Hi, Cocoa Puff Fans. Welcome to Special Bunny Rescue.

Above: Special Bunny board member Tamara having a moment with Big Cocoa Puff

Special Bunny is a house rabbit rescue, rehab, and rehoming shelter in the Seattle area…not far from where Cocoa and his family live. When Cocoa’s people found a stray bunny in their neighborhood, they rescued him, and contacted us for some help and advice, which we were delighted to provide (especially because it meant two of our board members got to visit Cocoa and his people!)

A big part of our mission is to help ALL rabbit owners with information about bunny health and behavior that is otherwise hard to find. We love and appreciate all the education and advice that Cocoa Puff (with some assistance from his humans) has spread to so many people.

You’ll see that we have a lot of information on this site about how to care for special-needs bunnies. We are proud to say this information has helped bunnies and their people all over the world…and we want to help more.

We will forever miss Cocoa, and we are grateful for all the valuable bunny-care information he shared.

Donate any amount to help Special Bunny support local bunnies in need and bunnies in homes all over the world. You can choose a one-time donation or a recurring monthly donation here. We are a registered non-profit and we will send receipts for your taxes:


How to help a choking rabbit

Recently, Cocoa had a big scare. Here’s his post about that from Instagram:

Cocoa is healthy, but we did have a BIG scare a few weeks ago where we had to take a trip to the emergency vet because of a choking incident.  Watch the extended video.

The (very long) Story⁣

When I let Cocoa Puff out of his room one morning he looked at me, peed, and bolted out of the room as if he was extremely scared. He then rolled on his side and was jerking his head back, made grunting sounds, while fluid was coming out of his nose. I raced over to him but he kept running around the house repeating this terrifying scene. ⁣

I knew I didn’t have much time. I finally was able to catch him, and not knowing what to do, I picked him up to rush him to the nearest vet. As I carried him to the car he let out the most horrific scream— a sound I have never heard before. ⁣

Half way to the vet, Cocoa finally stopped struggling and I thought he had died. When, I got to the vet he was alive, exhausted, and breathing very hard. ⁣

By the time the vet was able to see us, Cocoa Puff just had a rattling sound in his throat when he breathed. He didn’t know what had happened, so the vet set us home with instructions to keep an eye on Cocoa Puff. ⁣

Because the vet was not “rabbit-savvy,” I immediately called our friend, Tamara ( @hopperholic from @specialbunnyorg ), who FaceTimed us so she could check on him. Tamara confirmed my suspicions that Cocoa Puff has choked on something but had miraculously dislodged it on his own—she said he was very, very, VERY lucky. ⁣

Soon after, I took Cocoa Puff to an exotic vet, who confirmed that Cocoa Puff was healthy and did not need to get on antibiotics to treat possible pneumonia, which can occur after a choking incident. ⁣

Because rabbits cannot vomit they are prone to choking. I knew this fact but had no idea there is a Heimlich Maneuver you can perform on your rabbit to help them. Thank you Tamara, from @specialbunnyorg for helping BCP and making this video.


Remembering our dear friend and supporter Patti Polinsky

Patti and her husband Dave were friends of our rescue and our board members long before Special Bunny even started. Patti helped us learn so much about house rabbit care and offered a warm and loving home to countless rescue bunnies over the years. She donated her time, her money, and her love endlessly. Her abundant garden was mostly for her furry friends. For years, every Saturday, Patti would prowl the University Farmer’s Market and come home with bags and bags of delicious carrot tops. Every Sunday, volunteers would meet Dave to hear a few bad jokes and collect the bags to bring to our grateful shelter buns. We miss Patti terribly as a friend and fellow rescuer and bun-addict. We will keep her in our thoughts forever. If there is a Rainbow Bridge, and we hope there is, we’re pretty sure she got clobbered by a huge crowd of delighted bunny rabbits the moment she arrived.

Read more about Patti  and her many other passions.

Donate to Special Bunny in Patti’s memory.

Holiday Hazards

Keeping your Bunny Safe During Human Celebrations!

