FROZEN DOGS: They had no food or warmth, only each other

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Sunday, 4 January 2004, at 12:08 p.m.

In Response To: FROZEN DOGS: How Many Animals Will Freeze to Death Tonight? *PIC* (AAS)

So many pets are cruelly left outdoors on a continual basis without shelter or the means to fend for themselves, regardless of the elements they have to endure. With the freezing temperatures and wind the inevitable happens, many die. Such was the case of a rabbit in the Fraser Valley. The family had been given two young ones which were left outdoors in a small enclosure. They were forgotten about, and with the ground frozen could not burrow or escape. They had no food or warmth, only each other. Helpless and defenseless, one succumbed to the bitter cold. Unbelievably, the other was going to be let loose and its fate left to chance. Fortunately, this lucky rabbit was rescued.

SPCA "education": a rabbit in a cage, a kitten in a cage, an SPCA calendar, an old newsletter and a....

Posted By: AAS
Saturday, 24 January 2004, at 8:41 p.m.

In Response To: "Decades of hard-hitting humane education messages"? The gall is staggering! *LINK* *PIC* (AAS)

From: connie mahoney
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 9:00 AM
Subject: SPCA exploitation

re: Springvalley Middle School Career Day

It was so very disappointing to see the Kelowna SPCA's educational presentation at the above school on March 8, 2002.

The presentation consisted of: a rabbit in a cage, a kitten in a cage, and three fund raising items (an SPCA Calendar, an old newsletter and a form requesting Zellers and Canadian Tire points and please donate to us).

The table displaying the "cute" animals was continuously mobbed by dozens of students anxious to see the animals, sticking fingers into their cages. This caused great stress to the animals. In particular the rabbit was screaming (a high pitched sound) in distress with no relief from the unwanted attention for over an hour and a half.

Not only was a wonderful opportunity missed to teach these students anything meaningful about animals, but it was an obvious exploitation of their "cuteness" just to further the SPCA's image. There was absolutely no educational material, nothing dealing with spay/neuter and unwanted animals. This bunny and kitten were a direct result of pet over-population and ultimately most of them are euthanized by the SPCA's and again, no mention of this. The presentation was irresponsible and thoughtless. It was actually demeaning to the many students who are so eager to learn about animal issues and humane education, which should include ALL animals. Knowing that the Kelowna SPCA actually has paid full time staff to present humane education in the schools actually makes this worse. They commented that the large turnout at their table made them so popular, and they felt their presentation was therefore successful.

The SPCA is supposed to be raising the bar to improve their standards. I've never seen the bar so low!!

Could you please let me know if the SPCA has a policy on exhibiting animals in public (a very stressful situation for the animals). The time has come to stop treating these animals as merchandise to be peddled. Secondly, are there any standards relating to humane education presentations? I would appreciate your response.


Connie Mahoney.  

Should the SPCA prosecute for cruelty to rabbits? *LINK* *PIC*

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Friday, 12 March 2004, at 6:23 a.m.

In mid-February of this year approximately 20 rabbits came into the possession of the Vancouver SPCA. They had been kept cramped together outdoors in tiny wire cages, with minimal human contact, so they were skittish and fearful of being handled. This problem began when two rabbits were purchased from a pet store with no understanding of basic requirements of care involved. Shortly thereafter, the two began reproducing, and within a year the result was several litters of unwanted rabbits. One was taken to the SPCA hospital in Vancouver for observation and the others were examined by a rabbit volunteer because of their poor condition. Some had runny noses, others had open sores on their feet, and all were undernourished.

The Vancouver SPCA already had in excess of 20 adult rabbits awaiting homes, but managed to get 5 of the worst new arrivals to an SPCA volunteer experienced in rabbit care, and then began spaying and neutering the rest, starting with the healthiest ones. Since then some of the existing rabbits at the facility have found permanent homes and others have gone into foster care.

However, this branch is still overcrowded, and a new policy has set the maximum allowable number of rabbits at 15. More foster homes are urgently required. Nobody wants to see any killed, but what does one do with an overburdened system? Should the SPCA refuse to take owner surrendered pets and only deal with strays and seized animals? Should those that need too much medical care, are too old, psychologically damaged, or otherwise deemed unmarketable be automatically killed? What are the determining factors for those who live and those who die?

Unfortunately, as long as people have pets there will be problems, but far more effort has to be given to address core issues. The supply of unwanted animals far exceeds demand, resulting in misery, suffering, and death of too many innocent lives.

Should the SPCA have prosecuted this person and set an example that this is intolerable, and used the Prevention of Cruelty Act? Rabbits are allowed to suffer conditions that if a cat or dog was subjected to, would result in public outrage and cruelty charges being laid by the SPCA. But there is a different standard for rabbits - perhaps because there is not a vocal lobby group to speak for them as there is for dogs and cats.

A not-so-lucky rabbit's feet *PIC*

Posted By: AAS
Friday, 12 March 2004, at 11:52 p.m.

In Response To: Should the SPCA prosecute for cruelty to rabbits? *LINK* *PIC* (Carmina Gooch)

One of the rabbits surrendered to the Vancouver SPCA. They suffered like this for a long time, forced to live on wire because it is easy to keep clean. This is not only clearly cruelty, but it is torture.

Forced to Live on Wire

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Sunday, 14 March 2004, at 6:13 a.m.

In Response To: Should the SPCA prosecute for cruelty to rabbits? *LINK* *PIC* (Carmina Gooch)

Confined to a cage, movement restricted to an unnatural wire mesh is guaranteed to lead to unsanitary conditions and health problems. Clearly, this rabbit and his litter mates were in a horrendous situation.

Unable to keep the urine from their body, it soaks into their fur, and onto the skin. The skin becomes inflamed and the fur falls out. Moisture-damaged skin is easily cracked and at this stage infections and abscesses often occur. It would be impossible for this rabbit to stand on such raw feet, without being in agony. This is cruelty.

Carmina Gooch,
North Vancouver

Only three rabbits will be permitted on the floor for adoption at the Surrey SPCA

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Wednesday, 17 March 2004, at 7:25 p.m.

In Response To: Should the SPCA prosecute for cruelty to rabbits? *LINK* *PIC* (Carmina Gooch)

There have been a number of revisions within the BC SPCA and one recent decision is that only three rabbits will be permitted on the floor for adoption at the Surrey SPCA. The Surrey SPCA's Animal Learning Centre, which formerly brought rabbits to their building in order to alleviate the overcrowding in the SPCA building and to find new homes for its rabbits, is not allowed to do so any longer. Staff have been told to spend more time going into the community doing education.

Surrey has a huge problem with unwanted animals and unless those individuals concerned about rabbits, and rabbit rescue groups take them, the excess will be killed. Already, those who have assisted are barely coping with the ones presently in need of permanent homes, and the foster network is struggling to accommodate all the needy. This continual shuffling of unwanted pets, while providing interim relief, typifies the SPCA's revolving door system where nothing changes.
Carmina Gooch
North Vancouver

Many people purchase a rabbit from a breeder or pet store as a "starter pet" for children

Posted By: Terry Roberge
Friday, 12 March 2004, at 11:47 p.m.

In Response To: This kind of education gives kids the message that imprisoning animals is okay (AAS)

Many people purchase a rabbit from a breeder or pet store as a "starter pet" for children. Because one can easily buy a cute looking baby for under forty dollars, it is commonly perceived as easy to care for and a learning tool, especially when told by the vendor that rabbits are quite happy sitting in cage and basically just need to be fed. Obviously this is not the case, and once the realities of having a rabbit become tedious and tiresome, it is deemed disposable.
A great many end up in pounds, shelters, or are simply released to fend for themselves. Others are forced to exist in increasingly deteriorating situations, the neglect appalling, the misery heartbreaking, but nobody is there to alleviate it. They suffer in silence. They have no voice, they have no choice. That's their fate.
Terry Roberge
North Vancouver

This kind of education gives kids the message that imprisoning animals is okay

Posted By: AAS
Friday, 12 March 2004, at 2:43 p.m.

In Response To: The Animal Learning Centre is part of the Surrey SPCA (Carmina Gooch)

Sterilizing rabbits before being sold to someone is an improvement over selling them to breed until the owner is overwhelmed and kills them all, as the SPCA used to.

Although ultimately this kind of education gives kids the message that imprisoning animals for our sakes, for our amusement or some other purpose is okay. But most of them will spend their lonely lives in a tiny hutch, almost forgotten at the bottom of the yard. Some will be taken out occasionally to hop around on real grass, and then will be put back in the hutch when that pales, but many will not even get that respite from the cruelty of their lives. Rabbits make poor pets, but their needs are easily forgotten as they are truly silent.


Rabbit producers use archaic methods and BC SPCA "education" is archaic too

Posted By: Carol Sonnex
Sunday, 14 March 2004, at 4:44 p.m.

In Response To: Should the SPCA prosecute for cruelty to rabbits? *LINK* *PIC* (Carmina Gooch)

The Pet Producing Industry is both archaic and cruel. I am sure others can think of other terms to add but none will be complimentary I am sure. After reading the posts on AAS I am ashamed at how complacent I have been. I have walked through pet stores, passed by the cages of guinea pigs and rabbits and because of conditioning not even reacted. My children do the same.

Unfortunately, education of how to maintain small animals by societies like the BC SPCA is also archaic. Small animals should not be being bred and kept in small cages and the Charter of the BC SPCA includes these small animals. The much touted five freedoms should also be extended to these "pocket pets".
From the BC SPCA Charter:
"We pledge our energies to inspire and mobilize society to create a world in which all animals, who depend on humans for their well-being, experience, as a minimum, five essential freedoms:

freedom from hunger and thirst
freedom from pain, injury, and disease
freedom from distress
freedom from discomfort
freedom to express behaviours that promote well-being. "

My family's acceptance of these conditions for small animals has changed after asking my son to look up Rabbit Breeders of British Columbia on the internet and he found :

Reading through many of the sites was extremely upsetting but one that caught my son's eye had the following to say:

"My rabbitry consists of 45 hanging cages. Eight doe cages, 12 show stock/buck cages, and 25 grower cages.

The doe, show stock, and buck cages are in the main barn. I also keep the feed in the main barn for easy access. The walls are hung with plastic behind the cages to keep the urine off the walls. I find one major cleaning once a year works well, and more than that isn't needed.

The grower cages are outside along the barn and are about 13 " by 24". I have found this size and shape cage helps my to achieve a well conditioned young rabbit. The cages are on automatic watering, and the rabbits go here from the time they are weaned until they are 4 months. At four months I go through and pick out a maximum of 5 rabbits to keep, the rest we butcher. This has worked very well for me and my rabbits have improved quickly. Selling rabbit meat pays for my rabbitry and gives me some spending money as well.

I have manure pits under all the cages and I frequently dig the manure out to prevent wetness, flies, and smell. For fly control I also have a bug zapper in the main barn. Weather here is very mild year-round. The barn has vents along the top of two walls, and dutch doors to help with air movement in the summer. Shade cloth is stapled over the windows. In the winter the body heat from the rabbits keeps the water above freezing inside the main barn. "

"The body heat of the rabbits keeps the water above freezing inside the main barn" is the quote that made my children both gasp. They were horrified that somone would be proud of this fact and put it on the internet. I must thank all of those featured on the Rabbit Breeders of British Columbia Website. My childrenand I are complacent no longer.


Exotic Pet Store in Kamloops Shuts Down: Kamloops SPCA Manager Jennifer Gore Admits That SPCA Knew of Conditions But Did Nothing

Posted By: Jennifer Dickson <>
Thursday, 1 April 2004, at 10:22 p.m.

Jungle Pet, an exotic pet store in Kamloops that was well known to Kamloops SPCA, closed its doors last week when new ownership made a gruesome discovery.

From the Kamloops This Week, March 15, 2004, quoting Tara Donovan, new owner of Jungle Pet:

"The conditions of the animals were deplorabe, leading us to wonder what had happened to allow such severe neglect"..."snakes, lizards, and frogs in a fridge, three deceased rabbits in a pen at the back of the store and one kitten frozen in a freezer"..."Over the week that we operated the business, we found more than two dozen deceased animals, including snakes, lizards, and one kitten."

Kamloops SPCA Manager Jennifer Gore admits that the SPCA had known of the atrocities at Jungle Pet, yet had done nothing:

"Jennifer Gore, branch mangaer of the SPCA, said the Society had complaints from the public about the care of the animals".

The article goes on to reiterate that "The SPCA...under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, has the legal right to close businesses that fail to comply with the Act. In this case however, the SPCA didn't order the closure."

How many more bodies have to be exumed before the SPCA comes clean about its failure to "speak for those who cannot speak for themselves"? In only the past few months we have had dogs frozen to death on chains, poor dead starved horses, and now rabbits dead in their cages, dead reptiles in fridges, and a dead kitten in a freezer. And the SPCA had been made FULLY aware of EVERY single one of these counts of neglect and cruelty, for months, and even years, in advance.

The SPCA boasts of investigating over 10,000 cruelty complaints last year. Those of us in the trenches know that an "investigation" consists of taking a complainant's name and number, and in the odd case, even doing a drive-by look. Nothing ever happens. The SPCA hand picks a few ripe cases that it thinks it can grandstand for donations via the media with, and reaps the monetary benefits, while often killing the seized.

If the SPCA wants to continue on in this dishonest manner and keep making money at it, it ought to at least instruct its witless spokespeople to shut up about the neglect it has known of and allowed to happen, even after the bodies are produced.

Dishonest SPCA, its lies made weak by witless staff...all would be worthy of pity were it not for the suffering and death it permits and capitalizes from.

"Law of the Jungle Failed"

A pet-shuffling bus will reduce the pet-overpopulation problem? Who are Craig Daniell's handlers? They need to be fired.

Posted By: AAS
Thursday, 3 June 2004, at 12:21 p.m.

At the BC SPCA's AGM on May 29th, CEO Craig Daniell said that shuffling hapless animals from one facility to another would somehow reduce the pet-overpopulation problem. Who are this man's handlers? They need to be fired.

The BC SPCA has entered into an agreement with the biggest seller of animals in BC, Petcetera. Petcetera will supply "pet shuffle buses" to move excess animals between SPCA facilities in an attempt by the SPCA to kill fewer by selling more (instead of spending its own money on community spay neuter and laws to regulate breeding and selling). Petcetera sells many types of exotics such as reptiles and amphibians, it sells caged birds, it sells rabbits and other caged rodents. The SPCA publicly claims to disapprove of the keeping of exotics, but Petcetera is providing the buses, so why look a gift horse in the mouth?

