Recent Rescues
MO HRS Saves 127 Rabbits  &  Starts "Spay/Neuter/Care Fund for Stone County Bunnies"

In March, our chapter learned that seven-dozen rabbits had been discovered in a filthy tractor-trailer near Branson, Missouri.  The scene was horrific—deteriorating cages, carcasses of dead rabbits, terrified live rabbits with their white fur stained yellow from urine, their feet caked with brown feces.

The person responsible was a breeder who had been raising New Zealands to sell as meat.  When he abandoned the business, he abandoned the rabbits.  Stone County sheriff’s deputies found the rabbits when they went to the premises to investigate an unrelated matter.

On March 19, the rabbits were removed by the Humane Society of Missouri and taken to its Longmeadow Rescue Ranch in Union, Missouri.  On that very cold night, rescue vans brought the rabbits, including about 30 babies, in waves to be examined by a triage unit, set up in a stable.  Our members helped with triage, as did Linda Beisswenger, DVM, and her staff at Hope Animal Hospital in Fenton.

Having survived a brutal environment, the rabbits were traumatized and very frightened.  Some had wounds, some had eye problems and most had ear mite infestations, some severe.  Sadly, some rabbits had to be humanely euthanized due to their poor condition.

The Humane Society’s primary mission is caring for dogs and cats;  its facilities had no room for so many rabbits.  Dr. Beisswenger and Manager Lea Canada took the moms with infants to Hope Animal Hospital where they would be warm and comfortable.  The Humane Society housed the rest of the rabbits in cages in a barn at Longmeadow.  Despite being 60 miles from St. Louis, our volunteers drove to Longmeadow almost every day to help the staff care for the rabbits.

Meanwhile, we pondered their future.  With so many rabbits and no space to house them, the Humane Society would have no choice but to euthanize them.  How could we possibly save them?  We had no place to put them, no money to treat their injuries, no money to have them spayed and neutered.  It seemed hopeless, but “hopeless” has never been a word in our vocabulary.

We decided to put the matter before our members.  We were not surprised when many boldly stepped forward to accept rabbits into their homes as fosters.  Others accepted rabbits from our foster home to make space for the newcomers.  By April 11, we had removed the last 45 rabbits from Longmeadow.

We had saved them all, but we still had no notion of how we were going to support them.  As it is, we support 200 bunnies in our foster care system and money is always tight.

It was a worrisome predicament that soon turned dire.  Males and females had been separated at triage, but the breeder apparently had already bred many of the females.  As soon as they arrived to safety, they began delivering babies—litters and litters of babies. 

It seemed our foster home was turning into a maternity hospital.  New Zealands have white fur and beautiful ruby-colored eyes.  It’s quite a sight to walk through our foster home and see so many identical, white moms with identical, white babies.

With the births, the total count of New Zealands swelled to 127.  We applied for an emergency grant and were thrilled beyond measure when PetsMart Charities responded with $10,000 to be used for their medical treatment.  Every penny and more will be needed for that.  Local PetsMart stores donated floor pens, bowls and other supplies.  Unquestionably, our effort to save the rabbits and rehabilitate them to make them eligible for adoption would have failed without the generosity of PetsMart Charities.

American Pet Diner, thankfully, also sent donations of hay for the original rescue, but there is still the question of how we will pay for the ongoing food, hay and other basic necessities for so many bunnies while they are healing, getting old enough to be neutered or spayed and getting adopted.  We hope the public will open their hearts to help us care for these gentle creatures that were treated so badly.
We are grateful for any donations, large or small.  

To donate to our "Spay/Neuter/Care Fund for the Stone County Bunnies" please do one of the following:

1) Send a check to: 
House Rabbit Society of Missouri, PO Box 6362, Chesterfield, MO 63006-6362. 
Please write “Stone County Bunnies” on your check. Contributions are tax-deductible.

2) Donations may also be made online through Paypal.  Just click on any of the "Donate" buttons on our site. 
Once logged into Paypal, please be sure to write in the "note to seller" section that your donation is for "Stone County Bunnies".
Contributions made through Paypal allow you to use a credit card and are also tax-deductible.  
We are extremely grateful to the HRS chapters that are accepting some of the rabbits into their foster care systems.  We expect to place about 34 rabbits with other chapters.   But we need adopters – lots of adopters.  New Zealands typically have sweet temperaments and make wonderful companions for families with children, as well as for adults.  We have been amazed at how well these beautiful, white bunnies have responded to petting and attention from the people who are caring for them.    If you are interested in having a bunny that lives indoors with you as your companion, we want to hear from you.  Adoption applications can be made via our website by emailing or by calling 314-995-1457.     

For more information & photos from the scene of the rescue of the 127 New Zealand White rabbits.  Click bunny below.

Watch a video of some of the 3 week old babies "in action" click the link below.  Have your sound turned on! :0)
Please note:

Even in our present, modern day, there are sadly still a few people who are superstitious about the color of an animals fur or eyes etc.

  Please help us educate people that these precious bunnies are no better or no worse than any other bunny. 

They are not "bad luck" or "good luck". 

Their white fur and pretty ruby eyes are a result of normal genetics, just as some humans have brown eyes while others have blue or green.

These are simply beautiful, innocent bunnies who have suffered unimaginably cruel treatment and need/deserve loving, indoor homes.
(They are not from New Zealand, that's just the name of the breed.)
Ssshhh....Babies, babies everywhere!
We're getting bigger!
We're almost ready...
We are finally ready for a real loving, indoor home!
Can you adopt us and give us the love we need and deserve?
Scroll down a little more to see the babies, and a video!
Scroll down to see the babies, and a video!