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.

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.