To want to keep the rabbits?(27 Posts)
I hope this isn't too confusing, it's a complicated situation.
I was given 2 rabbits over a year ago by a friend who begged me to take them in because her ex had moved out suddenly leaving the rabbits behind and my friend couldn't cope and could hardly afford to feed them. Honestly I felt under pressure to take them as I am an animal lover and wanted to help a friend. Her ex agreed to me taking in the rabbits. Her ex's ex (let's call them Alex) had lived with the rabbits previously and was very attached to them but lived in a flat and wasn't in a position to take them so I said Alex could visit sometimes, which they did a couple of times. Then I got depressed and didn't feel comfortable having someone I don't know very well in my house so I had put off inviting them over a bit. TBH arranging rabbit visitation slipped way down my list of priorities but the rabbits are well cared for and we have just spent a lot of money upgrading their accommodation. I bit the bullet and arranged for Alex to come and see the rabbits next week. Then Alex dropped the bombshell that they want the rabbits back to give them to a different friend where they could see them more often. I have apologised if I upset Alex by not asking them to visit more often and explained my circumstances.
I am torn. On the one hand I don't want any bad feeling in our friendship group and I don't want to upset anyone. OTOH when I took the rabbits in I thought it was a permanent arrangement. I would never normally give up a pet. I have bonded with them. I have paid for their food, housing, vet care etc for over a year. Frankly if I was just boarding them, Alex should have been paying! AIBU to be upset and want to keep the rabbits?
Tell Alex to fuck off, they're your rabbits!
As you say, you've bore the cost of them for over a year. They're at it.
I know that's true. I just feel under so much pressure. I am conflict averse and get really anxious about upsetting people. I did say Alex could visit sometimes and haven't really stuck to that so I feel bad. It might even be different if Alex could look after the rabbits but instead they just want to pass them to another friend.
Fuck that. If they want to move the rabbits then you need to present them with a bill for all your expenses over the past year. Only when that is settled in full would they be able to take them. Include food, bedding, toys, housing, vets etc and any other expenses.
They are trying it on, if they wanted somewhere they could visit regularly etc then they needed to be paying for them all along.
I'd be tempted to just completely cut contact. Who are they going to complain to who would listen to 'i asked Damsel to take in my rabbits, feed and care and pay for them continuously for over a year in which I've barely visited and now I want to take them back' and take it seriously? They're taking the piss.
Visitation for rabbits? Sorry, it is crazy though. Just keep the rabbits. Say you are attached to them and have spent a lot of money on them. They can buy new rabbits to visit at their friends house. You really don't have to accommodate visitation either just say you are too busy. Do you really care what your friend's ex's ex thinks? Just cut her off.
I care what my friend thinks and they are friends with Alex, as are other people I know. Sorry if that wasn't clear. I didn't mind Alex visiting sometimes because I felt sorry for them as they were so sad about not seeing the rabbits but now the situation is overwhelming.
Why do you think you matter less than them.
That's an excellent point. I guess I have always had problems standing up for myself.
Exactly! Your feelings are just as valid as Alex's. I don't think rabbits particularly like being moved around and who even knows if things will work out with the new owners. From a welfare perspective they are better staying put where they are settled and well taken care of.
That's an excellent point about welfare. It would be their fourth home in a few years. I think I will emphasise that angle but if Alex gets pushy I will bring up the point that their previous owner gave them to me and I have paid for everything. People's responses here have been really helpful to me to put this in perspective.
I would give Alex the vet, housing, and food bills and inform her that if they are truly "her" rabbits, she needs to reimburse you for these costs. You are not a free room and board for her convenience.
As a former rabbit owner, rabbits can't handle stress too well. If it's been 4 years, their lives are half over assuming they were babies when your friends first got them. A completely new place could be too stressful and put their health at risk.
Also.. rabbit visitation? That's just obnoxious, and it doesn't benefit the rabbits any. She doesn't need to visit them. She needs to get new ones and move on.
The original owner was your friend's (Jane's) ex (John). John abandoned them and left them to Jane to look after (now Jane is the owner). Jane asked you to take them and John agreed (though no longer the owner because of abandonment, good to check). Before you took them, Alex, John's ex (and never an owner), was offered the rabbits because she was also fond of them, she said no.
Alex may well have been Jane's next door neighbour. She is nothing to those rabbits except someone who used to be fond of them. She gave up her right to the animals over a year ago when she was offered them. You were nice enough to offer to have her visit (which is also crap to be honest and would be different if she were paying the bills and you were just rabbit sitting short-term).has no say over the rabbits or where they live.
Before you took the animals, would you visit them a year later and say you've decided you do actually want them after all so hand them over?
I know it's hard because you're worried people will think you're being unreasonable and honestly, those aren't people you'd want to be friends with anyway! The rabbits are now your property, they were the second you were given them. You could give them away if you wanted to, but you don't want to, so that's your response... "I'm sorry there seems to be a bit of confusion. I was given the rabbits, not asked to board them. I certainly wouldn't have had them for over a year and paid for all their food, housing and vet bills myself if it was a boarding situation. I was given them because no-one else was in a position to have them. They're most definitely part of the family now and not up for sale".
She's totally taking the piss.
Rabbit visitation for the ex of the ex of a friend?
"yes, you can have the rabbits back, once you have settled the invoice for their care. My fees are £10/day for a pair of bonded rabbits. How would you like to pay"
This belongs on one of the brass neck threads!
Rather than going down the cost route I might try the tactic in just calling Alex out on being a dick:
"Alex, don't be so bloody cheeky. I took these rabbits in when asked to because you were unable to look after them. It was arranged as a permanent thing, not a temporary board deal. I've looked after them all year, bonded with them, and spent a great deal of money looking after them. How on earth can you even think to tell
Me they aren't mine and you are going to give them to someone else. you gave them away long ago and as far as I am concerned, they are mine. I didn't see you offering to pay for the food, bedding, vets bills, hutch all year, which you would have if you indeed thought the rabbits were yours. Really quite upset with the way you have behaved"
Then get in there early and tell all your friends what a total cow bag Alex is being.
I thought Alex was John's ex and had taken care of them previously but when John and Alex split up, Alex ended up in a flat so couldn't take the rabbits with her. Then John got with Jane and they split up. Jane didn't want them so the OP took them in. Or something like that.
I do think Alex seems quite selfish. She never brought some food and bedding with her when she visited, she never offered money for vet's bills, she doesn't care a damn about the OP and her feelings or how she has been suffering from depression, she doesn't care about the rabbits' welfare and how stressful moving them again will be. All she cares about is herself and her visitation rights. And let's face it the rabbits don't care if she visits or not.
You have to woman up OP and stick up for yourself and those bunnies. We're behind you!
No way you should let her have them. What does your friend say? Discuss it with her in a "I can't believe she's trying this on" way. If she doesn't support you, she's not much of a friend anyway.
When your friend was with her ex, did Alex see the rabbits then??
Who did they even belong to originally??
Of course you should keep them as you are looking after them & took them in when no one else would or could!
FYI, rabbits can and do bond and become attached to their owners. My last rabbits were certainly attached to me.
I think you should tell Alex to fuck off OP.
They're your rabbits now.
Seriously! Brass neck! If Alex saw it as a temporary arrangement, they would have paid for food, bedding and vet bills. Nope. Not a chance. Not on your nelly. Get them chipped and tell them to fuck off.
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