This is Heather. She, along with 5 other bunnies, came to Heartland a few weeks ago from a municipal shelter. We were fortunate enough to be able to squeeze them in even though it meant some creative arranging of living spaces.
These bunnies, at the time they were seized, were essentially living in a death camp. According to the information supplied to us, they were being raised in order to be killed and eaten. We believe Heather is the mother of the other bunnies that came with her. She is clearly older and seems to be more severely traumatized. During her life she may have been forced to have many babies and then seen them killed.
She initially was fairly withdrawn and very passive. But slowly slowly she seems to be coming back from whatever internal recesses of her cognitive and emotional self to which she had retreated. She's still somewhat muted in her emotionality and responses but she's already come a long way back from wherever she was hiding.
Part of her rehabilitation consists of her receiving periodic sessions of sitting on someone's chest and being given gentle headrubs and strokes. She's gone from being wide-eyed and frozen during these sessions to where she now relaxes and closes her eyes. She'll probably doze off during the session one of these days.
On August 1st, when she was being carried in from some outside play time, she gave a small teeth chatter in response to a head rub. That's the bunny equivalent of applause and/or a smile. Being present when someone smiles, maybe for the first time in their life, is a very powerful (and humbling)
Heartland can't save every bunny, although we wish we could, but we do save some bunnies...and Heather is one. Please continue to support Heartland and all of your local rescues and sanctuaries. There are untold numbers of animals just like Heather who need a place of refuge and safety.