Cold Weather:

Though rabbits can take the cold better than they can the heat, cold, wet and windy weather make it dangerous for an outside bunny, who can get frost bite on his/her ears and even die from exposure.

If you don’t have a heated, weather-proof shelter for your furry friends, please bring them into a safe part of your house for the winter. It’s the perfect time to reconnect with your rabbits and remember how much fun they can be as members of your family. Isn’t that why you adopted them in the first place?

Read more cold weather tips for your cats and dogs

Decorations & Food:

Bag the boughs of holly and live mistletoe. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, lilies, laurel, and Christmas Rose are all on the POISON list for rabbits (and other animals).  Opt for artificial plants made from silk or plastic and keep them out of your pet’s reach if they are “chewers”.

  • Christmas tree water may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he/she imbibe.
  • Shiny icicle decorations can cause a deadly blockage if ingested, and broken glass ornaments can require immediate surgery if eaten.
  • Keep electrical cords hidden, especially if you have a pet that likes to chew.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended and keep them out of reach from any pets. Better yet, use electric lights and candles.

There are a lot of cookies and candy around this tiem of year. Please avoid giving your rabbits/pets even a bite of these sweets. Food too high in sugar can lead to digestive upset and gastrointestinal stasis, and it can contribute to excess weight. And food too rich in carbohydrates may contribute to a fatal case of enterotoxaemia, a toxic overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in the intestinal tract. In addition, keep in mind that chocolate is poisonous and should never be fed to your rabbit. Remember, rabbits have a sweet tooth and it’s up to their human parents to give them healthy choices.

Rabbits have a delicate digestion system and are incapable of vomiting. Please keep your pets save and you’ll all have a happier holiday.

If you suspect that your animal companion has eaten a potentially toxic substance, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s Emergency Hotline at: (888) 426-4435 for round-the-clock telephone assistance. For more poison prevention tips, please visit ASPCA online.


With extended family visiting and celebrating with friends, your pet can become stressed from all the noise and rush. Please keep your pets in a safe and quiet room if they are not use to the noise and activity.

Find more Emergency Pet Preparedness information from the ASPCA.

Christy & Mitch

Christy & Mitch are getting married!

This is a first for us at Special Bunny…two of our favorite adopters are getting married, and they are asking you, their beloved guests and admirers, to donate to Special Bunny in celebration of their wedding!

Why Special Bunny?

Christy & Mitch came to us because their furry ‘son,’ Alfred Lord Tennybuns, was a lonely chap. He needed a lady in his life to dote on and admire. So, he came for a date at our shelter in Carnation, where he fell ears over paws for Macey, an older woman we had rescued from another shelter.

Macey was a little tougher to convince. As many fine ladies do, she played a bit hard to get. And she kept playing. For over six months. But Christy and Mitch persevered, essentially putting themselves in a cage to give their bunnies maximum room for their courtship. And it worked.

Christy & Mitch are getting married!

This is a first for us at Special Bunny…two of our favorite adopters are getting married, and they are asking you, their beloved guests and admirers, to donate to Special Bunny in celebration of their wedding!

Why Special Bunny?

Christy & Mitch came to us because their furry ‘son,’ Alfred Lord Tennybuns, was a lonely chap. He needed a lady in his life to dote on and admire. So, he came for a date at our shelter in Carnation, where he fell ears over paws for Macey, an older woman we had rescued from another shelter.

Macey was a little tougher to convince. As many fine ladies do, she played a bit hard to get. And she kept playing. For over six months. But Christy and Mitch persevered, essentially putting themselves in a cage to give their bunnies maximum room for their courtship. And it worked.

Any resemblance to the courtship of Christy & Mitch is purely coincidental.

Charles: From Starved To Star!

Charles weighed around 4 pounds when he arrived. A healthy weight for a rabbit his size is around 10 pounds.Remember…this story has a happy ending!! But it starts sad. Charles came to us almost dead. He didn’t have the energy to stand or hop, and could only eat for a few minutes before having to rest. His previous ‘owners’ had ‘run out of food’ so they stopped feeding him. They kept him alone in a hutch (apparently letting him out to eat grass was way too much work). They advertised the hutch for sale on Craigslist, with ‘free rabbit if still available.’ Our founder Angie saw this and Charles came to Special Bunny. If you’ve been following our Facebook page for a while, you’ve already seen photos and videos of Charles, and watched him blossom from a rabbit-shaped skeleton into the amazing golden troublemaker he is today.