What does Petcetera get out of this deal? It gets the BC SPCA's stamp of approval and that is wonderful for its business, the business of selling exotics and other caged animals, most of which live and die miserably. It also makes it impossible for the SPCA to actually ask for legislation to prevent the selling of exotics, as it has said it will.

In what way does shuffling pets around reduce pet overpopulation? Does Mr Daniell think we all just fell off the turnip truck? This is a crass business deal tarted up to look like a solution to the overriding problem of so many pets that the SPCA kills many thousands a year.

Judge lets Bunny Killer Off with scolding

Posted By: Carol Sonnex
Thursday, 23 September 2004, at 6:30 a.m.

Judge lets bunny killer off with scolding

Paul Walton
CanWest News Service
Thursday, September 23, 2004

NANAIMO -- An 18-year-old man who, in a drunken rage, punched a rabbit at the University of Victoria, has been spared a criminal record.

Nicholas Campbell, now a second-year student at UVic, pleaded guilty in Nanaimo provincial court Wednesday to causing unnecessary cruelty to an animal in the Feb. 6 incident. He was given an absolute discharge.

"After drinking too much . . . Mr. Campbell and another young man came up with the idea of catching a rabbit in a blanket," said defence lawyer Ron Lamperson. The bunny bit Campbell as it was caught, and Campbell punched it.

Crown counsel Ron Parsons said the incident came to light when a student crossing the campus about 11:30 p.m. saw Campbell punch the animal.

A veterinarian tried to save the rabbit, but it died. An SPCA spokesman said at the time the charge was laid that the rabbit was pregnant.

The Crown and defence agreed an absolute discharge was appropriate for Campbell, a young man with an ambition to be a lawyer. Lamperson said "humiliating" publicity about the charge and remorse shown by Campbell should result in the discharge.

Parsons said that had the punch immediately killed the rabbit, there would have been no charge. The law on animal cruelty cites "unnecessary suffering" as the required element.

A pre-sentence report referred to by Parsons and Lamperson concluded that Campbell has no violent tendencies.

Judge Leo Nimsick agreed to the absolute discharge, but scolded Campbell. "It may have seemed innocent at the time, but the rabbit did what rabbits will do," said Nimsick. "What goes around comes around, and I think you've paid for your actions."

Campbell, accompanied to court by his parents and grandparents, said nothing during the hearing. The case was heard in Nanaimo as it was more convenient for Campbell, whose lawyer is from that city.

This rabbit was the victim of not one, but two crimes

Posted By: Sue Collard
Date: Thursday, 23 September 2004, at 9:39 p.m.

In Response To: Judge lets Bunny Killer Off with scolding (Carol Sonnex)

I can't help but wonder at the logic that suggests "humiliation" is sufficient cause for granting an absolute discharge in an animal cruelty case.

This young man presumably chose to get drunk and then chose to punch an innocent animal in retribution for a bite. The fact the rabbit was probably terrorized by being chased down and was reacting in self-defense obviously did not cross his mind. Neither does it seem to have registered much on the horizon of the legal system.

Once again, we see the need for a strengthening and clarification of the provisions of the Criminal Code regarding animal cruelty. And once again we see the apparent disregard some U. Vic students have toward rabbits, evidently the animal group that is seen as the victim of choice for those desiring a little blood with their education.

What saddens me most is the fact there is a strong probability that this was a dumped former pet whose owners were callous or ill educated enough to not get their pet suitably spayed or neutered and who then threw it out when it became inconvenient. This rabbit was the victim of not one, but two crimes: dumping, and animal cruelty. And in both instances no-one has truly been held accountable.

Sue Collard

Drunken teens beat two rabbits to death

Posted By: Manon Keij
Date: Wednesday, 9 March 2005, at 4:02 p.m.

Friday, February 25/05
Temperature: 2°C Drunken teens beat two rabbits to death and a Kelowna
animal rights group is hoping you
can help track down the suspects.
Rabbits Beaten To Death
A local animal rights group is hoping you can help track down those
responsible for the senseless killings of defenceless animals.

Two wild rabbits were bludgeoned to death on January 30/05 in a field off
Hunter Court near Leckie Road in Kelowna.

According to Sinikka Crosland of Tracs (The Responsible Animal Care
Society), a woman says she approached two youths armed with a baseball bat
who said they were trying to catch some of the rabbits that roam freely in
the area.

Crosland says the teens had been drinking liquor and became abusive toward
the woman, who wisely left the area. But the woman came back the next day
and found two dead rabbits. The dead animals were turned over to a vet who
confirmed the animals had been beaten to death.

Description of the suspects:
Male: about 5'6", slight to average build, light to medium brown short hair,
not wearing glasses, clear, fair skin, age about 16 perhaps younger.
Female: about 5'2 or 3", slight, hair light brown or blonde, not wearing
glasses, clear complexion, pretty, age about 14 or 15.

Crosland has contacted the police and is asking anyone who may know
something about the attacks to also call the RCMP.
Posted: February 25 / 3:26 pm
Story# 7378 / KH Related Link: TRACS

Nothing, absolutely nothing, makes this kind of a crime acceptable

Posted By: Manon Keij
Date: Wednesday, 9 March 2005, at 4:04 p.m.

In Response To: Drunken teens beat two rabbits to death (Manon Keij)

Dear Editor,

While I have recently moved from Kelowna to Vancouver, I am still interested
in news in and around my 'hometown'.
I was appalled to read about the January 30 bludgeoning death of some of the
wild rabbits that have lived in the Leckie Road/Hunter Court area.
Living in Dilworth, I often spotted and enjoyed the wild rabbit population
in the adjoining area.

The fact that a woman from the area saw two teenagers with a baseball bat
who were allegedly trying to 'catch rabbits' only confirms to me that our
society is too soft on crime. Way too soft.
If teenagers think for one moment that they can get away with even thinking
of such a heinous, cowardly crime, there is something very wrong with the
message we give them about what's right and wrong and the courts usually
confirm this by their silly little sentences.

Teenagers talk to one another, so it is highly possible that these teens
talked about their disgusting killing to one or some of their friends.
How come no teenager has come forward to tell the police??
Where are those teenagers that do NOT think killing animals is cool????
ANYONE who knows about these youths' unspeakable crime, should come forward
or they are just as disgusting as the killers.

It takes a lot of despicable guts to beat some defenseless rabbits to death
and yet, I already know that if and when these teens are caught, the
almighty justice system will forgive and forget, as always.
A wrist on their murderous little hands, maybe some community service and
perhaps even a pitifully short probation term is all they would get...

And yet, once again, in this case punishment should fit the crime no matter
whether they are young, have been drinking or have some emotional problems.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, makes this kind of a crime acceptable and it is
about time that judges wake up from their continuing slumber in the courts
and punish the very worst among us: those who enjoy killing for no reason at

A society where crimes such as these are soon to be forgotten, is a very
poor society indeed!

Manon Keij

"By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight..."

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Wednesday, 9 March 2005, at 8:13 p.m.

In Response To: Nothing, absolutely nothing, makes this kind of a crime acceptable (Manon Keij)

This is truly a horrific, senseless, and cowardly act perpetrated upon the defenseless. And sadly, in our society there will be no justice for these innocent victims.

“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is - whether its victim is human or animal – we cannot expect things to be much better in this world…We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.” Rachel Carson

Carmina Gooch

should we really be so surprised? *LINK*

Posted By: Kim Brower <>
Date: Friday, 11 March 2005, at 12:02 p.m.

In Response To: Drunken teens beat two rabbits to death (Manon Keij)

It is disgusting and disturbing that these rabbits were beaten to death. But is this so different than the way that most animals are treated in our world?
Rabbits are born crowded in tiny cages and slaughtered for meat, for fur or sold to the pet trade. Chickens, pigs, cows, sheep; they are all treated horribly and slaughtered for the products they produce. Seals are bashed over the head in view of their families, wild animals cruelly trapped for their fur; the list goes on and on.

Should we really be so shocked that people think it sporting to smash the life out of rabbits?

Will the SPCA "educate" Petcetera?

Posted By: Lori Cumiskey
Date: Friday, 11 March 2005, at 3:00 p.m.

In Response To: Is this a case of "do as we say, but not as we do"? (Emma Vandewetering)

I wonder too... I went into Petcetera recently and saw them selling caged pets with a sign that said, 'we won't sell animals of different sexes so as to not encourage breeding'...This is pretty lame as it is still pretty easy to obtain caged animals of different sexes from different stores. With Easter around the corner, and the hordes of rabbits that will be bought and them dumped at the SPCA, it reminds me of the importance of not selling small animals from pet stores.
I hope the SPCA will go ahead with this campaign and perhaps try to educate Petcetera on the importance of not selling live animals.

Clerks and management personnel were insufficiently knowledgeable as to the basic care...

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Friday, 11 March 2005, at 7:34 p.m.

In Response To: Will the SPCA "educate" Petcetera? (Lori Cumiskey)

I have been in various Petcetera stores throughout the lower mainland and have approached staff on numerous occasions requesting information and advice on the baby rabbits displayed for sale. For the most part, both clerks and management personnel were insufficiently knowledgeable as to the basic care, appropriate food, housing arrangements, veterinary care, the importance of spay and neuter, or the overall responsibilities and demands associated with pet rabbits.
It wasn’t uncommon either, to be given incorrect information, especially when asking the sex of a rabbit. Given that kits are often sold at the too young age of four weeks, it is not surprising that those inexperienced and unfamiliar with these creatures cannot correctly identify the gender.
With Easter fast approaching it would be prudent if the BC SPCA, in its relationship with Petcetera, consider as a minimum, the temporary cessation of rabbit sales.

Carmina Gooch

Rabbit rescuer Carmina Gooch questions the sincerity of SPCA/Petcetera relationship to really help rabbits *LINK*

Posted By: AAS
Date: Monday, 14 March 2005, at 7:10 p.m.

What is the BC SPCA doing to address the plight of rabbits in general, and specifically, those bought as Easter pets? Again this year a predictable ho-hum public service announcement is released "urging the public to refrain from buying rabbits..." but after all this time shouldn't there be more in the way of proactive initiatives? There are increasing colonies of domesticated rabbits discarded to the outdoors and the lucrative pet peddling business is thriving.

As the BCSPCA and Petcetera have a continuing relationship/business partnership there would be considerable gains, both in terms of public image, and animal welfare, if the sale of rabbits as well as the other array of live caged animals (prisoners) exploited for profit were terminated.

If this is not immediately achievable Petcetera has its own adoption centre called Petcetera Animal Welfare Society that operates in partnership with the BC SPCA. Petcetera founder and President Mr. Dan Urbani has stated that as a "responsible pet retailer Petcetera is committed to helping reduce pet overpopulation" and that it also "works to reduce euthanasia rates by providing adoption for homeless animals." BC SPCA cats and dogs are rehomed through the program, so it is conceivable that if the BC SPCA actively pursues a leadership role in such areas as advocacy and reform, the creation and availability of educational and public awareness programs, the enhancement of humane care standards, and other such initiatives, that rabbits can be included as well.

What is questionable is the implementation of the recent pilot project at the Grandview & Rupert store wherein there is the choice between the "adoption" of BC SPCA spayed/neutered adult rescue rabbits for $59.95 each in one corner of the store and the promotion and routine $19.99 “sale” of Petcetera baby and juvenile bunnies in the other large and prominent well-lighted "livestock section."

Carmina Gooch

SPCA: "Once again the BC SPCA is urging the public to refrain from buying rabbits..." yet they partner with a business that is doing just the opposite

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Saturday, 19 March 2005, at 9:48 p.m.

In Response To: An animal in a cage is not a pet - it's a prisoner (AAS)

The brutality and suffering associated with the pet business is horrific, and every year about this time rabbits are promoted as Easter gifts. The decision to buy is often an impulse one and the sad reality is that the novelty wears off very quickly. The majority end up neglected, mistreated, unwanted, abandoned, and dead before reaching their first birthday.

In the current Petcetera flyer, colourfully displayed on the front page are three baby bunnies sitting amongst Easter eggs. Not only that but a "rabbit starter kit" is advertised on sale and included is a tiny 30"L x 18"W x 16"H cage.

"Once again the BC SPCA is urging the public to refrain from buying rabbits..." yet they partner with a business that appears to be doing just the opposite.

Carmina Gooch

An animal in a cage is not a pet - it's a prisoner

Posted By: AAS
Date: Saturday, 19 March 2005, at 10:52 a.m.

In Response To: The sugar glider (AAS)

Any creature that has to be caged is unsuitlable to be a "pet". They are not companions. And even though some can be conditioned to be held, most do not like to be held.

It is despicable of the SPCA to teach children that caged animals are okay to keep as pets, as long as they are treated right.

It is despicable of the SPCA to partner with a mass-marketer of caged animals.

But...what does it tell you about the SPCA? This issue is just one of dozens that proves what AAS alleges about the SPCA. No matter how anti-animal anything is, if it pays or promotes the SPCA, it's okay with the SPCA.

SPCA: "Once again the BC SPCA is urging the public to refrain from buying rabbits..." yet they partner with a business that is doing just the opposite

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Saturday, 19 March 2005, at 9:48 p.m.

In Response To: An animal in a cage is not a pet - it's a prisoner (AAS)

The brutality and suffering associated with the pet business is horrific, and every year about this time rabbits are promoted as Easter gifts. The decision to buy is often an impulse one and the sad reality is that the novelty wears off very quickly. The majority end up neglected, mistreated, unwanted, abandoned, and dead before reaching their first birthday.

In the current Petcetera flyer, colourfully displayed on the front page are three baby bunnies sitting amongst Easter eggs. Not only that but a "rabbit starter kit" is advertised on sale and included is a tiny 30"L x 18"W x 16"H cage.

"Once again the BC SPCA is urging the public to refrain from buying rabbits..." yet they partner with a business that appears to be doing just the opposite.

Carmina Gooch

The SPCA talks out of both sides of its mouth

Posted By: Carol Sonnex
Date: Sunday, 20 March 2005, at 7:12 a.m.

In Response To: SPCA: "Once again the BC SPCA is urging the public to refrain from buying rabbits..." yet they partner with a business that is doing just the opposite (Carmina Gooch)

Head Office of the BC SPCA is urging the public to refrain from buying rabbits. But are the branches?

The Victoria Branch of the BC SPCA has many spayed and neutered rabbits available for adoption without any disclaimer on their small animal page to discourage impulse purchases of rabbits.

Instead it says: We have many rabbits who have spent a year (or over!) at the shelter. Please come down to the shelter and add a rabbit to your family.

