Bunny Magic Rescue operated by Carole Van Wie, a retired Maryland School Teacher, is the only rabbit rescue in Southern MD. For years Bunny Magic has taken in, spayed or neutered and adopted out hundreds of domestic rabbits. In addition, Mrs. Van Wie is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and cares for abandoned and injured cottontails. Mrs. Van Wie has spent thousands and thousands of dollars of her own money caring for these rabbits when no one else would. About a month ago, PETA received an anonymous complaint regarding the rabbits at Bunny Magic. PETA responded by sending in a young “undercover” volunteer from New York who had no knowledge of rabbit health or care. This “volunteer” secretly photographed some select situations that to someone who does not know rabbits could look very bad. For example: Taken from PETA’s website where they claim “victory” and beg for donations “One neglected rabbit, Rockette, suffered with a severely twisted neck, struggling to stand up on her own; she was denied nursing and veterinary care and left to languish and defecate on herself until she finally died.” So the neglected rabbit had a name?! Rockette suffered from an illness anyone who knows rabbits is all too familiar with called “head tilt” or “wry neck” or torticollis. Rockette was in fact being treated and was under the care of an excellent rabbit vet. Mrs. Van Wie made weekly trips to this vet driving up to four hours round trip to get the best care possible. Many head tilt rabbits go on to live long, adaptive lives; all we can do is give them the best chance. PETA would never in a million years see this as the correct and compassionate thing to do – you can read about their agenda here: http://www.petakillsanimals.com. Here is a letter from a real volunteer at Bunny Magic: http://www.somdnews.com/article/20120817/OPINION/708179957/0/southernMaryland&template=southernMaryland . The result of the PETA investigation was that the police and animal control arrived at Bunny Magic / Mrs. Van Wie’s home one morning, ordered her and her husband outside and seized 225 rabbits. These rabbits were then removed from the air conditioned buildings they were housed in and transported to a non air conditioned barn that had recently housed livestock. The police and animal control refused to allow Mrs. Van Wie to enter the premises, ignoring the fact that she knew which rabbits were under treatment and for what medical condition, which rabbits required special handling, and most upsetting, they refused to allow her to enter or have access to the baby cottontails to feed them, and they died as a result. PETA claims that “According to news sources, seven of the rabbits rescued that day could not be saved”. The truth is that 7 of the rabbits died as a result of the stress of being moved, the stress of being separated from their bonded partner and heat stroke due to being placed in a hot dusty barn. More rabbits have died in the barn since then, including 4 of Mrs. Van Wie’s personal rabbits who were not able to survive the hot conditions. Was Bunny Magic overloaded? Yes, and any rescue who tells you they aren’t overloaded from time to time is lying. Could the rabbits have been cared for in a more humane manner? It is doubtful that without additional resources anyone could have done a better job, a fact proved by the rabbits dying in “clean cages” in the barn. What could have been the best outcome for these rabbits? If PETA actually cared about the animals wouldn’t they have offered to help round up volunteers, offered some monetary assistance from their $35MILLION dollar budget? Wouldn’t it have been better for the animals if animal control had left them in the air conditioned buildings, in the cages with their bonded partners, and offered volunteer help and assistance at the Bunny Magic location rather than at the barn? It would have been cheaper and the rabbits would not have died. Surely the authorities could have worked with Mrs. Van Wie to make sure she kept her rescue to a manageable number of rabbits, set conditions and had follow up visits. PETA refers to Mrs. Van Wie as a “hoarder”.All but one of the rabbits in Bunny Magic’s care had been spayed or neutered (hoarders do not do that). As a final note, this is certainly not a victory for the rabbits, or Bunny Magic, or animal control that has been overloaded by this, or Mrs. Van Wie. It is only a victory for PETA’s fundraising efforts. PLEASE return the remaining rabbits to Bunny Magic and work with Mrs. Van Wie to ensure they are adopted and the rescue continues operation in a responsible manner.
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