It’s hard to believe that 5 years ago, on a normal day, I went to pick up the first bunny to form our rescue shelter in 2008. He had been held over for 3 weeks at the pound, which is highly unusual as pounds always have limited space, but on the phone they said he was very special. What was to be a 5 minute drive involved meticulous planning, including a GPS, map, and emergency numbers in case I got myself lost. Upon coming home I opened the door to the carry cage and out popped Mr Confident! From day 1 Alfonso was not phased by anything, and I seriously doubted how well I could do this job, given that there was no question that I wouldn’t be able to part with him. Over the years I’ve had to force myself to rehome special animals that have come through, but I don’t think anyone can blame me for being so weak when it came to Alfonso that first time.
We’ve successfully rehomed over a thousand small animals since we started, thanks to the efforts of all the members and public invloved. We often mention our amazing volunteers (they can’t be thanked often enough!), but today I’d like to focus on the families who have supported us and the animals through adoption. As mentioned, it is very hard for everyone involved to part with animals who come through and are treated like our own family members. It’s a necessary part of rescuing, and so we make every effort to find special families who can continue to give them the love and attention they need.
In May 2011, we found one such couple, Sharonne and Paul Solk. They adopted a pair of bunnies; Luigi and Ellie-May, who had been waiting for a home for over a year. These buns were renamed to Burt and Hetty, and are living the life of luxury as indoor, spoilt pets. Sharonne is a very accomplished artist, and we’ve appreciated staying in contact with her over the years, and hearing how the bunnies have been going. She has produced portraits of Burt and Hetty that captured the character and temperaments I knew so well.
Last year, Alfonso frightened all of us, and what started as GI stasis soon resulted in him gasping for air, and x-rays showed he only had 25% of ONE lung capacity left. His x-rays even went to America, with every vet wondering how a bunny could still be alive in that condition. His future was pretty bleak, and we’d never have thought he’d make it to his 5 year anniversary. Sharonne, with her big heart, offered us one of the most amazing gifts we could ever have dreamed of. She offered to paint Alfonso.
Alfonso continues to have daily medications to keep him alive, but his last x-ray showed that he’s regained 70% lung capacity, which once again has baffled vets, as his condition was thought to be impossible to recover from. He can play and run around just like any bunny, in fact, he has not changed at all and has the best quality of life a bunny could ask for. It was with excitement that we showed him his very own portrait. As you can see, it is simply amazing, and we will always be so, so grateful to the generous Sharonne Solk, who has poured feeling and character into this portrait just like all her others. She is currently working on a website, but if you wish to get in touch with her you can contact her at: email@example.com
Many thanks to everyone again for the past 5 years! Let’s celebrate, and look towards the future as we continue to save more and more animals.