bun Chia; $50 if this is your bunny’s first time. Email [email protected] to register, and complete this form for your rabbits. Location will be provided after registration.
Punk Rawk Yoga at Feline Good Social Club
February is the month of love, and what better way than to spend it unconditionally with cats! Stretch along with songs by The Cure, The Smiths, The Kinks and so many more as you literally go head over heels in yoga positions with the kitties stretching right along with you! Wear your little pink socks — maybe you’ll find your funny Valentine to adopt and take home!
Punk Rawk Yoga takes place Sunday, March 25 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach. Tickets are $30; reserve a space here.
Before the Super Bowl, tune in to Puppy Bowl XX. To celebrate, Best Friends shelters will waive adoption fees until for all pets at all their shelters, including Los Angeles, and at their network partner shelters.
Puppy Bowl XX is broadcast on Animal Planet at 11 a.m. PT. Great American Rescue Bowl, hosted by Beth Stern and featuring puppies and kittens, will broadcast 9 a.m to noon PT on the Great American Family channel.
To see a list of local animal rescue groups, click here.
Editor’s note: This column has been updated with new information about the accomodation size of the bunny suites available at Bun Chia Burrow.