Beyond the Easter Bunny: Rabbits Are a BIG Responsibility

For two months, I’ve fostered a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit named Rhubarb for the Austin Animal Center. He was only two months old when he was brought to the shelter, and needed a foster until he could be neutered at four months. I have extensive experience with horses, dogs, and cats, so thought that caring for a rabbit couldn’t be too difficult.

I was wrong.

Black Rabbit
Rhubarb was never afraid of Felix the Pittie despite their natural status as predator and prey.

Because they are so cute, I assumed rabbits would be cuddly creatures. However, Rhubarb did not like being held, which I learned is because (unlike dogs and cats) rabbits are prey animals, and being held makes them feel too vulnerable.

Because they seem placid, I assumed rabbits wouldn’t be destructive. Then Rhubarb rapidly chewed through three of my cables, which weren’t cheap to replace. Perhaps this is why so many bunnies end up spending most of their time bored in hutches rather than getting the enrichment they need to thrive.

Fox 7 Austin
Rhubarb wears a harness like a boss and gets ready to wow the masses on Fox’s Pet of the Week segment.

Because they are small, I assumed rabbits are weak. Then I experienced the surprising strength of Rhubarb’s back legs as he tried to jump out of my arms – an event I didn’t let happen because of  how easily a rabbit can break his spine.

Yikes. No wonder it’s estimated that 80 percent of rabbits obtained as Easter Bunny presents are relinquished to shelters. It seems that too many of us are distracted by the wiggle-nosed, plush-toy appearance of rabbits before doing research on what it takes to successfully care for them.

All these topics and more were covered in Rhubarb’s Pet of the Week spot on Fox News. Outfitted in a harness to ensure he wouldn’t break free and chew through all the wires in the studio, Rhubarb charmed the anchors whom he allowed to hold him during the spot. This dapper little dude is available for adoption: he’s litter box trained, and well-socialized with cats, dogs and supervised toddlers. Contact if you’d like to meet him.

Ann Wyatt Little
Fox Anchor Ann Wyatt with Rhubarb, looking for SomeBunny to love.

Looking for a Couch Cuddling Companion?

Teddy is a snuggly goober awaiting adoption at Austin Animal Center. He isn’t the biggest fan of other pups, though, so won’t be a good fit for those hoping to head to the dog park. He is, however, the perfect Netflix Marathon watching buddy as he LOVES couch cuddling. This guy made his TV debut on Fox News this morning and was a huge ham! See his spot here.


Age is Nothing but a Number

Herbie is a lovebug adopted from Austin Animal Center 13 years ago when he was a wee pup. Sadly, his owner when into hospice, so Herbie finds himself back at the shelter during his Golden Years when he should be lounging happily with his family. But Herbie seems to be taking his misfortune in stride, and has exhibited nothing but perfect behavior at shelter. He’s potty trained, calm, gentle, good with kids, and basically just a push-button dream dog. Don’t let his Canine AARP status deter you from adopting this great guy – it’s the quality of your time together, not the quantity. For more information on the grandeur of older pups, check out Classic Canines.

Watch Herbie being a chill superstar on Fox News this morning by clicking on the image below!


Mercedes Has Been at Austin Animal Center for One Year!

Despite being a potty trained, calm, quiet gal, Mercedes has been overlooked by Austin Animal Center customers for ONE YEAR! Her fan club of shelter volunteers can’t understand how this stunning, mannerly mixed breed hasn’t already found a family. One possible explanation is that Mercedes is a dignified gal, and animal shelter customers often gravitate toward the more emotionally-expressive pups. Regardless, Mercedes will make an amazing companion to the lucky person who gives her a chance. Check out her Fox News Pet of the Week spot by clicking on the image below, and please stop by Austin Animal Center (7201 Levander Loop) to meet this great girl soon!


Ethics in Animal Care

We’re happy to announce our collaboration with a new organization called Ethics in Animal Care. A one-stop shop to find humane trainers, pet sitters, veterinarians,  groomers, and pet stores, the group aims to streamline the process of doing right by your dog (and cat!) via the professionals you employ on their behalf.

We’ve taken their pledge to “commit to continually educate myself on best practices in the field, to work to ensure my competency as a good steward of the well-being of the animals in my care, and to pursue a relationship that acknowledges the sentience of non-human animals.” Read more about the pledge here.

As veteran animal shelter volunteers, we’ve seen plenty of pets relinquished because of easily-fixable behavioral issues. That’s why we’re particularly excited about the organization’s Pay What You Can Training Initiative for dogs. Its mission is to “to help ensure training and behavior support services are accessible to all those in our community who need them. This is a limited, need-based service solely for those who cannot afford professional rates.”

Ethics in Animal Care is another example of how happy we are to be a part of Austin’s animal-loving community, and we’re excited to see all the good they will do!

Benny the adoptable AAC dog approves of this message.

Help Turn This Pup’s Frown Upside Down

Beso is the best-behaved boy: He’s always calm and never jumps up on you – even in the stressful, chaotic shelter environment. He’s polite to all other pups, even when they are barking and lunging at him. He knows “sit” and “shake”. He’s totally potty trained. He has great leash manners and doesn’t pull. He’s basically the perfect pup, yet he still hasn’t found his forever family.

Yesterday he starred on Fox 7 as their Pet of the Week. He and meteorologist Chelsea Andrews practiced their sad faces in hopes of pulling on heartstrings, and encouraging people to visit Beso in kennel 413 at Austin Animal Center.


Please adopt this great guy today. As a reminder, we offer ten percent discounts to pet adopted from Austin shelters.

Click here to watch Beso charm television viewers on Fox, and remember to visit him at 7201 Levander Loop!

Looking for a Small Dog in Austin? Adopt Oscar!

Oscar is a tiny young man – probably a one-year-old dachshund / chihuahua mix – found wandering the mean streets of Austin by a Good Samaritan. He was intact and had no microchip, despite the fact that Austin Animal Center provides microchips and neutering for free! Oscar is now neutered, microchipped and ready to find a lifelong human partner that will keep him safe and loved. Meet him in kennel D10 at AAC, and watch his KVUE Pet of the Week clip here or click on the image below.