Kathy Finelli, director of Gainesville Rabbit Rescue

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Kathy Finelli—the director of Gainesville Rabbit Rescue, a nonprofit founded by two university of Florida students nearly 20 years ago—recalls her first rabbit: someone’s pet bunny that somehow ended up in her backyard; she contacted Gainesville Rabbit Rescue (whose mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and adopt out rabbit, as well as to educate current and potential rabbit owners), and she ended up fostering him for three months, naming her temporary roomie Mr. Bunny. masthead-homeFourteen years later, she owns two rabbits, is fostering two more, and additionally shares her home with a dog and a cat (and feeds two feral cats). Finnelli acknowledges there have been times over the years where the rabbit population in her house has been as high as 11. She observes some of the ways Gainesville Rabbit Rescue has changed over the course of almost two decades, most notably that the organization now has a physical shelter, which enables 78853them to more effectively facilitate rescues, fostering and adoptions. Finelli explains that it’s a no-kill shelter, so any rabbit rescued there, but not adopted, will have a home there for life. She also mentions that despite the geographic limitation suggested by the group’s name, Gainesville Rabbit Rescue is committed to helping rabbits across the entire state of Florida.  Finelli goes on to outline some important facets of the care and feeding of pet rabbits, including the virtues of spaying/neutering (particularly in households where there are male and female bunnies, but there are other reasons, behaviorally and medically) and the key components of their diet, including lots of hay and a rotating mix of three vegetables each day. In what may come as a surprise to some, carrots are not part of this category—they contain too much sugar to qualify–but can be offered occasionally, as they do fall under the Treat heading. Finelli also fields a number of listener calls and emails, answering an array of rabbit questions. (www.gainesvillerabbitrescue.org)

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ALSO: I spoke briefly with Dina Athanassie, of the Animal Coalition of Tampa, which provides low-cost spay/neuter and other medical services for pets, about its then-forthcoming 17th Annual Stride For Strays fundraising event that was to be held Oct. 22 at Perry Harvey Sr. Park, in Tampa. (http://actampa.org)

COMEDY CORNER: Dave Attell “Pets” (http://daveattell.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: George Harrison’s “Dark Horse”

AUDIO ARCHIVE:

 

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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