At Halloween the SPCA won't sell black cats, so why at Easter do they sell rabbits? Far more people are going to buy rabbits than black cats so this has the appearance of marketing, not animal welfare.
Just click on small animals to view

Purchased on Impulse

Posted By: Carmina Gooch <>
Date: Monday, 21 March 2005, at 4:35 p.m.

The following depicts the all too true tragic consequences of many thousands of baby rabbits purchased on impulse as an Easter gift. The majority will die after a brief existence of misery,unmourned, unwanted, and unremembered, before reaching their first birthday. It's the cycle from easy acquisition to disposal.

Carmina Gooch

Easter & Bunnies
Don't Mix

I remember Easter Sunday
It was colorful and fun
The new life that I'd begun
In my new cage.

I was just a little thing
When they brought me from the store
And they put me on the floor
In my cage.

They would take me out to play
Love and pet me all the time
Then at day's end I would climb
In my cage.

But as days and weeks went by
I saw less of them it seemed
Of their loving touch I dreamed
In my cage.

In the night outside their house
I felt sad and so neglected
Often scared and unprotected
In my cage.

In the dry or rainy weather
Sometimes hotter sometimes colder
I just sat there growing older
In my cage.
The cat and dog raced by me
Playing with each other only
While I sat there feeling lonely
In my cage.

Upon the fresh green grass
Children skipped and laughed all day
I could only watch them play
From my cage.

They used to take me out
And let me scamper in the sun
I no longer get to run
In my cage.

Once a cute and cuddly bunny
Like a little ball of cotton
Now I'm grown up and forgotten
In my cage.

I don't know what went wrong
At the home I did inhabit
I just grew to be a rabbit
In my cage.

But they've brought me to the pound
I was once loved and enjoyed
Now I wait to be destroyed
In my cage.

Poem by Mary Brandolino

Please go and get a (fair trade) chocolate bunny instead!

Posted By: Lori Cumiskey
Date: Saturday, 26 March 2005, at 2:28 p.m.

In Response To: Today, millions of animals will be killed, most of them for meat eaters *LINK* (AAS)

Please do not go out and adopt a rabbit unless you thoroughly understand what it takes to take care of one. Especially please do not buy from a pet store. The various lower mainland SPCA's are full of rabbits. Rabbits can live quite a long time. They are not very social and it is not fair to rabbits to keep them in cages. (I have 3 rabbits and they run around a very large area in my laundry room. They require nail clipping monthly as well as fresh vegetables and daily litter box changing).

Easter is a tough time for rabbits as so many are adopted and then taken into shelters when people find out they are not social animals and require a large space and a fair amount of care.
Please go and get a (fair trade) chocolate bunny instead!

SPCA Speaking for Animals - Which animals?

Posted By: Barbara O'Neill
Date: Thursday, 31 March 2005, at 2:19 p.m.

In Response To: Rough times for SPCA (Lavone Zeviar)

SPCA Speaking for Animals - Which animals?

I read with interest the article on the BCSPCA in today's Vancouver Sun. While I do believe that the BCSPCA has saved many dogs and cats, Mr Daniell out and out lies when he says animals are not euthanized for lack of space. Perhaps, cats and dogs are not - perhaps - but I know for a fact that rabbits certainly are, not at all shelters but at many, the Surrey SPCA being one of the worst.

Rabbits are the third most popular pet in North America yet they are constantly overlooked and ignored. They suffer greatly from being sold as babies in pet stores. Already, here in the lower mainland there is becoming a feral rabbit problem due to the fact that these impulse pet store purchases lead to rabbits being thrown out in parks and woodlands to fend for themselves. How can the SPCA, an organization that is supposed to "speak for all animals", work hand in glove and accept money from a big business like Petcetra that is a huge part of the problem when it comes to feral rabbits? How can they cheerfully hand over dogs and cats to be adopted out by people who are selling rabbits and other hapless little animals at the other end of the store? So, Petcetra doesn't sell cats and dogs, goody for them - do the other animals count for nothing? The care sheet they hand out with sold rabbits is nothing more than a shopping list of things to purchase in the store. There is no information on care, feeding, handling and MOST important, spay and neuter. Is this a business that an organization "speaking for animals" should work with?

The BCSPCA is in a powerful position to be able to do something about this situation. They could tell Petcetra that their working relationship will come to an end unless they cease the selling of animals in their stores. Petcetra would loose enormous face if they chose to fly in the face of the BCSPCA - not to mention many sales. They already loose sales due to their "selling animals" policy because all animal welfare organizations and their members actively advise friends and followers to boycott this store. Petcetra would probably find that sales would go up if they stopped selling animals. Why won't the BCSPCA flex its muscles and DO SOMETHING for the rabbits and small animals that need their help?

What are the SPCA's "euthanasia" stats for rabbits and all the other unnoticed little "pets"?

Posted By: Maureen Collins
Date: Thursday, 31 March 2005, at 3:47 p.m.

In Response To: Rough times for SPCA (Lavone Zeviar)

After reading today's article, "Rough times for the SPCA" I can't help but wonder why there are estimated statistics on euthanasia for cats and dogs but that figures for all other animals aren't mentioned. Are there any?

I would also like to point out that there is minimal space allocated for rabbits and small animals in any of the SPCA facilities, and that many owners who tire of their rabbit choose to throw it outdoors or else contact other rescue groups. When will the BC SPCA address this growing problem? Petcetera is planning on opening two more stores in the lower mainland this year, so I would suggest that Mr.Daniell and his organization mobilize themselves into action.

To the BC SPCA Board of Directors: Re: Surrey SPCA --Killing Rabbits for Space

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Sunday, 3 April 2005, at 10:10 a.m.

----- Original Message -----
From: Carmina
Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2005 10:05 AM
Subject: Surrey SPCA --Killing Rabbits for Space

April 3, 2005

To: Ms. Troman,

Please read and acknowledge my letter to Mr Daniell and distribute to all the members of the Board of Directors of the BC SPCA.

Re: Surrey SPCA --Killing Rabbits for Space

I have just had a telephone conversation with a staff member at the Surrey SPCA. I was told that if I was to bring in a couple of stray rabbits they would be held for six days, and after that the likelihood of them being killed was exceedingly high. There is space allocated for only a minimal number, there is virtually no call for rabbits after about six months of age, and yet people constantly turn in their unwanted pet rabbits. To accept and then kill them is not animal welfare.

Mr. Daniell, it has been no secret that multitudes of healthy rabbits have, and continue to be killed for lack of space. How can you say otherwise?

Feral colonies are increasing, Petcetera and other retailers have an endless supply, and despite growing demands from society that these issues be addressed, rabbits remain overlooked by your organization.

Now too, the Youth Program has undergone "restructuring", the previous staff (except one) has been let go, and most volunteers have left. The hours of operation at the centre has been reduced, and after the nine rabbits housed on site at the moment are no longer, there will probably be only "two demonstration animals."

Can you please tell me how you are committing to the welfare and advocacy of rabbits?

cc: Craig Daniell

Carmina Gooch

Question to the BC SPCA Board: how can the SPCA claim to be concerned with the welfare of rabbits when it has a business relationship with Petcetera?

Posted By: AAS
Date: Sunday, 3 April 2005, at 12:08 p.m.

In Response To: To the BC SPCA Board of Directors: Re: Surrey SPCA --Killing Rabbits for Space (Carmina Gooch)

----- Original Message -----
From: Animal Advocates
Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2005 12:05 PM
Subject: Question: how can the SPCA claim to be concerned with the welfare of rabbits when it has a business relationship with Petcetera?

Dear Ms Troman and Members of the BC SPCA Board of Directors,

Your BC SPCA entered into a business partnership with Petcetera in 1997. The partnership was revealed as unethical from the very beginning. (Read:

Your BC SPCA continues this business partnership with what is very likely the largest seller of rabbits in BC. At the same time, your BC SPCA urges people to not buy rabbits at Easter, for example. And at the same time, your BC SPCA kills an untold number of rabbits a year.

Petceteras are used as free retail outlets for the selling of your dogs and cats. We have many reports of Petcetera staff selling dogs to very unsuitable people, and many reports of staff who are ignorant of dog behaviour and welfare being permitted to sell SPCA dogs. And to the best of our knowledge, there are no home checks made, so SPCA dogs may be being sold to be abused, neglected, kept in yards and on chains.

We urge you to discontinue your business partnership with Petcetera.

We look forward to your earliest reply,

Judith Stone, President,
Animal Advocates Society of BC
The AAS web mag:
The Watch Dog messageboard:

I am once again urging you to address the plight of rabbits

Posted By: Terry Roberge
Date: Sunday, 3 April 2005, at 7:47 p.m.

In Response To: Question to the BC SPCA Board: how can the SPCA claim to be concerned with the welfare of rabbits when it has a business relationship with Petcetera? (AAS)

Sent: April 3, 2005

From: Terry Roberge
To: Ms. Troman and Board
cc: Mr. Daniell

Subject: The BC SPCA and Rabbit Welfare

I am once again urging you to address the plight of rabbits. The over-population of domestic rabbits leads to other "rescue" groups being overburdened, disease and early death to those abandoned outdoors, unnecessary euthanasia of healthy rabbits by the BC SPCA, and so on.

Animal welfare is a priority for all animals, and the BC SPCA is in a position to bring forth change, both municipally and provincially.

I look forward to your response,

Terry Roberge

Citizens ARE concerned about the fate of rabbits at the BC SPCA

Posted By: Lana Simon
Date: Sunday, 3 April 2005, at 9:46 p.m.

In Response To: To the BC SPCA Board of Directors: Re: Surrey SPCA --Killing Rabbits for Space (Carmina Gooch)

April 3rd, 2005

To: Ms. Mary Lou Troman, President, BCSPCA
cc: Mr. Craig Daniell, CEO, BCSPCA
cc: Mayor and Councillors - City of North Vancouver

Dear Ms. Troman:

Citizens are concerned about the fate of rabbits at the SPCA

Ten days ago, Pacific Animal Foundation (PAF) received a call from a woman about two unfixed rabbits that had been abandoned by a rental tenant in her neighbourhood who had recently moved. The rabbits, (a male and a female), were running loose and living in the woodpile of a neighbouring yard despite dogs and traffic nearby. She asked if PAF would come and rescue the rabbits.

Because the woman lived in the City of North Vancouver which has a contract with the SPCA, I asked her if she had called the SPCA for help. She told me she was scared to call the SPCA because she didn't want the rabbits put down and was afraid the SPCA would do just that. Even though Pacific Animal Foundation's main focus is working with feral cats, we agreed to help her. The next day, two PAF volunteers located the rabbits running loose and, after a full hour of effort, captured both bunnies safely. PAF has paid the cost for both rabbits to be fixed and they are now in the care of a volunteer from Vancouver Rabbit Rescue & Advocacy. . Because the two rabbits are obviously bonded, they will be adopted together.

It is a sad state of affairs when an ordinary citizen is afraid to call the SPCA on an animal related matter. Also, as a North Vancouver City taxpayer, a portion of her taxes go to pay the SPCA for just this type of assistance and she should have a right to feel confident about the care an animal receives. It is a small, volunteer organization that ended up helping her and paying the medical bills. PAF can supply the name and telephone number of the woman if the SPCA would like to confirm the above details.

Yes, there are far too many rabbits for adoption so, what should the SPCA do about it? An effort must be made to curb back yard breeders by enacting stringent health and breeding guidelines; ban the sale of rabbits in BC pet stores; fix all rabbits that enter the SPCA system prior to adoption; do appropriate screening of potential homes so that rabbit care and behaviour is totally understood; and introduce an education program to enlighten the public that rabbits are not "starter pets" and can be a 10 year commitment.

I look forward to a reply.

See photos:

Lana Simon, President
Pacific Animal Foundation

Petcetera should not be telling their customers only what they want to hear in order to make a sale

Posted By: Jen Myhre
Date: Friday, 27 May 2005, at 5:05 p.m.

In Response To: The SPCA, Petcetera, and rabbits (Carmina Gooch)

Five 1/2 years ago a friend took me to Petcetera in Kamloops to buy me a rabbit for my birthday. We viewed many and my heart was set on a female dwarf bunny...or so I was told. We purchased "her" for $29.95. As a little time went on I gave "her" her first bath only to find she was a he! This can be a big deal to some as males have a tendancy to spray and be somewhat more aggressive than females. I contacted Petcetera about this mix-up and they simply told me that it is hard to tell. I had already grown to love him (Taz), so I let it go. Although, as time passed on Taz, this supposed dwarf bunny kept growing! He is 6 yrs now and the size of a large house cat. He is very loved, has never had a cage, litter trained and enjoys running a muck outside,as well as inside. I am very happy he is a part of my life but what would've happened to him had he gone to another home with someone who wanted a female dwarf and nothing else? Petcetera should not be telling their customers only what they want to hear in order to make a sale, these animals lives and welfare are at stake.


I ask that the revenues you have be spent on what the donors expect, the animals.

Posted By: Terry Roberge
Date: Thursday, 7 July 2005, at 7:52 p.m.

In Response To: Lawyers don't need the money as much as animals do! I know, my husband is a lawyer (M. Thomas)

BC SPCA Board Members,

I am appalled by the BC SPCA's actions in both instigating and pursuing this lawsuit against the Animal Advocates Society, in the vain hopes of silencing them.

We are constantly reminded of the limited resources of this organization when asking for improvements that would directly benefit the animals in its custody, yet there appears to be no shortage of funds for this undertaking.
I am currently fostering a rabbit from the Vancouver branch and on the SPCA form the reason given for foster is that it is "declining in adoption pens." When I questioned what that meant I was told the rabbit was under stress and would be better off removed from the current environment.

So, I ask that the revenues you have be spent on what the donors expect, the animals.

Terry Roberge

While focus is put on the inadequate cages no mention is made of the 10 excellent cages in the rabbit room *PIC*

Posted By: Olga Betts, Vancouver Rabbit Rescue <>
Date: Saturday, 30 July 2005, at 1:37 p.m.

In Response To: The SPCA, the Five Freedoms and Rabbits *LINK* *PIC* (Carmina Gooch, Rabbit Rescue)

I read with interest the posting about rabbits at the Vancouver SPCA. I volunteer there with the rabbits almost every day. It's true that 12 of the cages are inadequate. These cages were donated and were put in use as a temporary measure so that the shelter could take in and adopt out more rabbits. While focus is put on the inadequate cages no mention is made of the 10 excellent cages in the rabbit room. (See photo.) Bigger bunnies and pairs of rabbits are always put in these cages. As they become available rabbits are rotated from the smaller cages to the larger ones.

