(From Laura, TAS South volunteer with small domestics.)
Abeline is currently, of all the animals at the shelter, the longest resident. She has been waiting for a home longer than any cat, dog or small animal.
She was rescued from a hoarder back in October 2011, along with a large number of other rabbits. They had all been kept in tiny, cramped cages their entire lives without any exercise. Because of this, many of them showed territorial behaviour and were very protective of their space. Abeline was one of the ones who showed territorial behaviour. Initially, I thought she was a bit of a twit, to be honest. But I took her into foster care because the shelter was too full at the time, and soon realized I was wrong. In a home environment, Abie blossomed. She turned out to be a confident, outgoing girl who would just melt if you petted her on the head. She's very independent and likes to do her own thing, but she comes to you in her time.
When she went back to the shelter, she had settled down quite a bit. With regular exercise, her territorial behaviour fades away and now it's mostly gone. She's been held back, though, because she doesn't make a great first impression. With people she knows, she is affectionate and friendly. But with strangers, she's wary and may grunt or run away. It makes it hard for people to pick her when they come in to adopt. It's frustrating, because we've seen how great she can be in a home with a family she knows.
We've taken her to events, taken her on Animal House Calls and featured her on the Facebook page, but she just can't seem to catch a break. She's a real character and would do fantastic in a home where she could be penned or live free-range. She just needs someone to bond with her and see her real personality.