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Abandoned Milagro Is Long in the Tooth -- Literally

Milagro's teeth have been fixed, and he has found a forever home; this bunny will never again face starvation or predators.

Milagro was once a domestic rabbit with a home. At some point he was abandoned by his caretakers and forced to fend for himself; he was a conspicuous black rabbit ill-equipped to find food for himself outdoors. His criss-crossed teeth grew so long that they eventually prevented him from eating anything at all—a major blow to his chances for survival. 

Fortunately for Milagro, he sought shelter in the backyard of animal lovers Debbie and Judy Palm. They were able to catch him and bring him to the Rabbit Sanctuary for treatment and a permanent home.

He was named Milagro, a Spanish word that means “miracle.”

Surviving by the Skin of His Teeth

The details of Milagro’s early history remain unknown, but he had clearly been long-plagued by dental problems that veterinary care could have addressed. 

Milagro was dumped in a 30-acre wooded plot opposite a housing development in South Carolina. After consistently evading the nets of community residents, Milagro met the Palms, who had recently moved from Florida.  

Persistent in their efforts to help him, the Palms inched closer and closer to Milagro every day, tempting him with treats. They had noticed that Milagro’s body weight was dropping daily, and they were growing ever more concerned for the rabbit's health. After two weeks, they were finally able to catch him.

Rabbit Sanctuary Rescue

Milagro’s nearly died from severe malnutrition. With his upper and lower incisors criss-crossed, the poor bunny couldn’t get any food into his mouth.

At the sanctuary, Milagro’s teeth were immediately clipped, and he was able to eat again. With Milagro facing a lifetime of dental and health complications related to his severe condition, the sanctuary’s veterinarian advised the extraction of his upper and lower teeth.

How will Milagro cope without his incisors?

Rabbits, both wild and domestic, have back teeth, which help them chew food. Incisors are designed to pick and pull vegetation into the mouth while grazing, but since Milagro is a domestic rabbit under constant care, he does not have to graze. He will be given a special diet, which he can chew with his back teeth.

Milagro, only eight months old, sailed through the two surgeries to remove his teeth. Now free from the problems caused by his own front teeth, Milagro has discovered the pleasure in eating. He has gained weight, and his coat is thick and shiny. For the rest of his life, Milagro will know only kind hands, a warm safe home, and plenty of healthy food to keep him well-nourished.

Domestic Rabbits Need Loving Homes

Over and over again, we see domestic rabbits who have been released outdoors. People may believe that rabbits like Milagro can fend for themselves, but domestic rabbits are different from their wild cottontail cousins, who are accustomed to the outdoors and who have the instincts and camouflage fur coloring that protect them from predators.

Not all domestic rabbits turned out of their homes will find their way into the hands of the Rabbit Sanctuary, so help spread the word: all rabbits deserve a permanent home.

Related Links

  • Read about Mrs. Corn and Bunrick, other domestic rabbits whose lives were saved by the loving care provided by the Rabbit Sanctuary.

Posted March 19, 2008