It's true that the bunnies do not get enough exercise. Neither do the cats, dogs and hamsters. It is a fact of shelter life that is difficult to avoid unless one has the luxury of land around the shelter where runs can be built. That said the volunteers make sure that each rabbit gets as much time possible for a run around. They also get excellent care with lots of love, good quality hay and fresh greens every day. I do not feel that any of the rabbits are suffering unduly and all are better off than being in a home where they are not wanted or out in the woods or park where they were rescued.

It is well known by SPCA staff that the small cages are inadequate. A fund raiser is being organized this summer so that new cages can be provided. If any of you concerned with the rabbits health would like to help with this please contact me.

I wish it were a perfect world but we do what we can.

Olga Betts
President, Vancouver Rabbit Rescue & Advocacy


What kind of advocacy is that...sounds like she is an advocate for the SPCA

Posted By: Michelle Rankin
Date: Saturday, 30 July 2005, at 2:57 p.m.

In Response To: While focus is put on the inadequate cages no mention is made of the 10 excellent cages in the rabbit room *PIC* (Olga Betts, Vancouver Rabbit Rescue)

Olga Betts advocates keeping rabbits in cages and selling them to people who will keep them in cages? What kind of advocacy is that...sounds like she is an advocate for the SPCA. Those cages look to be about 12 cu ft and some have 2 rabbits in them, and she admits that they don't get out much and that the only reason they do get out is if volunteers come in. Sounds like a hell of a deal for the SPCA to me. They get to stop killing all the rabbits and get to sell them instead. What if the volunteers stop coming in Olga?

God help the rabbits if this is their advocate. She thinks she is speaking for rabbits when she says they prefer a life in a cage to freedom. Olga, I know rabbits that can think more clearly than that.

I wish to make several comments with respect to the posting by VRRA President, Olga Betts

Posted By: Sue Collard, Past President, VRRA
Date: Saturday, 30 July 2005, at 5:59 p.m.

In Response To: While focus is put on the inadequate cages no mention is made of the 10 excellent cages in the rabbit room *PIC* (Olga Betts, Vancouver Rabbit Rescue)

I wish to make several comments with respect to the posting by VRRA President, Olga Betts.

-If the cages are known by SPCA management to be inadequate why were they installed in the first place?

-Given the SPCA's budget and donations one would think money could be allocated for cages. Within the past year VRRA estimated the cost for supplies for building cages to be only about $1000 - $1500. This caging has been an issue of concern since they were introduced November 2004.

-In addition to fundraising for the Vancouver SPCA shouldn't Canada's only House Rabbit Society chapter, Vancouver Rabbit Rescue & Advocacy, be encouraging the SPCA to improve rabbit welfare conditions throughout its operations?

-What attempts have been made to establish adequate run time and space for rabbits? Would the results of an audit of the available space at SPCA shelters indicate when and where rabbits could have adequate room to exercise? Has the SPCA considered a communal room such as the one that has been established at the North Vancouver District Animal Shelter for the past three years?

Necessity forces pragmatic compromise but compromise should not be allowed to become the status quo.

Sue Collard
Former Volunteer, Vancouver SPCA
Past President VRRA

How about some creative solutions for rabbit care? *PIC*

Posted By: Lana Simon
Date: Saturday, 30 July 2005, at 7:39 p.m.

In Response To: I wish to make several comments with respect to the posting by VRRA President, Olga Betts (Sue Collard, Past President, VRRA)

Regarding the issues of cage size and exercise for rabbits:

From the BC SPCA’s own website under the “Care of Rabbits” section:

“The amount of space your rabbit will need depends on the size and breed of your rabbit - the more space the better. Your rabbit’s hutch should be not less than 4 feet long by 3 feet wide by 2 feet high, raised above the ground. About 18" at one end should be boarded in for a sleeping room, with an opening large enough for the rabbit to go back and forth to the living and eating area. The living and eating area should have a full wire mesh front, with a door to open for feeding and cleaning with a strong latch to prevent dogs, cats and wild animals from getting in.

Remember that a rabbit needs time out of his cage/hutch for exercise every day.”


From the website of Susan A. Brown, DVM, on humane requirements for housing rabbits:


House rabbits should never be kept completely confined to a cage. Exercise is vital for the health of the rabbit. All too often we hear well meaning, but poorly informed, people describe rabbits as easy to keep because “they can be caged and don’t take up much space!” This idea has led to many rabbits being caged most of their lives with the distinct possibility of developing both physical and behavioral disorders.
They are designed to run and jump and move about a large area.

To confine a rabbit to a cage exclusively can cause several problems:

•Obesity – caused most often by a diet too high in calories coupled with a lack of exercise

•Pododermatitis – Inflammation of the feet caused by sitting in a damp or dirty environment

•Poor bone density - Rabbits that are continually confined to a small cage can exhibit marked thinning of the bones which may lead to more easily broken bones when handling

•Poor muscle tone - If the rabbit can’t exercise, the muscles, including the heart, will be underdeveloped and weak

•Gastrointestinal and urinary function - A rabbit that sits all day in the cage with little exercise can develop abnormal elimination habits

•Behavioral problems - Continually caged rabbits can exhibit a wide range of abnormal behaviors including lethargy, aggression, continual chewing of the cage bars, chewing fur (obsessive grooming), and destruction of the entire contents of the cage.

From the website of Anna Meredith MA VetMB CertLAS MRCVS, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and Lance Jepson MA VetMB CBiol MIBiol MRCVS, University of Liverpool Small Animal Hospital:

"Great care must be taken when handling rabbits. Osteoperosis is often present due to lack of exercise and low calcium intake, and a kick from the powerful hind legs can result in lumbar vertebral fractures (usually L6/L7). "

"Hutches should always be as large as possible, with at the very least sufficient room to fully stretch up on the hind limbs and stretch out. If confined to the hutch for long periods of time the rabbit should be able to perform at least three "hops" from one end to the other."

“An exercise area must always be provided in addition to hutch accommodation. This can be in the form of a mobile run or ark or a permanently fenced area of grass.”

In looking at the photo with rows of cages at the Vancouver SPCA, I wonder why a different set up couldn’t be arranged for housing the rabbits? Many could be housed together and thereby provide them with more mobility, exercise room and social interaction.

What is the “exercise protocol” for the rabbits housed at the BC SPCA ? Can someone tell me? There must be written instructions in a care manual for staff.

Lana Simon, Director
Pacific Animal Foundation

Multi-rabbits pen


While they may not be "suffering unduly" this does not justify an organization that "speaks for the animals" using this type of "housing" *PIC*

Posted By: Carmina Gooch, Rabbit Rescuer and Advocate
Date: Saturday, 30 July 2005, at 10:03 p.m.

In Response To: While focus is put on the inadequate cages no mention is made of the 10 excellent cages in the rabbit room *PIC* (Olga Betts, Vancouver Rabbit Rescue)

The white tag on the cage says: Not feeling well. Please DO NOT pet. Thanks

We are well aware that several different sizes of cages are used to accommodate the rabbits but the lab cages are the ones of most concern. They allow for minimal movement only and as these rabbits are confined for indefinite periods of times this can lead to stress and illness. While they may not be "suffering unduly" this does not justify an organization that is supposed to "speak for the animals" using this type of "housing".

Nor should it be the volunteers who provide the hay and fresh greens, at their own expense.
The SPCA has to direct more resources towards the welfare and advocacy of rabbits.

Carmina Gooch
North Vancouver 

Rabbit rescue network fears many rabbits to be killed at SPCA

Posted By: AAS
Date: Thursday, 22 September 2005, at 5:39 p.m.

From the Brindleweb messageboard
Subject: Re: a lot of rabbits to be killed by a "shelter"?

"Rabbit Hutch" Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:53 pm Post subject: Rabbits to be put to sleep.
One of the local animal shelters will be putting to sleep half of their bunnies.

We need help to place 12-14 ASAP.....

I know no one is into bunnies but I can't bear the thought of which ones will be picked to die. If you can help, we'd really appreciate it.

"Karen H" Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:36 pm
Why are they being put to sleep? Does someone think there are too many at the shelter? I know that finding good homes for rabbits is hard, heck we even get people here going to the shelter and saying they would like a "couple of rabbits to eat". Rabbits seem to be caught between people thinking of them as pets or as something to eat.

"Simone" Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:17 pm
Yes, the shelter has too many apparently. They are all overflowing with rabbits... and needless to say so are we! We are just desperate for foster homes for rabbits!


Again, it is the little groups that do real animal welfare

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Thursday, 22 September 2005, at 5:45 p.m.

In Response To: Rabbit rescue network fears many rabbits to be killed at SPCA (AAS)

I'd say that the SPCA gives less than adequate consideration to the welfare of pet rabbits and rodents. At the branches where they actually have rabbits the allotted space is minimal and inadequate.

Why does Small Animal Rescue Society (SARS) have to rush to rescue and take into its care 12-14 rabbits from a Lower Mainland SPCA where these animals are being threatened with euthanasia?

SARS is a charitable organization comprised entirely of a handful of volunteers, yet they handle more than the combined total of rabbits in all Lower Mainland SPCA branches. They certainly don't have the resources like the SPCA has. If one adds the other independent/small groups to the picture, once again this begs the question, "What is the SPCA doing?"

Carmina Gooch

Whether the public will continue to entrust and support this organization enough to sustain it

Posted By: Terry Roberge
Date: Thursday, 22 September 2005, at 5:47 p.m.

In Response To: Rabbit rescue network fears many rabbits to be killed at SPCA (AAS)

Rabbit welfare never has been prime concern of the BC SPCA. It has been public pressure and the voices of other animal welfare societies that have generated the reluctant and gradual change. Whether the public will continue to entrust and support this organization enough to sustain it well into the future or find them unfit to carry on "speaking for animals", remains to be seen.

Terry Roberge

More About the SPCA--Rabbits & Rodents

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Sunday, 25 September 2005, at 6:03 p.m.

Brindleweb Pet Rescue Board:

There is a lot of chatter on Brindleweb about rabbits that may be killed for space at the Richmond SPCA. Some excerpts:

Zanes zoo Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 2:59 am Post subject: Small rodents need your HELP
I assumed that we had a NO KILL policy out here but I guess it is only for the cats and dogs...If they are to be destroyed then something needs to be done. If the local pet stores can sell the animals then why do they (the Richmond SPCA) not give them to the pet stores instead and have them sell the ones that need homes first, instead of meeting there quotas and buying them from other places to replace there stock. What kind of world do we live in? Any animal large or small, they are not disposable like a pair of socks. You do not dispose of them because you no longer want the responsibility, tired of them .
If the SPCA is over crowded then they should be placed in local pet stores. Why KILL the animals, they have done nothing wrong. Why should the pet stores continue to sell these animals if they will just end up at the local shelters and then be destroyed. If anyone can help, these animals should not be destroyed.
Please spay or neuter your pet today...Zane @ Zane's Zoo

MIA Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 10:16 am
I personally would put a call into head office and ask what's going on. This is totally unaceptable IMO. If they are simply going to kill the little ones they shouldn't be taking them in PERIOD.

Rabbit Hutch Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 10:20 am
I did call head office the day I found out and posted about the 12-14 rabbits.....not even a call back....very disappointing indeed

....sadly this is *why* I got into small animal rescue....I never had a small animal....I was a dog walker.

Rabbit Hutch Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:57 pm
I have emailed many times to certain shelters to offer to help with starting up a foster program for the small animals but I was always told, they are fine and don't need the help.... I've also written a letter to all the managers offering our services but it wasn't taken up. I also offered it to the municipal animal shelters and all of them got back to me saying that working together is imperative. Some of the managers have been AWESOME and have allowed us to help and trust me, we have helped them place HUGE influxes (40 guineas, tons of rats & hamsters) but other don't want our help.

Seegs Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 4:38 pm
From the few SPCA shelters I have been in and seen personally, the SPCA does say no to owner surrenders (dogs & cats) when the kennels are full. I have seen this in Surrey and Maple Ridge. As for rabbits and small animals, I don't think the SPCA should take them. They don't have the right environments for them. No one adopts them and they just sit in cages. How sad is that?

Rabbit Hutch Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 5:15 pm
exactly. That's why we are trying to work with them so we can at leat get them into homes where they can have one on one attention. We have the network for the small animals and people actually seek us out. In less than a year we have adopted out about 250 or more small it can be done....they don't need to die.


What's with this organization anyway?

Posted By: Maureen Collins
Date: Sunday, 25 September 2005, at 6:04 p.m.

In Response To: More About the SPCA--Rabbits & Rodents (Carmina Gooch)

What's with this organization anyhow?

It's rather apparent there is no commitment or interest on the part of the SPCA to improve the plight of rabbits. Calls aren't returned and offers of help are refused. How infuriating! What's with this organization anyway? They'll never get a penny out of me.
Maureen Collins

Hop on Down to the Rabbit Festival At the Vancouver SPCA on Oct. 23

Posted By: Emma Vandewetering
Date: Sunday, 23 October 2005, at 7:02 a.m.

Hop on Down to the Rabbit Festival At the Vancouver SPCA on Oct. 23
October 17, 2005. For immediate release.

Vancouver's growing community of dedicated rabbit enthusiasts will be converging at the Vancouver SPCA shelter at 1205 East 7th Avenue on Sunday, Oct. 23 between 12:30 and 4:30 p.m.

Co-sponsored by Vancouver Rabbit Rescue and the BC SPCA, the festival will bring together experienced and novice rabbit owners, animal welfare enthusiasts, and the increasing number of veterinary professionals who deal with these cute but frequently misunderstood animals. "Unfortunately both the SPCA and rabbit rescue groups take in hundreds of abandoned and surrendered rabbits every year because people don't appreciate or understand these animals," says Mark Takhar, manager of the Vancouver SPCA shelter. "The lucky ones make it to shelters, but others are just dumped in parks or along roads, which leads to suffering for the animals and a growing feral rabbit population."

One of the goals of the festival is to raise awareness about the correct care of rabbits and suitability of these wonderful animals as pets for condos and apartments. "Rabbits make great pets for adults and their daily routine fits in nicely for people who are working, since rabbits are most active in the morning and in the evening," says Takhar. So hop on down to the Rabbit Festival where you'll find out lots of bunnies for adoption or foster. There will also be free vet checks for owned rabbits, presentations on rabbit care, behaviour and health, nail clipping, rabbit supplies and lots of prizes and fun.

Further information:
Mark Takhar, Manager, Vancouver SPCA, 604-841-6079.

"The lucky ones make it to shelters." That is certainly debatable

Posted By: Kari Serpa
Date: Sunday, 23 October 2005, at 3:55 p.m.

In Response To: Hop on Down to the Rabbit Festival At the Vancouver SPCA on Oct. 23 (Emma Vandewetering)

"The lucky ones make it to shelters." Lucky? That is certainly debatable. How can a tiny cage and death be called "lucky" by anyone who also says they are a rabbit lover?

"Rabbits make great pets for adults and their daily routine fits in nicely for people who are working, since rabbits are most active in the morning and in the evening". The SPCA and the so-called rabbit advocates treat sentient beings as the ultimate in convenient live toys. No robot dog for these selfish humans, only a breathing creature with a heart and soul is good enough for their amusement after a busy day at the office. And if you don't get home til midnight and are too tired for your toy, well rabbits get used to living in a cage... no problem.

This is so perverted it makes me feel ill! It is so selfish and so exploitive and so wrong. I'd like to put all of them in a cage in an apartment for just one week, waiting for the sound of the 'loving human' who will let them out for a few minutes of freedom! Why isn't this group telling the truth about rabbits? They make poor pets, they don't respond much, and as a consequence they are ignored to death by the millions.

Re: "The lucky ones make it to shelters." That is certainly debatable

Posted By: Lyn MacDonald
Date: Sunday, 23 October 2005, at 8:19 p.m.

In Response To: "The lucky ones make it to shelters." That is certainly debatable (Kari Serpa)

What is lucky about making it to the SPCA "shelter" if you are a rabbit? You'll get a tiny cage - too small for a good run, or even a stretch.
That's it - probably until you die.
Or, if you get "lucky" again, you'll be bought by someone who will probably keep you in a similar cage, maybe slightly bigger, maybe not.
Most likely, during your active hours, the morning and evening, the family will be rushing off to work or school, and in the evening, well there are just so many more interesting things to do than spend time exercising and cuddling the rabbit.
I know there are always exceptions, but the pet rabbits I have been shown have been confined almost their entire lives in tiny cages, sometimes with only wire to walk on, as it is easier to clean.
What a horrible life.
I wish people would not breed rabbits, and confine rabbits.
I wish people would not dump rabbits either, but I think if I was a rabbit, I would prefer the perhaps brief life of a feral, or free - roaming rabbit to a lifetime of captivity.

Included amongst the animals slaughtered for their pelts are rabbits *PIC*

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Monday, 30 January 2006, at 7:19 a.m.

In Response To: The Year of the Dog - a good time to urge the end to the dog and cat fur trade *PIC* (AAS)

The fur industry is truly horrific and included amongst the animals slaughtered for their pelts are rabbits. While there is increasing attention being focused on the atrocities committed on China's dogs and cats, all fur bearing animals exploited for the same reasons suffer immensely. This is a most evil and amoral industry, one that is fuelled by human demand but also one for which there is no justification.

Suspicious of fur animals sold at Park Royal *PIC*

Posted By: Hiroko Nakagawa
Date: Monday, 30 January 2006, at 4:29 p.m.

In Response To: The Year of the Dog - a good time to urge the end to the dog and cat fur trade *PIC* (AAS)

----- Original Message -----
From: Nakagawa Hiroko
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2006 3:25 PM
Subject: Customer Comment regarding merchandise

To the Management of Park Royal Shopping Centre

Jan. 28, 2006

Dear Sir/Madam,
I'm a regular customer of your shopping malls. I also enjoy visiting your
new village area very much.
Everything you have is of high quality, stylish and practical. I'm also
very satisfied with your services.
However, I saw something unusual and a little disconcerting
yesterday(Jan.27) in the south mall.

There was a kiosk near the Bank of Montreal, where the merchant sold mostly
animal figures and ornaments. Among them, I found many products covered
with 'fur', which looked to me too real to be fake. When I questioned the
merchant, he answered it as just 'polyester'.
However I have reason to be suspicious.

People, especially animal lovers are talking a lot lately about dog and cat
fur issues. Millions of domestic animals(needless to say about wild
animals) are being slaughtered and skinned annually in China and in some
other countries for fur.
Then the pelts are used for various products such as clothes, rugs, toys
for pets (ironic, but true), and animal figurines and ornaments.
There are no regulations for labeling, so the products can be presented as
wild animal fur or just as faux fur. There is no inspection at the border
either for importing them, and here in Vancouver, an international port
city, the false fur products kept showing up everywhere, many of which are
suspected to be dog and cat fur.
I've already heard about the malls and stores which carried such kind of
merchandise in other municipalities. I've also heard of the suspicious cat
ornaments which strangely looked real, covered with very cat-like fur.
But to find the very products of such description on a vendor's table in
Park Royal Shopping Mall was a surprise, the last thing on my mind.

I don't want to be too fussy or too inquisitive, but what I saw there
raised my alarm.
My wish for shopping at Park Royal, is always to be able to roam free, with
no worry of encountering fur products, which reminds me of animal's
suffering and cruel methods of killing. Please go fur-free and please be
mindful of dog and cat fur disguised under false labels in future.
Thank you.
Sincerely yours,
Hiroko Nakagawa

My letter....

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Tuesday, 31 January 2006, at 10:16 a.m.

In Response To: The Year of the Dog - a good time to urge the end to the dog and cat fur trade *PIC* (AAS)

January 31, 2006
Subject: The Horrific Fur Industry and International Trade
Dear Sirs,

The fur trade continues to claim millions upon millions of lives annually and the great majority of fur products for the world market are imported from China where there is an abundance of cheap labour.
With no animal welfare regulations or industry standards that protect these defenseless beings, farmers can confine, slaughter and transport the animals however they see fit. Undercover operations documented by PETA, the Humane Society of Canada , the Humane Society of the United States
Swiss Animal Protection/East International ,and Care for the Wild, have exposed the world to the shocking and violent abuses inflicted upon foxes, raccoons, dog, cats, rabbits, and others.
Crammed into tiny, filthy wire-mesh cages, exposed to the elements, they exist and suffer until ready for the transport stage. Cages are heaped upon the backs of trucks, animals arriving for slaughter have already died or are dying as they are then thrown from the top of the vehicle, and the remaining ones are brutally killed by such methods as neck-breaking, strangulation, or being repeatedly bashed against a wall. Some are skinned while alive and conscious.

I am urging the Chinese government to enact national animal welfare regulations and anti-cruelty laws that would protect all animals and end the cruel treatment and slaughter of all those species exploited for the fur industry. There is simply no place for this and it's time to move forward with action that would allow other species a respected position in human society. Until then I shall not buy anything labelled "Made in China."

I am also asking that Canada examine its global responsibility with respect to the fur industry and follow the example of other civilized countries and immediately ban the import and sale of dog and cat fur items. There is no excuse or defense of an industry that profits from the hell and misery of others.

Carmina Gooch

Anti-Fur Protest: Monday, Feb 13th: Chinese Consulate: 3380 Granville St near Angus Drive

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Thursday, 9 February 2006, at 6:17 a.m.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, February 8, 2006


Are you wearing dog or cat fur?

On Monday, February 13 at 11:00 – 12:00 noon, Canadians Against Dog and Cat Fur will gather in front of the Chinese Consulate, 3380 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada is one of over 25 cities participating in the International Day of Protest Against Chinese Fur. The group urges Canadians to boycott all goods made in China, until China enacts and enforces a ban on the trade in dog and cat fur and the live-skinning of any fur-bearing animal.

An estimated two million dogs and cats are being rounded up and slaughtered for their fur annually in Thailand, the Philippines, the Czech Republic, and principally, China.

In an undercover investigation of the “dog and cat” fur industry,” the Humane Society of the United States videotaped the horrifying way in which the animals suffer and die. Imprisoned in overcrowded and filthy cages, they are often beaten before being skinned alive. The film shows skinned but living dogs still conscious in their agony. Some of them wore collars indicating they were stolen pets.

Merchants of this gruesome trade boast that dog and cat fur is cheaper to produce than “fake.” The fur is processed and dyed to resemble expensive fur. It is also used to trim the hoods of coats and jackets, to line ski boots and gloves, and for items such as figurines and other collectibles.

Dog fur products have been sold as China wolf, Asian wolf, Asian jakal, Gae wolf, Pommern Wolf, loup d’Asie, Sobaki, Mongolian dog fur, Goupee, and dogue de Chine. Cat fur products have been sold as rabbit, maopee, goyangi, Katzenfelle, Mittel, natuerliches, chat de Chine, Wildcat, and gatto chinesi.

Falsely labeled (or not labeled at all), dog and cat fur is being channeled into Canada and the United States reaping enormous profits for the traders. Canadians are not aware that they are buying into in this grisly trade.

Legislation must be enacted to prevent its import as Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, and Belgium have done. The trade in dog and cat fur is equally abhorrent to the Australians and Americans who have also slammed the door on this market. And in the United Kingdom, Paul and Heather Mills McCartney are leading the charge for an entire European Union ban.

The United Kingdom’s Mary-Alice Pollard who represents the International Organization for Animal Protection is recruiting singers, songwriters and musicians from around the world. Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Jimmy Page kick-started a “musical petition” to be presented to the Chinese government. And Maria Daines, another supporter of the group, has written a song entitled “I Am The Owner Of This Coat.”

Canada's is poised to double its trade with China—its second largest trading partner—by 2010, as part of the new “Pacific Gateway Strategy.” If we do not close our doors to this unconscionable trade, as other foreign markets have done, Canada will become an appalling dumping ground for dog and cat fur products.

The International Day of Protest Against Chinese Fur calls consumers of conscience to reject animal cruelty in the name of fashion by joining the global boycott.

The International Day of Protest against Chinese Fur will be held in front of Embassies and Consulates in cities around the world. Among them: London, Dublin, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Washington, San Francisco, New York City, Milan, Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Nice, Mexico City, Caracas, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Tel Aviv, Riga, Bangkok, Zagreb, Tasmania, Belgrade and Vancouver.

The International Day of Protest Against Chinese Fur was organized by Jane Halevy in Tel Aviv. Protest demonstrations in many cities around the world will be held at their relevant embassies or consulates. At the conclusion of the demonstration, a letter addressed to the President of China, as well as, a report on the Chinese Fur Industry will be given to the Chinese ambassador. A copy of the letter will be available to the Press that day.

For further information, contact: Le VanLe, Canadians Against Dog and Cat Fur at
604-438-0473 and/or
Jane Halevy, International Day of Protest Against Chinese Fur, Tel Aviv, at 972-50 200 54 11


Although difficult to imagine that such barbarism and cruelty
routinely takes place on a massive scale, the evidence can be seen by
viewing the videos found at the links below:

Quicktime: (warning: very disturbing content)

I'm tired and I'm so sick of fur, after visiting one of Richmond's Chinese shopping malls

Posted By: Hiroko Nakagawa
Date: Thursday, 9 February 2006, at 6:47 a.m.

In Response To: Anti-Fur Protest: Monday, Feb 13th: Chinese Consulate: 3380 Granville St near Angus Drive (Carmina Gooch)

I'm tired and I'm so sick of fur, after visiting one of Richmond's Chinese shopping malls.
This place was called 'Parker Place Mall', located in the heart of
downtown(of Richmond).
Yumiko came along again and we went into more than 20 fashion boutiques.
All of them sold fur, lots and lots of them, coats, vests, trimmings and
accessories, some cheap and some expensive. The colorful and stylish fur
items revealed that they were the hottest trend for the season.
After examining many, I would say about a half of them were fake and the
rest were unmistakably real.
However, with an exception of one store where most goods had 4 digit price
tag, we were told that all the real fur was 'rabbit', nothing else. The
store clerks' answers were automatically the same. They had no idea or
genuinely believed it so, but too much repeating of word 'rabbit' made me
imagine a big massacre of rabbits happening in China.

The whole experience was bizzare and overwhelming.
I planned to buy one or two items, but the uncertainty of DNA test for fur
made me think twice, everytime I picked an item.
I had to be sure it was 'real fur but not rabbit' , which was also tough to

We finally found a very strange purse covered with thick fur, which again
the salesperson explained as rabbit.
But with this particular one, Yumiko noticed right away that it wasn't. The
fur looked natural(not dyed) with markings of tabby cat(sort of black and
brown stripe).
Does a rabbit with tabby coating ever exist?
I was so freaked out at this point that I had to leave for a gasp of fresh
The labels of most of the merchandise were totally, ridicuously false. So
it is a big fraud.

Global Action Network targeting Tristan & America *PIC*

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Thursday, 9 February 2006, at 5:51 p.m.

In Response To: Anti-Fur Protest: Monday, Feb 13th: Chinese Consulate: 3380 Granville St near Angus Drive (Carmina Gooch)

Global Action Network recently convinced Jacob and Bedo, retail chains with a combined total of 218 stores across Canada, to go fur free. Now, we are now targeting Tristan & America, a men's and women's wear retailer that is selling rabbit fur jackets. Tristan & America's rabbit fur jackets are made in China where there are no animal welfare laws. What's more, there is a thriving, extremely cruel dog and cat fur industry in China, much of which is often falsely labeled as "rabbit fur" before export to Western markets.

Celebrate National Fur-free Friday by helping us convince Tristan & America to take the fur-free pledge:

Anti-Fur Demonstration
Friday, February 10
12:00- 1:00pm
Pacific Center (Corner of Robson and Howe Entrance)

This demonstration is rain or shine. Signs and leaflets will be provided.

Contact Tristan & America as soon as possible and urge them to go fur free.Tell them fur is cruel and you will not shop at their stores until they stop selling it. Mention that you will tell all your friends and family to do the same.

Gilles Fortin, CEO Tristan & America
20 Des Seigneurs St. Montreal QC H3K 3K3

Tel.: (514) 937-4601 Fax: (514) 935-1233

More information on why fur is cruel is available at or

A sample letter to Tristan and America *PIC*

Posted By: Terry Roberge
Date: Thursday, 9 February 2006, at 5:56 p.m.

In Response To: Anti-Fur Protest: Monday, Feb 13th: Chinese Consulate: 3380 Granville St near Angus Drive (Carmina Gooch)

Rabbits are commonly used in fur production and most come from China where they suffer terribly. Methods of slaughter include neck breaking, electrocution, strangulation or being repeatedly bashed against a wall.

Sample letter to Tristan & America (written by Terry Roberge):


Gilles Fortin,
CEO Tristan & America
20 Des Seigneurs St.
Montreal QC H3K 3K3
Tel.: (514) 937-4601 Fax: (514) 935-1233

Topic: Rabbit Fur

We are extremely dismayed and opposed to your company’s decision to sell rabbit fur clothing items. Animals exploited for the fur industry suffer tremendously in barbaric and inhumane conditions in order to feed senseless human vanity and wants. A number of organizations, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Swiss Animal Protection have revealed their undercover investigations of the horrors of the fur farms in China, a country where there is no animal welfare legislation. Well-known celebrities such as Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney have openly condemned this cruelty and trade.

Rabbits are packed into tiny wire cages where they are forced to exist until they die as they “lived”, miserably, traumatized, and without an ounce of respect. Some are still conscious while being skinned alive.

I cannot imagine that your company would wish to be associated with such massive suffering. Why not follow the lead of other companies such as Banana Republic, Gap Inc., Bedo, Zara, and Jacob and go fur-free? There is simply no way to justify exploiting and profiting from the misery of other beings, especially as there are so many synthetics readily available.

I urge you to take a compassionate stand for the animals and to pull and discontinue selling rabbit fur jackets and any and all fur items. Until then many consumers like myself will be taking our business elsewhere.


Your name
Your city and country

Killing rabbits seems not to count as killing

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Tuesday, 7 March 2006, at 6:54 p.m.

In Response To: Peace Arch News: SPCA's new manager seeks a better future *LINK* (AAS)

Tanya Firmage is quoted as saying that the Surrey shelter adheres to a no-kill policy but I have serious doubts as to the accuracy of that statement. Are there any statistics with respect to rabbits? My information and long time involvement in rabbit rescue certainly indicates that rabbits and other small critters at that branch have been destroyed both before and since the policy came into effect, and that they continue to be at risk of euthanasia because of lack of space. In fact, I have one of seven that had recently been slated to be put down and just last week another rescue group was contacted as to whether they had space for yet more rabbits. The pattern of killing adoptable and homeless rabbits or unloading them onto others is a well established one but perhaps it's one that is also about to change. We'll wait and see.

Isolation of rabbits at the Surrey SPCA not a humane education model *LINK* *PIC*

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Sunday, 12 March 2006, at 4:28 p.m.

In Response To: Killing rabbits seems not to count as killing (Carmina Gooch)

The Surrey SPCA's Youth Program:

Previous communications to the BC SPCA by those from within, and outside of the agency, indicate the restructuring of the Animal Learning Centre's Youth Program was not without a great deal of friction and division. In 2004 staff hours were reduced as were the times of operation. More emphasis was to be placed on going into the communities and developing school programs. Meanwhile, staff was also instructed to reduce the number of rabbits and small critters being held at the Centre. Today, as the restructuring continues, the hours have been further decreased with adoption and viewing hours being held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3-6 pm and Saturday from 10 until noon. On visits over the last several months the declining use and deterioration of the property was readily apparent. The once popular "Bottles for Bunnies" that raised money for the spaying and neutering of rabbits looks all but abandoned and the rabbits for adoption in the 'bunny barn' are kept caged, and in virtual isolation. Some sit for months on end with little human contact or exercise. I hardly call this adequate care or an educational model on which humane standards can be based. What message is this sending to the children? How can the rabbits possibly find new homes if the place is open only 11 hours per week? There are rabbits in the admitting facility but they too are relegated to only a bit of space in the back of the cat room. This branch has a reputation for putting down its surplus of rabbits or in handing them off to other individuals or groups, who in turn bear the financial costs and tasks of rehoming them.

I hope that in the near future the manager, Tanya Firmage, is able to remedy the existing circumstances and that the BC SPCA will direct some additional resources specific to rabbit welfare and advocacy.

Below are some pictures of the Animal Learning Centre taken on two separate occasions, once in February and then again in March.

More rabbit pages

Best Friends Bunny Rescue 06 *LINK* *PIC*

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Sunday, 19 March 2006, at 6:16 a.m.

March 1, 2006 : 12:00 AM

It’s the craziest bunny drama Best Friends has ever seen – 1,000 fluffy bunny rabbits bouncing around one backyard! They’re lively and playful, and they have a whole world to themselves with the snow-capped mountains of Reno providing the view. But their plea? “Give us some room!”

Read the full story...

Rabbits are not for kids *PIC*

Posted By: Lavone Zeviar
Date: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, at 4:46 p.m.

Not for kids

Published: Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Your photo of a toddler clutching a baby rabbit sends out an incorrect message about rabbits.

Rabbits aren't good pets for young children. They can die of fright when children scream, and they will die if shaken. A young child can't know the consequences of his or her actions.

In addition, Easter is fast approaching and many people get real rabbits as Easter presents.

Bunnies are cute, but they are also time-consuming and they enjoy peace and quiet.

With young children, peace and quiet is unattainable.

Heather Shana Burke,

© The Vancouver Province 2006

Just check out the many shelters, parks, and rescue organizations that are overflowing with discarded “pet” rabbits

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, at 4:58 p.m.

In Response To: Rabbits are not for kids *PIC* (Lavone Zeviar)

Re: Picture of the Day

I was absolutely stunned to see the huge "Picture of the Day" of a young boy holding a baby rabbit. It was most inappropriate as rabbits are prey animals and do not like to be picked up or held, and to present such a picture to the public is very misleading. Just check out the many shelters, parks, and rescue organizations that are overflowing with discarded “pet” rabbits, just like this one, likely bought for a child. And by the way, why would Aldor Acres be breeding their rabbits, when there is an overpopulation crisis?

Carmina Gooch
North Vancouver

A number of animal welfare organizations are trying to educate the public about this sort of stereotyping

Posted By: Terry Roberge
Date: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, at 5:00 p.m.

In Response To: Rabbits are not for kids *PIC* (Lavone Zeviar)


Re: Picture of the Day

The "Picture of the Day" depicting a young child holding a baby bunny is not a cute one. It perpetuates an inaccurate belief that children and rabbits are a good match.

This is far from the truth. A number of animal welfare organizations are trying to educate the public about this sort of stereotyping, but the message appears not to have reached everyone.

Perhaps a public service announcement discouraging rabbits as Easter gifts for children or one that promotes the benefits of companion rabbits being spayed or neutered, rather than being bred, would better reflect our changing times.

Terry Roberge

North Vancouver

Children under 8 years old should never handle a rabbit

Posted By: Olga Betts, Vancouver Rabbit Rescue and Advocacy
Date: Thursday, 23 March 2006, at 8:51 a.m.

In Response To: Rabbits are not for kids *PIC* (Lavone Zeviar)

I was greatly disturbed by the Picture of the Day published on March
21st, showing an attractive toddler clutching a baby rabbit. As
someone who works in rabbit rescue and battles hard to dispel the
many misconceptions about rabbits this was a real blow to our
message. Please, all readers out there, this picture might be cute
but it gives the dangerous impression that rabbits are cuddly pets
for small children. Easter is coming up and Vancouver Rabbit Rescue
and Advocacy works hard during that season to educate that rabbits
should not be purchased as babies from pet stores and given to
children. Rabbits make super family pets in the same way that dogs
and cats do. They require too much daily care and attention for a
life span of 10 years (or more) to be given into a child's
ministration. The little rabbit in the photo is NOT newborn nor is he
comfortable. Children under 8 years old should never handle a rabbit.
If they are sitting down a bunny can be put on their lap for them to
pet. Rabbits are fragile and easily injured by rough handling or
dropping. A toddler is incapable of understanding the consequences of
squeezing, dropping or even throwing a rabbit, all of which can
happen in seconds. If families are interested in rabbits as pets I
recommend researching the care they need and then adopting a rescued
rabbit that needs a home. And if you want to give a child a rabbit,
please make it a chocolate or stuffed one.

Olga Betts
President Vancouver Rabbit Rescue and Advocacy

Rabbits in cages -- dogs on chains

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Thursday, 23 March 2006, at 6:06 p.m.

In Response To: Rabbits are not for kids *PIC* (Lavone Zeviar)

Not only are rabbits exploited for fur, meat, and research, our society has also included them in the companion animal category. But the vast majority of people acquiring one of these “pets” really has no idea of what they are getting into.

Often purchased from a retailer, such as Petcetera, which promotes its “rabbit starter kit” complete with a small cage, a bit of food, bedding, a toy, water bottle, bowl, and a treat of sorts, the rabbit is set to go. The dismal reality is that rabbits are usually kept caged, and rarely get out for exercise or have the freedom to just have fun and be rabbits. It’s the same for the dog on a chain.

Generally bought on a whim and unfamiliar with the proper care and nature of, followed by days or years of neglect or suffering, until they are dumped, or death relieves them, that’s the bleak and sad cycle for most “companion” animals. Animals, which we’ve “created” to fulfill our own needs or wants. The injustices which accompany “ownership” are wrongs which we as a society are obliged to make right.

Surrey Now: The Surrey SPCA is urging people to think before they buy that little white Easter bunny

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Friday, 14 April 2006, at 7:20 p.m.

The Now (Surrey)

Curb that bunny urge

Brooke Larsen Now Contributor

The Surrey SPCA is urging people to think before they buy that little white Easter bunny.

"People who buy rabbits as Easter gifts don't realize that they're a big responsibility," said Surrey SPCA manager Tanya Firmage.

Easter rabbits often end up in animal shelters - which are already crowded with unwanted bunnies - because their owners no longer want them, said Firmage.

"That's part of the misconception. People think it's going to be a short-term pet. They don't give it enough thought or realize rabbits can live for 10 years."

Firmage said SPCAs throughout the Lower Mainland are already full of rabbits that need to be adopted.

"We are almost always filled to capacity with rabbits. If people are really determined to get one, I really would recommend they come look at a shelter and adopt one from there."

Aleck Jordan-Knox, supervisor of the Petland at 19475 Fraser Hwy., said the demand for rabbits increases dramatically this time of year.

"A lot of people want the rabbits just because it's Easter. If we wanted to, we could sell rabbits left right and centre."

Many of the customers looking for rabbits are teens, but Jordan-Knox says he only sells to families who have "carefully considered" the decision. "We actually try to push people away from it as much as possible." published on 04/12/2006

First rabbits are product at the SPCA's partner, Petcetera, and then they are product at SPCAs *PIC*

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Friday, 14 April 2006, at 7:25 p.m.

In Response To: Surrey Now: The Surrey SPCA is urging people to think before they buy that little white Easter bunny (Carmina Gooch)

While Surrey SPCA manager Tanya Firmage is "urging people to think before they buy that little white Easter bunny" the BC SPCA itself is partnering with Petcetera, "Canada's leading pet superstore chain," a chain that has rabbits on sale just in time for Easter. During today's half hour visit (Good Friday) to the Rupert/Grandview outlet there were eight rabbits on display and several customers considering a purchase.
Carmina Gooch
Terry Roberge

"Assorted" rabbits on sale at Petcetera *LINK* *PIC*

Posted By: Jean Martin
Date: Saturday, 15 April 2006, at 6:55 a.m.

In Response To: Surrey Now: The Surrey SPCA is urging people to think before they buy that little white Easter bunny (Carmina Gooch)

Petcetera can never pass up on a sales opportunity. Rabbits are on "special" this month. One wonders what the fate of these "assorted" rabbits will be. They are Item 29, between a cat tree and a hambone chew treat for dogs.

Comox SPCA also: same thing every year

Posted By: Carol Sonnex
Date: Sunday, 16 April 2006, at 7:43 a.m.

In Response To: Surrey Now: The Surrey SPCA is urging people to think before they buy that little white Easter bunny (Carmina Gooch)

Think before buying rabbits, asks Bunny Lady

Kelly Ferguson,
Small Animal
Care Co-Ordinator
Apr 14 2006

Dear editor,
Over the next few days, too many local adults will be tempted to buy an Easter rabbit for a beloved child, godchild, grandchild, niece, or nephew.
And a few months from now, our local animal shelters will be, as they are every year, inundated by a flood of cast-off Easter Bunnies.
The Comox Valley SPCA asks that everyone who is considering buying a rabbit this year stop and think before you act.
Although rabbits can make wonderful pets, they are naturally fragile and timid.
An active child who expects a cuddly pet can easily terrify or even injure a rabbit, not to mention injuring themselves in the process.
If you want to make a child’s Easter happy, don’t give a live rabbit unless you know it will be loved and cared for throughout its natural life.
If there’s any doubt, give a stuffed or chocolate bunny instead.
For more information regarding bunnies, or The Make Mine Chocolate Campaign please do not hesitate to contact the Comox SPCA and ask to speak to the Bunny Lady.

While Petcetera sells baby rabbits SPCA adult rabbit languishes

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Sunday, 16 April 2006, at 6:15 p.m.

In Response To: Surrey Now: The Surrey SPCA is urging people to think before they buy that little white Easter bunny (Carmina Gooch)

In a BC SPCA press release dated May 4, 2005, SPCA Constable Eileen Drever says people should be vigilant in ensuring that dogs they are purchasing from a pet store do not originate from a puppy mill and that other animals in the store have not come from unscrupulous breeders. "Legitimate pet stores will be able to provide full details about where their animals come from."

In October 2004, BC SPCA CEO, Craig Daniell, said he has personally asked Petcetera president, Dan Urbani, to consider the option of not selling rabbits.

In April 2005, BC SPCA Manager of Operations, Bob Busch, said that questions as to whether Petcetera will stop selling rabbits should be addressed to Petcetera as the BC SPCA doesn't control Petcetera's retail policies and their relationship is one of "satellite adoption center only."

Emails to Mr Urbani, Mr Busch and the SPCA Board of Directors in February of this year, asking if Petcetera would provide the source of the rabbits for sale to the customers, remain unanswered as of today.

Dan Urbani has pointed out in the past that there is customer demand; yet there is demand for puppies and kittens, but they are not being sold by Petcetera. Why not extend this to rabbits?

Mr Urbani says he is committed to help reduce overpopulation. Again, why only cats and dogs? There has been a huge increase in the numbers of rabbits being dumped. They are generally an impulse buy and staff gives out misinformation such as implying to buyers that the starter kit cage, about 16" x 18" x 30", does not need to be replaced as the rabbit grows; that rabbits that are clearly only about six weeks old are six months old; that the size of cage the rabbit is kept in determines the size it will grow to; and that rabbits don't need any vet care. Incorrect information about diet is commonly given to purchasers.

There is very little demand for adult rabbits, only babies. "Colbie", a female lop, was brought by the SPCA to the Rupert Street Petcetera for "adoption" toward the end of January this year, and was still there at the beginning of April. Meanwhile Petcetera stores are being stocked on a weekly basis with baby rabbits that sell. Most are no longer wanted and are abandoned/given up in less than a year.

USDA Classifies Rabbits as Poultry

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Tuesday, 16 May 2006, at 5:21 a.m.

In Response To: Just when we thought progress was possible - dogs to be on Iowa 'livetock' list (Carol Sonnex)

USDA Classifies Rabbits as Poultry

USDA Classifies Rabbits as Poultry, Deeming it Unnecessary to Render Animals Unconscious before Slaughter

According to the Humane Farming Association, the USDA has decided to classify rabbits as "poultry" and are therefore excluded from the Humane Slaughter Act. The Humane Slaughter Act requires slaughter houses to render animals unconscious before killing them.

When it comes to smaller animals, the USDA doesn't even pretend to protect them. Over 9 billion chickens and turkeys are slaughtered each year inhumanely, and the USDA has just classified rabbits as poultry. Unfortunately, slaughter houses are not showing their more compassionate side and using humane practices to slaughter these animals either.


"The practice of kindness toward helpless creatures is a sign of development to the higher reaches of intelligence and sympathy"

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Wednesday, 16 August 2006, at 12:39 p.m.

In Response To: AAS Director Helen Hughes replies: Helen is being sued by the BC SPCA *LINK* (AAS)

The evolving history of mankind is replete with examples of dignity eroded and until attitudes change let it be said again:

"The practice of kindness toward helpless creatures is a sign of development to the higher reaches of intelligence and sympathy. For, mark you, in every place there are those who are giving of their time and thought and to the work of protecting from cruelty and needless suffering the beasts of the field and streets. And you will invariably find that these people are among the most progressive and sympathetic and intelligent of a city's populace. They are the leaders of every good work. These are the people who make the earth....more like what God intended it should be."

Laughton, John George 1891 - 1965
Presbyterian missionary

How can shooting rabbits be "animal protection" or "animal welfare?" *LINK* *PIC*

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Thursday, 26 October 2006, at 11:46 a.m.

There are colonies of dumped domestic pet rabbits throughout BC, yet in 2005, BC SPCA management said that they "have not yet begun to address" this issue. This, despite the fact, that they are well aware that unsterilized rabbits, most often purchased from a pet store, have been abandoned outdoors for years.

The City of Richmond is currently trying to find a means of dealing with these colonies and one suggested method was to shoot the rabbits. In an article in the Richmond Review earlier this year BC SPCA officials were quoted as saying "they don't necessarily object to a rabbit cull using guns, as long as it's done professionally." Shawn Eccles, chief animal protection officer, further added that "gunshot euthanasia" is relatively pain-free and quick, if done correctly.

Lethal action endorsed by the SPCA -- how can this be "animal protection" or "animal welfare?"

More rabbit news >>

Mercy's Reach - Busy bunny refuge reaches for help

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Thursday, 2 November 2006, at 9:15 a.m.

Langley Advance

Animal welfare: Busy bunny refuge reaches for help

Mercy's Reach is teeming with the little critters - and with problems.

by Angela Wiebe

Six months after launching Langley's first bunny shelter, its organizers are pulling money out of their own pockets once again to pay for improvements to the Aldergrove-based facility.

"The canopies [that cover the shelter] are not going to handle wind, come winter," said Mercy's Reach Rabbit Refuge shelter coordinator Bonnie Ayotte. Fellow member Muriel Walsof wrote a cheque for $6,500 two weeks ago to have a 30' by 30' quonset constructed over the 32 kennels and open play area.

Ayotte said the Mercy's Reach group is frustrated, because after six months of verbal support from community members, "the cheques don't show up." She added, "I'm trying to find out why people haven't been donating."

Life has been busy for the five women, as they've seen their bunny population grow from 17 to 60 since the opening of Mercy's Reach in April. However, while bunnies continue to pour in, lack of adoptions has caused the place to be overloaded. Only three bunnies have been adopted in the past six months.

Ayotte noted that the shelter has been filling up so rapidly because bunnies are often overlooked by a number of animal advocate groups. Most abandoned rabbits aren't taken in by Critter Care because they consider them to be domestic animals, not wildlife, yet hardly any SPCA locations take in bunnies because they consider them to be non-domestic.

"We're falling between the cracks," Ayotte said. "We're neither wildlife nor are we domestic. We can't get any government help."

While Mercy's Reach has dreams of running a large bunny shelter on an expanse of donated land, Ayotte noted that small donations or actions made by any level of government would make a huge difference to the future of the little critters.

She listed an online, cross-country animal rescue group directory as something that would provide much needed contact for many small, independent groups across Canada. "It wouldn't be very expensive or hard to do," Ayotte said.

She also noted that a donation of land, such as a space of the Langley Animal Protection Society's lot, could allow the group to build a permanent shelter and possibly even live on site to care for the animals around the clock, as "bunnies are a full time job." Currently, Mercy's Reach is temporarily located behind Country Feeds off of Fraser Hwy.

Aside from the specific problems of lack of government assistance and not enough community donations, Ayotte feels the ultimate problem is the way that society views rabbits - as disposable.

"If I cannot touch [the community's] hearts with these critters, we're not going to get anywhere. These guys need the help and they're wonderful and they're worth it," Ayotte said.

She longs for bunnies to be seen on the same value level as cats and dogs and that they would be considered permanent members of the family. "There's nothing cuter on this planet than a baby rabbit, but they're only little for two months," Ayotte noted, adding that people are buying the bunnies on impulse and then handing them over to Mercy's Reach.

"There's all kinds of bunnies turned in. People just don't want their pets anymore. The problem out here is bigger than anyone really knew."

Ayotte is looking for volunteers, monetary donations, and adoptive families to help save Mercy's Reach Rabbit Refuge. She can be reached at 604-626-0311.

When it comes to rabbits the track record of the SPCA comes up short

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Thursday, 2 November 2006, at 6:18 p.m.

In Response To: Mercy's Reach - Busy bunny refuge reaches for help (Carmina Gooch)

Common breeds of domestic rabbits such as the Holland Lop, Rex, and Dutch are often sold in pet stores and these are the same rabbits that are being let loose or surrendered to rescue-advocacy groups. Why, then, would the SPCA consider them to be non-domestic? The simple fact is that the SPCA doesn't want to take in pet rabbits because they know full well that it next to impossible to find homes for them once they've reached the adult stage. So, it's rather hypocritical that they enjoy a business relationship with Petcetera, a retailer that sells unsterilized baby bunnies while other private rescue-advocacy groups and individuals are left with the costs of providing care and shelter for those "pets" that are no longer wanted.

When it comes to rabbits the track record of the SPCA comes up short.

Rabbit fur hats at Winners

Posted By: Lisa Hutcheon
Date: Wednesday, 29 November 2006, at 12:56 p.m.

I was at a Winners store on the w/e and was horrified to see they are selling hats made from rabbit fur....made in China.

I was hoping the label would be faux fur but sadly it was not.

Rabbits are raised for fur, wool, meat, and vivisection

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Wednesday, 29 November 2006, at 10:22 p.m.

In Response To: Rabbit fur hats at Winners (Lisa Hutcheon)


Rabbits are raised for four distinct production markets, none of them overlapping: fur, wool, meat, and vivisection. The UN clearly reports that no fur is retrieved from meat slaughterhouses, where it is discarded or used for fertilizer. Usually described in terms of shipping weight, the worldwide population of farmed rabbits exceeds one million metric tons and yields more than a billion pelts, principally from China. In France alone, 70 million are killed every year for their fur.

The Rex strain of rabbits, bred specifically for their fur, are factory farmed in small hutches less than a meter square that are meant to hold 6–8, but usually 12 are crammed in together. Like chickens or mink in battery cages, rabbits are doomed to spend their short lives caged in huge, endless sheds. At 6–7 months, they will be decapitated and bled, or their throats will be cut, or their necks will be broken. Rabbits have a natural lifespan of 10–13 years.

The preparation of rabbit pelts for the fur trade is highly labor intensive, but it still requires expertise in handling. In spite of this fact, the UN (through its Food and Agriculture Organization) promotes rabbit husbandry as suitable for developing countries only because rabbits are prolific and breeding stock is cheap. The small pelts are matched into bundles and shipped to manufacturers for garments, gloves, hats, linings, and lap rugs. It takes 30–40 rabbit pelts for a coat. Rabbit fur is a major component of the trim industry and is used for collars and cuffs in outerwear, dolls, toys, and novelty gifts. Fur trim alone is thought to be a half-billion dollar industry.


The Angora rabbit is farmed in highly intensive factory farms and its wool is used to produce very fine yarn for knitwear like sweaters, baby clothes, mittens, as well as for wool-blend textiles and hats. The value of Angora is 50 times that of sheep wool.

These rabbits are kept in semi-darkness because they are albino. Their living conditions, long sets of hutches with wire-grid floors, are very similar to the housing encountered on industrialized mink farms. Units of 200 to 1,000 hybrid does are reared in three or four-story tiers of cages, in buildings with artificial lighting and ventilation. Rabbit farming is a labor-intensive enterprise, requiring a degree of skill and training from the workers, and therefore it has high production costs. UN agencies, like the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), promote rabbit farming as a good industry for underdeveloped countries because rabbits breed quickly and provide inexpensive protein. This applies more to farming rabbits for meat or fur, which are completely distinct businesses. The FAO has spent over 10 years supporting the concept of backyard rabbitries as examples of sustainable development with extensive programs in 10 countries in Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. Most of these projects have been failures. As far as Angora production is concerned, rabbit hair farms are financially highly risky.

France, once the leader in the production of Angora yarn, is no longer able to compete in world markets, in spite of killing 70 million rabbits a year for its meat trade. Italy, which is reported to be the largest consumer of rabbit meat for the table, is in a similar position. Both countries, nonetheless, import a great deal of Angora for textiles and clothing. Today, about 90 percent of production comes from China, followed by Chile and Argentina.

In France, rabbit hair is pulled, not sheared, which is traumatic for the rabbits, producing shock. This technique requires expertise in handling and can take an hour for each animal. Plucking causes considerable pain when the timing is not precise. Outside of France, most rabbits are shorn every 90–100 days, with hand scissors or electric shears. Some rabbits can yield a satisfactory amount of quality hair for 8–10 years, yet the highest quality comes from does at 6–9 months (at which point they are usually killed). In China, with its annual production of 20 million rabbits, they are generally slaughtered quite young, after the second or third clipping. In Asia, 50–70% of the cash return for each animal is gained from the hair; the balance is drawn from the export trade of rabbit meat to Europe.

Rabbits - the most abused pet

Posted By: Lisa Hutcheon
Date: Monday, 11 December 2006, at 11:02 a.m.

December 10th - Rabbits "now the most abused pet" according to a news report by the BBC in the UK.

"Rabbits are the most abused domestic pet in England and Wales, with 35,000 abandoned every year, says the RSPCA." They go on to explain that "70% of the rescued rabbits had been kept hutched 24 hours a day. Almost 40% had no food and half had been living in filthy conditions." It was further reported "that people bought rabbits, but then quickly lost interest.

On average the abandoned pets it came across had been dumped after just three months." Since rabbits are the third most popular pet in England and Wales, we need to take pay attention to these distressing statistics since rabbits are quickly becoming a popular pet here in the USA. (The black bunny pictured above is George from the South Wales Animal Rescue.)

UK animal rights coalition victory for pet store animals

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Sunday, 21 January 2007, at 6:20 p.m.

Following is a brief summary of the saga of an illegal breeding operation in which animals were raised to stock the proprietor's pet shop in England and which now has finally been shut down. Bravo!
Carmina Gooch

Southern Animal Rights Coalition UK

The Background

In late June 2005, several animal welfare volunteers entered 'The Old Fuel Depot', a site in Chichester owned by Mr. Phil Porter. Armed with video cameras, the volunteers video taped the scenes within.

12 dogs were being kept in illegal veal crates in a dingy, messy shed. The floors of the crates were inches deep with waste, clearly never having been cleaned. There was no water, or food for the dogs. The RSPCA later claimed that had they found the dogs in these crates, Mr. Porter would have been prosecuted - unfortunately on their many visits to the site, the RSPCA had failed to act. Outside of the outbuilding was parked a 4 wheel drive. Inside were two Dalmatians, again these dogs had no access to food nor water, and by this point in their investigation, the volunteers had witnessed that the dogs were never moved from this immobile vehicle. The RSPCA deny that this vehicle even existed. Also outside, in a rotting, and uncleaned run, were another two dogs. One of these was the breeding 'stud', who was riddled with tumours, was blind in one eye, and had severe muscle wastage, due to his lifetime confinement.

Mr Porter was using the Old Fuel Depot to run an illegal puppy farm, which he used to stock his local pet shop 'Furry Friends' (1, The Square, Barnham, Bognor Regis, W. Sussex, PO22 0HB). He has never been in possession of a license to breed animals.

As well as the 17 dogs, Phil Porter also kept hundreds of rabbits, chickens (including what appears to be fighting cocks), rats, hamsters, exotic birds, doves and pigeons in confined, and dirty conditions - all without access to adequate food or water.

As has been mentioned, the RSPCA had visited the site many times before, (and in fact visited just two weeks before the rescue operation) but no progress had been made and animals were left to suffer and die. The RSPCA still to this day deny they ever gained access to the site to check the animals. However they had been seen going on to the site by a neighbour and Mr Porter himself has confirmed that the Inspector had visited many times, and they had never found any problems with his site. It was decided that unfortunately action had to be taken, because animals were being left to suffer and die and so, after gathering video evidence, the welfare volunteers moved all of the animals into 3 vans, and took them to safety from the site.

Over 80 of the animals, including the 17 dogs, were taken to different counties, where loving and permanent homes were waiting for them. All of the animals required veterinary treatment, all of the dogs had mange, fleas and needed dental treatment, and many were suffering from muscle wastage and untreated sores. Several of the birds had plucked their own feathers out, and the rabbits were all infested with fleas, and many had injuries either inflicted by themselves, or another rabbit - many had injuries sustained through over breeding.

The intention was to rehome the remaining animals (all of whom had homes ready - but first needed medical attention), and then proceed to the media, police and RSPCA with the footage. Unfortunately a suspicious neighbour, who noticed the horrific state of the animals as they were unloaded from the vans, contacted the police. All of the animals found (the 80 mentioned earlier have not been recovered) were immediately returned to Mr. Porter, despite the RSPCA requesting that they be taken to a vet. The RSPCA Inspector was worried about the condition the animals were in but the police would not allow him to inspect Mr Porter's site before they were returned.

Mr Porter has since told the RSPCA that he does not have time to fit cleaning the animals into his routine. He has admitted confining the dogs in illegal veal crates, and the police and RSPCA have commented on the horrific conditions of the animals, and the disgusting state of the Old Fuel Depot.

Mr Porter was told by the RSPCA he would have to get rid of the animals that were returned to him as he did not have a license. The RSPCA offered to rehome them but Mr Porter declined.

Mr Porter is still keeping sheep and as recently as July 2006 has been given a warning by Trading Standards for leaving them unshawn throughout the heat of the summer.

