We’ve all heard the myth – if you touch baby bunnies (or any baby wildlife, for that matter) their mother will smell your human-ness and abandon her babies. One touch and they’re good as dead!
That is total and complete nonsense! I suspect it was started by mothers who wanted their small children to not mess with the baby animals they found in the yard. Good motives that worked a little too well.
If your dog discovers a bunny nest and is carrying baby bunnies around, give them a look over and check for any bleeding or obvious injury, and then put them back in the nest and cover them up. Mom will still love them, I promise! Of course, if they are injured, contact a wildlife rehabber. Most vet clinics are not licensed to rehabilitate wildlife, but can refer you to someone who can. Your local vet CAN humanely euthanize wildlife that is severely injured and suffering. Unfortunately, that’s the condition I find most of my bunnies in when they are in my dog’s mouth. 🙁
I’ve heard people say “but I never saw the momma bunny come back.” I assure you she did. Guess how many times per day a momma rabbit goes to the nest to feed her babies. ONCE. She stays away to avoid attracting the attention of predators. Especially with you watching, no way is she going to risk exposing her babies to danger by visiting them!
Same goes for baby birds, opossums, you name it. You’re best off avoiding handling them more than needed, as it stresses them out. But if you can locate a nest or home base and place them there, touching them will not cause them harm!
Other pet myths and rumors: