Post # 1
I have a dilemma, that I need some advice on the best way to resolve. I have noticed in my apartment complex, that my neighbor is keeping their pet rabbit on the patio. It is a first floor, fenced in patio with concrete. I have checked in the early morning, afternoon, and late evening and the little guy/gal is always outside there. On the patio they have a litter box, potty pad, a child’s play castle and two small childrens chairs. There used to be a water bowl, but it is no longer visible. I think they might have moved it into the litter box with the scant amount of hay.
It is the summer here so temperature in the evening is 75’s and day 80-90’s. We also have thunderstorms frequently. It is raining now and the patio is still dry. It is positioned so it faces away from weather and always in the shade.
I really want to say something to them, but don’t know what the right action is. I am worried if I complain to the apartment, the owners will then just stick the rabbit inside the apartment, in a small cage. I know a patio is not a suitable home, but at least he/she isn’t stuck in a hutch, has space and fresh air. I was thinking of printing out a caresheet for rabbits, along with a letter stating my concern for the rabbit, and mention it looks to be having a difficult time in the heat, to give to the owners.
What would you do? I have never had rabbits, but have had guinea pigs and know they are sensitive to heat, social, intelligent creatures who deserve more then being isolated to the patio.
Post # 2
You need to call animal control. Printing a care sheet is pointless. If they can’t properly take care of a pet they don’t need to have it.
Post # 3
sunshinewhiskey : is there any grass or shade for the rabbit? We used to have a rabbit that we would let out in the yard but it was a fenced in yard with grass and shade, we always made sure she had fresh water and hay. The conditions you’re describing don’t sound as nice and yes, rabbits are sensitive to extreme weather. It’s one thing to let them out to exercise everyday for an hour or two but a domesticated rabbit doesn’t belong outside on concrete.
Post # 4
Emily Merten : I agree, I was just hopeful they were letting it outside for a bit. But my husband just checked 1000 at night, raining and the bunny is still outside. I am calling Animal Control in the morning.
Post # 5
feedthebeags : The patio is fully in the shade, I don’t think I have seen sunshine. But it is enclosed concrete, no grass in sight. There is a litter box that they have a scant amount of hay but that is it.
Post # 6
I would talk to the apartment. I’m betting it’s against the lease to leave pets primarily on the patio. Our apartment just sent an email about that recently in reference to dogs
Post # 7
sunshinewhiskey : I agree with pp, call animal control because that is just cruel. Good thing you are a watchful neighbor!
Post # 8
I’d approach the neighbours first and try to talk to them in a helpful, nonthreatening way. If they’ve never owned a rabbit before they may just not know the best way to look after them and may even think they’re doing a good thing by giving the rabbit its own large living space. A letter of concern and a print out might come across as rude and then they’re probably not going to take your advice. And if animal control remove the rabbit it will probably end up being put down 😭 Coming from an experienced rabbit owner who adores bunnies please try a more friendly helpful approach first to hopefully get the best outcome for this poor bunny 😊
Post # 9
Rabbits live outdoors typically, and it has shade, room to run around, and food/water. Yikes, I’ve heard of annoying old people “condo commandos” (lol) keeping track of all the apt goings on but multiple times a day patio surveillance and taking item inventory is….interesting. It would be exhausting, especially if other apt units are also under surveillance.
Post # 10
Talk to them first (no letters, print outs… just talk, there’s less room for misunderstanding), if the situation doesn’ improve just call animal control, I have had rabbits my whole life and they stayed in the balcony but a) they had plenty of fresh water, veggies, grass, hay every single day b) we let them in every time someone was at home.
If they are animal lovers they’ll understand your concern and explain (that’s what I’d do), if they’re not they shouldn’t have pets to start with.
mrstodd2bee : Rabbits born and bred indoors do not have the same habits/needs of outdoor rabbits, the comparison doesn’t make sense. Plus, OP is doing it because there is a potential danger, not just because she is bored.
Post # 11
Do not call animal control!
Rabbits live outside. I was just outside it’s 97 and saw three wild rabbits running around. I understand this isn’t a wild rabbit but I’ve had lots of pet rabbits who all lived outside. If it’s on a covered patio it has shade and is protected from storms. Enclosed concrete is much better than the tiny wire bottom cages they sell that kids get and house rabbits in their dark bedrooms for 90 percent of their life. Lots of rabbits live in outdoor hutches year round, summer and winter.
