Help Henry the Rabbit and friends
Organized by: Steven Matarazzo
On January 8th our beloved rabbit Henry passed away suddenly after an unforeseen battle with anemia. Henry came to us from a family who could no longer keep him. Our goal was to take him in, give him love and care, and act as his foster home until we found him a forever home. With his handsome face we knew he would find a special place in someone’s home.
This was somewhat routine for us. My fiancée and I are rabbit lovers and care for, foster, and rescue rabbits in need. We do this out of our own pocket and try to help these neglected, and often discarded, creatures with all our hearts. Just this Thanksgiving, we rescued a dumped rabbit from a park who thankfully has found her new forever home just this month.
Unfortunately, in the United States rabbits are considered exotic animals by most veterinarians and hospitals. Therefore, their medical care and expenses are much higher than that of a cat or dog.
This fundraiser is to help pay for his nearly $2,000 in medical bills for Henry's medical care. His illness and passing was sudden and unexpected. We gave him the best care we could, but he crossed over the rainbow bridge and left us with a big hole in our heart. Please read more about Henry’s journey below and donate in any amount you can. Every amount, no matter how small, is greatly, deeply, appreciated. In the event the goal amount is exceeded, additional proceeds will go to food, care, and spay/neuter expenses for other rabbits in need both inside, and outside our home.
Henry’s Journey: Unknown to us, Henry came to us with a contagious parasite infection called E. Cuniculi (Encephalitozoon Cuniculi). This disease can cause a long list of serious health problems in rabbits, with some of the more serious symptoms being a weakened immune system, paralysis, tumors, head tilt, and neurological issues.
After first taking him in we brought Henry to the vet for the first time. He had never been to a vet before, so we were hoping for the best. Our initial concerns about his visibly tilted head were confirmed by the doctor and we began medication to treat his E. Cuniculi that night. Over the next 30 days we would wrestle to give him 2 different medicines with 3 doses a day via syringe. We were so worried he would hate us, here he is in a strange new home and we’re forcing medicine on him multiple times a day.
Thankfully this sweet boy eventually seemed to understand that we were trying to help him, although bribing him with fresh fruit didn’t hurt either. A month after his treatment he was given a clean bill of health.
Henry’s beautiful coloring and attitude stood out to me. He was the only male rabbit in the house and I quickly became attached to his unique titled head, his beautiful big ears, and his jolly run to the food dish whenever it was feeding time. He enjoyed his large pen and hidey-box and particularly liked the treats he got for Christmas.
Unfortunately, on the evening of January 7th we discovered Henry in a concerning state. He was listless, acting strange, and not interested in food at all. Hours before he appeared fine. Assuming he had a case of stomach trouble (a common issue in rabbits), we massaged his belly, encouraged him to eat hay and were set to see the vet in the morning. I spent the night by his side so I could keep a close eye on him.
At the vet the next morning they were alarmed at the consistency of his blood and his blood cell count. Our poor Henry was anemic and needed help fast. The vet instructed us to visit the hospital right away. At the hospital an ultrasound confirmed his liver was the culprit of his anemia. Due to his medical history, surgery would be risky, even though the doctor had performed this operation before. But the operation would be needed to give him a chance at survival, so we had to move forward to give Henry a chance.
For better or worse, we needed to wait 2 hours before they could take him in. He was given some pain medication and seemed to perk up a bit, but was obviously still uncomfortable. I spent this entire time cuddling him and stroking his ears and obsessing over his comfort. Then the time came for his surgery, and I kissed him goodbye, hugged him, and promised him he would be okay. Sadly this was the last time I would hold my sweet boy. Although the surgery on his liver was performed, complications arose during the operation and we lost our beloved Henry. We were heartbroken.
Little Henry will be deeply missed and never forgotten. We are only comforted by the fact that we were privileged to have him in our lives and that he is no longer in any pain. Thank you for your time and for reading about our special boy Henry. Please take time to consider making a donation to assist us in paying for his medical costs.