Brittany was following his story, and she fell in love with him from afar. She spotted him on Petfinder and was smitten…even though she lived on the east coast! But, Brittany was planning a move to Seattle and she thought maybe, just maybe, the stars will align…and they did! Fate intervened and Brittany came to pick up her new rabbit-shaped puppy from our shelter.

Today, Charles is Brittany’s loyal office assistant, performing all sorts of important, relaxation-based chores as she works from home. He is responsible for carpet warming, flopping, foot-licking, nose-bonking of all ankles, and other distractions as assigned. He is paid in snuggles, kisses, adoration, and yummy, delicious, plentiful food. He also guest-starred at our Fundraiser Dinner & Auction, much to the delight of all who attended.

Stories like Charles’ are why we do what we do, and are willing to step in when we see an animal in terrible trouble, even if  our shelter is filled to overflowing. Our supporters make stories like Charles’ possible, and we can’t thank you enough. If you want more Hoppy Endings, subscribe to our page, or, better yet, buy our calendar! It’s a whole year’s worth of cuteness — and stories that end well.

Here’s a video of Charles when he first arrived at Special Bunny. He quickly learned to trust and snuggle with Angie, who cared for him round the clock for the first few days to help him survive.

Just two weeks later, Charles was…a completely different rabbit! He was so perked up that he was causing chaos in his pen, and leaping over gates without any concern for where or how he was going to land. Luckily, he landed in a hay bin…and immediately set to work trying to eat his way out.

Here’s our big ‘bunny-puppy’ on his adoption day! We’re not sure who looks happier…Charles or Brittany?

And here’s an update from Brittany, just about 2 months after she brought him home:

Thank you everyone, especially Special Bunny for bringing me this handsome boy! I watched Charles from Wisconsin [nervously] for three months before I got to meet him; I’m so glad Angie and the volunteers believed in the match via email and made it happen.

Charles has been such a champ in adjusting to new people and a new place. He gets into PLENTY of bunny trouble (seems to have a taste for the corners of phone cases left out carelessly…), but not enough to keep him from 24-hour access to the whole apartment. Even so, he spends most weekdays at my feet or side (see the photo — love the little mohawk), snoozing or playing with paper balls I toss his way. I must say, bunny cuddle breaks are the best kind of breaks in the work day.

This golden boy clearly loves people; he follows me up the stairs at night to hang out nearby while I sleep and actively seeks out cuddles and pets – making his requests clear with some serious nudging. His previous ‘owners’ really missed out on a special companion. I’m just so glad Charles was resilient enough to give other humans a chance. Visitors are always amazed to be greeted by a big bunny when they come through the door and followed for hours after entering – until the food comes out, of course, and then nothing else exists in Charles’ world.

He’ll be my special bunny for the rest of his life, thanks to Special Bunny. I am so grateful to Angie for saving him and to the whole crew for nursing him back to the vibrant creature he is today!

Snuggles with mom. Notice the giant nose surface: perfect for applying kisses.

Diamond stares into her happy future!

Diamond the Angora bunny came to us from a high-kill shelter north of us. She’s always been a bit of an odd bunny…she just stares. And stares. And stares. At what, we have no idea. But she seems to enjoy it. Other than the staring, she is a normal, lovely, friendly girl. We think that she had a rough start to life, and as a result she really hates to be groomed and to have her fur brushed. But we persevered, got her cleaned up, gave her an easy-to-manage haircut and waited for her forever parents to show up in her life.

We got some interest from people who wanted to spin her fur, and, while we don’t have a problem with spinners per se, we just knew that Diamond had to be in a home with people willing to keep her long, easily-matting fur short. She needed a place where she could just sit and stare and be loved for nothing more than that.