In August 2006 we have yet again reported Mr Porter to the RSPCA for keeping a rabbit in a cage so small it cannot sit up. If it stretches out it has just one inch of space in front of it. We have visited Mr Porter and requested a larger cage for it, he has failed to act. When the RSPCA came to inspect, the rabbit and cage was not on display in the shop. The RSPCA believe that he had hidden it from them when he saw them pull up in front of his shop. We are calling on the RSPCA to revisit the shop as the rabbit is still there in cramped conditions.

Part Two: Bess the rabbit

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Sunday, 21 January 2007, at 6:22 p.m.

In Response To: UK animal rights coalition victory for pet store animals (Carmina Gooch)

Bess the Rabbit

Bess was a lovely British Giant rabbit rescued from Phil Porters breeding site at the Old Fuel Depot. When the police returned the animals to Mr Porters site she was concealed in order to get her the treatment she needed. For some reason the police wouldn't allow the animals to be taken to a vet and we knew that if she was taken back to Mr Porter she would have to endure more suffering.

Bess was in a bad way with open wounds, and was rushed to a vet. Her wounds had been caused by a buck Mr Porter was trying to breed her with. The filthy living enviroments for the animals would have made the infections worse. She was also malnourished, and simply didn't have the strength to recover from her injuries.

She received over £500 worth of treatment and the vets did everything they possibly could, but Bess was suffering so intensely there was no way she could survive.

Part Three: The Court Case

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Sunday, 21 January 2007, at 6:30 p.m.

In Response To: UK animal rights coalition victory for pet store animals (Carmina Gooch)

The Court Case

Four animal welfare volunteers stood on trial for the rescue of animals from Phil Porter. They pleaded not guilty to the burglary on the grounds that they did not act dishonestly and carried out the rescue due to the appalling acts of animal cruelty.

The judge in the case spared them prison, he said, "I accept that each of you was deeply troubled by what you saw at Mr Porter's premises and probably outraged."

"The smaller animals were being kept in conditions which, had the facts been known to the RSPCA, would have led to Mr Porter's prosecution for animal cruelty. Particular concerns were lack of cleanliness and questions of sufficiency of water and food."

The judge also refused to make a compensation order, saying: "Because Mr Porter was probably committing offences of animal cruelty, it was probably he would have had to dispose of these animals and birds."

Key Witnesses

• Mr Phil Porter (ex veal farmer, breeder and pet shop owner)

Mr Porter himself was a star witness in court. He openly told the court that he could see no animal welfare concerns with leaving dogs in cars throughout the summer heat, keeping dogs in veal crates, and leaving animals with contagious disease in with a whole menagerie of animals.

He was presented with the video evidence of his site in court, and asked to comment. He firstly told the court the footage showed the best bits of his site. As the court fell silent, he then told the court it was in fact the worse bits. He then changed his mind again and told the court it was the incriminating bits!

• Dr Roger Mudford: 27 years experience on pet animal behavior, and awarded the Blue Cross Animal Welfare award in 2005. This is what he had to say about our video and photo evidence:

"There is no doubt that this animal suffered considerably from the substantial unhealed wounds that I see in the photographs."

"Both dogs have matted hair and the Collie seemed to bear many scars upon his face, alternatively dried dirt. I consider these conditions to be inadequate and likely to have caused the dogs to suffer."

"Three, possibly more, dogs are shown in small metal runs, which may be calf crates used as impromptu kennels. In my opinion, these are quite inadequate structures for the keeping of dogs, and especially of the large black labrador seen in the film."

"Cross contamination and disease risk to these animals is very high, in addition to the psychological stress crowding incompatible species into a small room."

"I see no obvious signs of a hopper-feeder for the rats, and climbing or coming to the front of their cages would suggest that they were hungry when they were filmed. There is no doubt that the rats shown in the video were denied the essential five freedoms."

"Finally the video focuses upon a large grey-brown rabbit with a scar on its belly and wound to its perineal region. These were probably caused by fighting. The belly wound from being scratched (kicked) by another rabbit, the perineal from a bite. Denial of such care for rabbits with lesions such as these will rapidly lead to fly strike followed by a slow painful death."

• Inspector Lamport (RSPCA):

"This whole area was dirty and unhygienic and teeming with flies."

"These conditions would have contravened the Five Freedoms and would have been an unacceptable standard of keeping them."

"this was unhygienic and unacceptable as a hamster keeping standard and contravenes the Five Freedoms"

Part Four: Take action

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Sunday, 21 January 2007, at 6:32 p.m.

In Response To: UK animal rights coalition victory for pet store animals (Carmina Gooch)

Take Action (an excerpt) More at:

Contact the RSPCA and insist that they keep Mr Porter under close observations.

• Point out to them that RSPCA Inspector Lamport told Chichester Crown Court that Mr Porter could have been prosecuted for animal cruelty based on the living conditions of the animals at the Old Fuel Depot, Chichester. Ask that they do prosecute Mr Porter for animal cruelty, so that he can be banned from keeping animals.

• Ask the RSPCA why they failed to save the animals in Porter's care despite receiving several complaints from the public and despite the fact that Kirsty Hampton RSPCA Inspector had been on his site on numerous occassions. Ask the RSPCA to investigate why Kirsty Hampton denies ever going on to his site when she has been seen doing so and when Mr Porter has confirmed this fact.

• Ask the RSPCA to investigate why Kirsty Hampton RSPCA Inspector failed to save the two dalmations living in a car throughout the heat of the summer at the Old Fuel Depot. Kirsty Hampton denies seeing any vehicles despite the fact that on the same day she went to inspect the site we video recorded the dogs inside a car without access to water.

Conclusion: Targeted pet shop to stop stocking animals

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Sunday, 21 January 2007, at 6:55 p.m.

In Response To: UK animal rights coalition victory for pet store animals (Carmina Gooch)

Targeted pet shop to stop stocking animals

Thursday, January 11 2007 @ 09:54 AM UTC

From SARC:

On December 31st 2006, a sign went up in the window of Furry Friends stating that, "As from 1st of January 2007 Furry Friends will not be selling pets due to pressure from the on going animal rights protests."

Following SARC's expose of Phil Porter's horrific animal cruelty in the summer of 2005, the aim of this campaign was to get Phil Porter banned from keeping animals and / or force him to stop breeding and selling animals in his pet shop. The recent announcement follows on the heels of our successful campaign to get Mr Porter evicted from his breeding site/puppy farm.

We have therefore reached the situation that no animals can be bred or sold from Furry Friends' pet shop, and Phil Porter currently has no other breeding facilities available.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended protests, wrote the letters, made the phone calls and helped finance the campaign. We would also like to extend our thanks to the local residence who joined the boycott en-masse, and who provided us with vital information. The local support for the boycott was so effective that Mr Porter commented to the RSPCA that it was forcing him towards bankruptcy, a sentiment he echoed on local radio and in newspaper interviews.

To read about the campaign visit

PetSmart's Big Suffering for Small Animals

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Friday, 2 February 2007, at 6:12 p.m.

The PetSmart Investigation
For years, PetSmart has assured PETA that sick and injured animals in its stores are provided with veterinary care when they need it. We didn't take their word for it. During an undercover investigation at the PetSmart store in Manchester, Connecticut, a store that has a Banfield Hospital right inside it and that PetSmart boasts of as having an "outstanding pet care team" and an "exceptional pet care record," PETA documented more than 100 small animals—including hamsters, domestic rats, lizards, chinchillas, and birds—deprived of effective veterinary care and slowly dying, out of customers' sight.

The small animals sold at PetSmart cost the multimillion-dollar company next to nothing and make up a minuscule percentage of the company's total sales. So why does PetSmart buy them by the thousands only to leave them to die from disease and injury?

The answer is simple. Tiny, adorable hamsters—who can feel pain just as keenly as any dog or cat—are frequently bought on impulse when parents can't resist their child's pleading to bring a small animal home. The hamster may not cost much, but supplies add up quickly. Cages, bedding, food, and other paraphernalia—as well as future supplies (as long as the little animal stays alive)—amount to millions of dollars in annual profit. But these tiny animals victimized by this business mogul often pay the ultimate price—forgotten and neglected in a messy back room where they depend on untrained employees to guess what ails them, hamsters and other tiny beings suffer horribly and often die, unseen and untreated.

We alerted PetSmart's corporate headquarters to animal suffering at the Manchester store while our investigator was working at the store undercover. An e-mail message sent to PetSmart executive Bruce Richardson, reporting "animals … routinely deprived of veterinary care [who] often suffer and die as a result" yielded nothing but a meaningless, dishonest reply from Mr. Richardson in which he wrote: "This particular store has an outstanding pet care team and an exceptional pet care record. No pet that has required a vet has been deprived of that service."

Just three examples of many disturbing entries from the PETA investigator's daily log: "On October 23, 2006, a hamster in cage 10 in the sick room was found dead. This was one of the hamsters that I took to the vet on October 20, 2006, due to her having wet tail and crusty eyes. [The Pet Care Manager] had brought her back to the sick room before the vet could see her and told me that … she did not need to see the vet." "On October 26, 2006, E [a supervisor] brought out a long-haired hamster who had died in the sick room. She had been isolated on October 22 for wet tail, and the chart records showed her slow and painful death. Initially the hamster had diarrhea, but she continued to deteriorate and the night before she died the log notes stated, 'eyes shut, hard, dying.'" "On December 21, 2006, [PetSmart's corporate communications department] sent an e-mail to all store managers stating that there has been an outbreak of salmonella in a couple of stores."

The PetSmart back room log notes document the suffering of animals who are "diagnosed" by store employees. Over a three-day period, three different supervisors—including the pet care manager—in the Manchester store wrote on a dying calico hamster's chart, "[Day 1, morning] wobbly, dehydrated, diarrhea … [Day 1, evening] very lethargic/dehydrated, regressing … [Day 2, morning] very wobbly, dehydrated … [Day 2, evening] dehydrated/getting hard, very lethargic … [Day 3, morning] dying, no meds given, can't swallow, regressed … [Day 3, evening] dead" but did not take the animal to a veterinarian even to have her put out of her misery.

The photos of some of the animals treated for diseases such as wet tail and upper respiratory infections show just how miserable they were as they languished, untreated, in PetSmart's custody.

PetSmart's millions mean nothing but penny-pinching shortcuts and misery for the little animals neglected by the company, which is clearly unwilling to or incapable of caring for animals, period. Please do not buy anything from PetSmart until it stops selling all animals. Buy your supplies online or at a store that does not sell animals.

One lucky hamster girl, Gigi, was adopted from the Manchester store's sick room by PETA's investigator and has a “happily ever after” story.

Is the same thing happening at Petcetera? *PIC*

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Friday, 2 February 2007, at 7:58 p.m.

In Response To: PetSmart's Big Suffering for Small Animals (Carmina Gooch)

The following notice is posted in the back room of the Vancouver Rupert Street Petcetera outlet. One can only surmise as to what finally prompted the sign.

Sept. 15 "I just found out when a saltwater animal dies we must put the body in the fridge and make a notation of what fish or animal has DIED!" JS

International Day of Action Against the Chinese Fur Trade Includes Vancouver Demonstration *LINK*

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, at 5:34 a.m.

Over 2 million dogs and cats are being brutally skinned alive each year in China. Their fur is being used to line jackets, boots, gloves, and to manufacture various stuffed animals and trinkets. Chinese merchants boast that cat and dog fur is cheaper to produce than “fake” fur. It is also dyed to resemble expensive fur. These products are falsely labelled or not labelled at all. An undercover 8 year Swiss investigation revealed that many of these brutalized dogs and cats lived as long as 15 minutes after being skinned. It is legal to import dog and cat fur into Canada.

8 Countries and the European Union have enacted legislation. Canada needs to Act now!

Join a Worldwide Peaceful Demonstration

Tuesday February 13, 2007

Chinese Consulate, 3380 Granville St @ W 16th Ave.

12:00 pm


Read more on the suffering of animals in the fur industry...


Seeing red over the pink rabbits

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Thursday, 22 February 2007, at 4:22 p.m.

In Response To: Designer rabbits? (Lisa Hutcheon)

Seeing red over the pink rabbits

Feb 16 2007

by Michelle Fiddler, Liverpool Echo

PET lovers in Merseyside are being urged to spare their blushes by refusing to buy the latest fashion accessory – a pink rabbit. The new breed, known as Orkney Pinks, is believed to have come about initially as a result of a mix-up in food supplements.

OCPRS, owners of the international rights to the unusual strain, then set about refining the breeding programme. Yesterday the new-look bunnies, which are on sale for between £549 and £700, were officially revealed to the public at a launch event at the Marriot Hotel in Speke.

Outraged pet lovers today said they were horrified at plans to sell the rabbits as the next “must have” celebrity pet. Cllr Bernie Turner, Liverpool’s executive member for the environment said: “Animals should not be pink. They should be left well alone. Rabbits are not easy to look after."

“It is not something you can buy and change your mind. It is a commitment and I don’t think this is appropriate. What will happen next? Dying babies green? I would urge people not to buy them.”

Sam O’Connor, 41, a company director from Wirral, said: “I am totally horrified. Rabbits are very, very difficult animals to look after as pets. These poor things are being paraded around."

“People could be paying upwards of £500 each for these rabbits for them to be someone’s fashion accessory for five minutes." “Rabbits are the most abandoned pets in the country. It is horrendous.”

A spokeswoman for The British Rabbit Council, said: “The Orkney Pink is not a recognised breed - they have just been fed food that has turned them pink. “The people who are doing this have no association with the British Rabbit Council and we have asked that they remove anything that suggests they are affiliated to us." “But people are daft enough to go along with it. At the end of the day they are still going to have a rabbit which needs looking after.”

Andrea Winders, spokeswoman for OCPRS, said: “Any welfare of the rabbits is our top priority. The rabbits come first. I know it looks like a gimmick but everything is considered and people who buy them are told how to care for them. Our prime concern is the re-homing of them."

“Because they are pink they are always going to be seen as a fashion item but the rabbits are our first priority.”


In memory of Mopsy *LINK* *PIC*

Posted By: Carmina Gooch
Date: Sunday, 4 March 2007, at 6:43 a.m.

Born to feed the pet industry and sold out as a classroom teaching tool, that was Mopsy's beginning. In her too brief time here on Earth her innocence and wonder at exploring a new world was shattered.

By the time she entered my life, at six months or so, she was so traumatized by human approach that she would dart madly about, and do anything she could to try to escape. In the two years that she shared with me she became more trusting, but never fully recovered from whatever past experiences she had endured.

I'm so very thankful for all the moments we shared, she was truly a gift and a star but on Thursday, 11:20 a.m. it was time for her to leave for the Rainbow Bridge.

You are loved, Mopsy. You'll be with me forever.

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