Help! I found a baby...

Cottontail Rabbit

Please read the information below and if you feel the animal needs help text 513-409-1331

  • If a bunny has any visible injuries, contact us immediately. 513-409-1331

  • If a cottontail bunny is able to run from you then it is likely able to care for itself and does not need any assistance. Keep your pets inside and give it time to move on or hide. Baby bunnies become independent at a surprisingly young age. At about 4 to 5 weeks of age they no longer need assistance from mom.

  • Any baby that is still in the nest, with eyes closed and laid back ears, will still need mother's assistance.

  • Any bunny that has been inside a pet's mouth-dog or cat-should come in for treatment. Bunnies have delicate skin that tears easily and can go unnoticed under their fur. Cats have a large amount of bacteria in their saliva that can quickly prove fatal to a bunny.

  • If you think mom isn’t coming back to the nest: Keep in mind that mother rabbits only visit their young to feed them 2-3 times a day, usually around dawn and dusk. Leaving them alone in the nest the rest of the time is an effective way to protect their babies from predation, so if you find a bunny nest and don't see the mom around, that is normal! You can perform an X-Test over the entrance or on the actual nest to verify that mom is still coming back to visit. This is basically an "X" or tic-tac-toe pattern made with string or sticks to allow you to visually see if mom has visited. In dry conditions, a ring of baking flour can be poured in a circle around the nest. If it has not been disturbed after 14 hours, call us!

  • If the nest is in an inconvenient spot in your yard, and you’re thinking about moving it: This CANNOT be done! Bunnies are born scentless so predators don't find them. This means that mom also will not be able to find them if moved, even if it is close. They remember their location of the nest by a type of GPS system. Consider if your family was to move (even if it was a few houses over) while you were at work. You would come home to an empty house and not even consider that they moved a few houses down.

  • If your dog dug up the nest: As long as the babies are not injured then mom should come back to care for her babies. Mom may have specifically chosen your "dog-smelling" yard for her nest because your dogs keep other predators at bay! A few ways to protect the nest from your dog include:

      • Put a fence around the nest to keep the dogs out but allows mom to get in to feed.

      • Walk your dog on leash until the babies are weaned and out of the nest (5 weeks max).

      • Put something like a milk crate or laundry basket over the nest while your dogs are out, and uncover once they go back in.

      • Put lawn equipment over the nest, like a lawn mower or upside down wheelbarrow.