We got a call from Laura, a wonderful woman who, along with her husband Gary, had rescued one of several dumped lionhead bunnies near their work. That bunny, Leo, is a true peach…he’s super friendly and loves to be held, and he’s bright white, just like Diamond! Laura became very interested in caring for bunnies, and through her research learned that Leo would be even happier if he had a friend, so she reached out to us to help with some dates.

And that’s where fate took over. Leo took one look at Diamond and that was it. He was smitten! And Diamond? Well, she stared at Leo. Huge surprise. Leo thought that just made her cuter. So, off they went to Laura & Gary’s house to start their life together…along with rescued cats, dogs, and even a pigeon.

They had a little bit of a shaky start as Diamond got her footing in her new home (literally! Laura had to buy new rugs!), and as Leo calmed down in his amorousness towards Diamond. But today, they are buns in love, and they enjoy the attentions of their now-bunny-addicted humans. Diamond still stares, but only when she’s not half-closing her eyes in bliss.

Your support makes our hoppy endings possible! Thank you!

Jazzy, now Olaf, and his lovely Sookie

Jazzy came to us from a high-kill shelter, where he went by the name “Penelope” (how embarassing for him!) We have no idea why no one adopted him while he was there…he’s the cutest little black lop, and he’s full of funny, bossy, bunny-y personality! We were told he was a spayed girl when he came to us, but we discovered that wasn’t quite true (one of our wonderful volunteers noted that Jazzy was getting overly friendly with her forearm when she tried to pet him, so we flipped him over and discovered he had brought some unexpected luggage with him!). We took him in to the fabulous Dr. Dan, who helped him lose his luggage, and he came back to Special Bunny to quickly recuperate and rebound to his usual bouncy self.

Jazzy was at Special Bunny for several months, which we just didn’t understand. He’s just so stinkin’ cute! But it all made sense this past Sunday, when he first set eyes on Sookie, a lovely, spoiled Holland lop lady who is almost twice as big as he is. Sookie’s mom had done tons of research on bonding (we love her!) and was bracing herself for a long bonding process. Wrong! Jazzy took about ten seconds to fall head-over-fluff in love with Sookie. She may not have been totally sure, but he was…and then some! Within five minutes of being put together, Jazzy had groomed every inch of Sookie’s sweet face (and left her with a terrible case of bunny-bed-head). Apparently, he finds her to be completely and utterly delicious. She is a little more circumspect, but quickly found his attentions disarming and put her head down for more and more and more licks. So, off Jazzy went to his new home with his new love!

To make things even more awesome, he got a new name…OLAF! He’s our first adoption of 2014, and he sets a very high bar in the ‘awesome new name’ department. We’ll set that as a challenge to our 2014-adopters-to-come…better step it up when you think of new names to come up with ideas as good as Olaf.


Oh, Jimmy, we miss you SO much.

Jimmy was found in a chicken coop with his back broken and was being pecked by all the chickens. He was just looking for some food and how he made it this far we don’t know. Why someone could throw out a little bunny like this is beyond us. He had the worst parasites our vet had ever seen & we were not sure he would make it but he did. We thought that eventually we could get him up into a wheelchair but because of how his spine had fused together and twisted his rib cage, that was not possible. He had continuous medical problems and we gave him the care he needed. He was very beloved and well-groomed by Boo and Herman…somehow, the threesome all bonded together and lived happily in Angie’s living room for a long, long time. We treasure the time we had with Jimmy. He’s the classic case of a truly wonderful special needs bunny who thrived with the care he so deserved.




Herman came to us when he was 8 years old, with terrible abcesses on his face. He hadn’t received the medical care he needed, and the neglect really showed. We immediately got him to the vet and the poor little guy endured some pretty major treatments. For a while, he kinda looked like the Phantom of the Opera (only he was much quieter). After a little while, his fur grew back and his sweet personality became a shining example of the love that rescued animals are ready to give kind people. Herman was so so sweet, and a big favorite of all of us at Special Bunny.

Boo was 'on the job' when it came to keeping Herman's face clean and tidy.