If you call and they move it inside, it won’t have grass inside either. If it had no water it would be dead. If you are concerned knock on their door and talk to them. “Hey, love watching your rabbit on your patio just wanted to make sure it had water.” Or hey, I noticed your rabbit when I have vegetable scraps can I put them on your patio instead of throwing them away? If you are a really concerned neighbor order one of those dog patio grass patches and have it delivered to their address. Google Pet Patch. Rabbits love nesting boxes, maybe pretend you had one laying around and take it over there for them to put on the patio for it! They could absolutely make the patio a rabbits dream with patio grass and such!
Be a neighbor! It has hay and water and looks in good condition animal control won’t do anything anyways. They may have ordered patio grass, a hutch might be being built! Talk to them in a non threatening, your rabbit is adorable, can I give it veggies, I’ve never had a rabbit does the concrete get to hot way.
Edited to add: When animal control does nothing but warn them that there has been a complaint the neighbors will be on high alert for who called animal control on them and they will see their neighbors. aka you, as the enemy. They probably won’t take asking about vegetable scraps or being neighborly well. And honestly if you have a concern take it up with them. They could get a cat door for their patio and it could go in and out. They might have one on order right now!
Post # 12
Stay out of it! I have two rabbits and Ive had rabbits all my life and they’re doing nothing wrong. Sounds like they have a good life, with plenty of space to me. Are they safe from predators? Are they out of the elements with shelter? Surely they have water, as rabbits do not survive long without it. Also rabbits get a lot of water out of vegetables.
Do they have a closed in area to hide? Rabbits dont need access to fresh grass. What about house rabbits? Hay makes up most of their diet.
My rabbits live outside all year minus in storms. Theyre outside creatures and I live in a temperate climate. They have shade, ice bricks in summer and they’re fine. Their cage isn’t in direct sun all day either.
Post # 13
What specifically do you think the problem with how they are caring for the rabbit? Not everyone keeps rabbits indoors, they are animals they are naturally supposed to be outside. It sounds like it has places to play and places for shelter.
How can you be sure that most of the time the apartment doors aren’t open but the bunny chooses to be outside?
My rabbits can play inside or outside when I’m home, I just keep the door open. One loves the garden and is always out exploring and one is a bit of a wimp and prefers the living room.
It doesn’t sound like you can really see the conditions well, ie clearly see how much hay or water it has. What specifically makes you concerned? It sounds like the only thing you have been specific about is not seeing grass but plenty of people have indoor bunnies and they just have hay. If rabbits have good quality hay they done *need* grass. It’s honestly hard to tell if you’re being dramatic or if there is anything wrong.
Post # 14
zzar45 : “they are animals they are naturally supposed to be outside.”
This is a reprehensible [run-on] statement based on nothing more than typical human arrogance and total ignorance of the natural sciences. (And you seem to have forgotten that you, a human, are an animal as well–so you belong outside, then?)
Post # 15
DeniseSecunda : Your comment is the ignorant one, you clearly didn’t read what I posted at all.
There is nothing inherently wrong with keeping animals outside provided they are adequately cared for. I’m not suggesting all animals should be dumped in an open field with no shelter or provisions but just keeping a pet outdoors isn’t abuse.
Right now we don’t have any information which actually suggests the rabbit isn’t being cared for properly. All we know is the rabbit is often outside and doesn’t have grass. Neither of those things on their on mean much.
The owner could be caring poorly for their rabbit but there isn’t any proof of that in OPs post, or really much to even suggest it. Wind your neck in.
As I said in my post I actually have rabbits, so maybe read a full post before flying off the handle and taking one phrase totally out of context. One of my rabbits chooses to stay outdoors whenever he can, the door is open and he doesn’t want to come back in. I have to go out and pick him up to make him come inside when it is getting dark.
Balconies are stacked on top of each other, OP might not even be able to see the balcony fully. Perhaps the door is almost always left open and the bunny chooses not to go inside. OP doesn’t mention waking up at night to check on the rabbit so again maybe it does go inside then. In all likelihood the times OP is home, evening and morning, are the times rabbits are most active so it could easily be that the rabbit chooses to play outside then and sleeps inside inbetween.