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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > Question for those in Bunny Recue
Last Post by Hedi at 5/20/2007 5:56 AM (15 Replies)
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User is Offline Hedi
Dayton, OH
976 posts Send Private Message
5/15/2007 8:29 AM

So, as of this week I have been volunteering at my local humane society for 3 weeks. Things have changed a lot since I have been there! We have changed from cat litter to YN, we are feeding fresh veggies and fruit and the bunnies are getting playtime on a schedule instead of every once in awhile.

So my question to you....how/where do you give your shelter bunnies exercise and time out of their cages?

Right now we have three adult buns and two babies. We have two bonding rooms but cats and dogs are higher up on the food chain and they get first dibs on the rooms. I come in three days a week as soon as they open and there are usually already dogs (or cats) in our bonding rooms.

So...the buns have no place to get except the bathroom. It's a very small, probably 4ftx4ft with an enclosed shower/tub. The toilet has no cover. And I don't think its ever been cleaned!!!! Most of my rabbits enjoy the cool floor but its nasty and dirty and I love to sit and play with the buns. I still sit on the nasty floor but I worry more about the buns being in there. I made a sign saying "bunny in room" to hang up because i am no where near the bathroom and i worry someone going to the bathroom and scaring themselves and the bun.

How do you guyz insure they get exercise and time out of cages? We are working on getting permission to set up an X-pen out front where the buns are so they can have more time to play. But it could only occur during closed hours (8am-1pm). Which is still a great amount of time but they are telling me it can be no bigger than 3ftx3ft.

Suggestions?

(here are pics of Chase, Buddy and Fergie. I don't have a pic of Lady the one that cries)


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Carrera 6yo Mini Rex
Pookie 5yo Dwarf
Cooper 2yo old Mini Lop
Hooper (Hooptie) 2yo Mini Rex

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8674 posts Send Private Message
5/15/2007 5:08 PM
Does the shelter have any rooms, like conference rooms or ??? where you can set up x-pens? Or is their room where the bunnies are to set up x-pens. Obviously if the floor is slippery, you may need to put down towels and such.



User is Offline Hedi
Dayton, OH
976 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2007 4:59 AM

We have a very small conference room with carpeted floor but it is so small the table and chairs barely fit, and it is a no animal area.

We do have a break room with a fridge that has a few tables and chairs set up. I have seen them put a cat or small dog in there from time to time. We have two bonding rooms that are very small but always taken.

Our bunnies are out front in the reception area which is a fairly small space. We were given permission to use a small pen up front to give the buns a place out of their cages.

Do you think the x-pen up front is probably the best idea? Im just worried because the workers there ALL bring in their dogs so there is always a half dozen dogs in all sizes running loose.



Carrera 6yo Mini Rex
Pookie 5yo Dwarf
Cooper 2yo old Mini Lop
Hooper (Hooptie) 2yo Mini Rex

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8674 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2007 12:19 PM

Yeah, I don't know if the reception area would be the best place because the x-pens can be easily pushed and moved and even jumped by some dogs. Seems as if the bunnies would be scared kookoo out in the reception area, but they do okay there in their cages? If the reception area seems to be the only place, then if you are able supervise them and you have a hidey house for them to get to if something scares them, then maybe it would be worth it to try it. 

Is there a place outside (not on grass because you don't necessarily know when and if it's been treated plus you may not know if raccoons go near there at night (they can spread a serious non-curable disease via their urine) , plus fleas, mites,etc.  I know a local humane society has a rabbit run area where they set up several x-pens in a small gated area outside. (concrete)

NOTE though - the x-pens are within a larger gated area, so that if a bunny actually climbed over their x-pen (yes, it has happened)  the would still not be able to escape.  Plus you need to still supervise.  Do you have hawks that area?




User is Offline MooBunnay
Dallas, Texas (Allen)
3088 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2007 1:14 PM

Have you thought about putting up some ads/ to fine foster moms for the bunnies? I know that the Bunny Bunch that I work with does not have a central shelter, instead they just have a series of foster homes, and that is because it is so difficult for the buns to get any exercise in a shelter. Also, fostering is good because a) many people are nervous about the committment to a bunny, but once they have one, realize how fun it is and b) even if the bunnies are only at the house temporarily, they at least get some socialization.

Also, have the bunnies been posted on petfinder.com?  I have had 6 interested adopters through petfinder in the past week, and 3 interested adopters through craigslist, so both of these places are great for posting bunnies.




User is Offline Hedi
Dayton, OH
976 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2007 3:46 PM

We have a lot of hawks even though we live in the city. We lose a lot of wild rabbits to them.

The only time the buns would get exercise time would be while me or the "bunny man" as they call him are there. He takes them outside but I am not comfortable doing that. I think what I will do is ask if I can set the pen up in the kitchen area and then close the door that way if they escape they will be confined AND while I clean set the pen up with me in the reception area where I can keep an eye on them. I was looking at Target and I can get one 36" high for about $70. I am going to just buy it myself rather than wait on the shelter because this situation really only affects me. The bunny guy brings his own x-pen from home for outside. We were in the bathroom again today and its just not enough room and I worry about the germs with the buns.

Moobunnay- I tried to foster and they told me no. We do have a mtg coming up next week with me, the bunny guy who has been there 9mths and a few other people who are interested in helping. Right now I am the only person that cleans their cages other  than the paid staff who clean when I am not there. Which worries me because I check their poos and make sure they are eating, etc. They ended up with kitty litter again so our wishes arent getting passed along correctly. But, in the mtg we are going to discuss our wish list and setting up a bunny protocol and look into foster in the community. I agree, a home setting is the best option but for whatever reason (probably cost) the shelter isnt interested in it. We do use petfinder.com but whoever is in charge is WAY behind. A bunny adopted a week ago is the only one on there.

I am a little OCD when it comes to the shelter buns. I dont trust anyone to do it like me. lol I really watch the buns, check their cages and interact with them with play to give them the attention they need. I know that since no one else at the shelter knows anything about buns it falls to me to watch them. I honestly dont know that anyone would even notice if one of them stopped eating or got sick because no one interacts except for the occasional nose scratch while passing by.



Carrera 6yo Mini Rex
Pookie 5yo Dwarf
Cooper 2yo old Mini Lop
Hooper (Hooptie) 2yo Mini Rex

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8674 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2007 4:56 PM
I know some people were able to get used x-pens for really cheap from craigslist.org. Putting in dog pen, pen, pet pen, xpen, x-pen.  All of those are things that may generate items you may be interested in.



User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2093 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2007 5:19 PM
You could also put up a wanted post in your local freecycle.  You may be able to get a used one as a donation.



User is Offline Hedi
Dayton, OH
976 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2007 5:57 PM
I have been searching for days on craigslist but just decided since I will be the one using it the majority of time and since it will get us out of that nasty bathroom I will just pay the $ and get one new. There are so many short ones they are marketing for bunnies-don't these people know rabbits can jump-really really high?! lol


Carrera 6yo Mini Rex
Pookie 5yo Dwarf
Cooper 2yo old Mini Lop
Hooper (Hooptie) 2yo Mini Rex

User is Offline MooBunnay
Dallas, Texas (Allen)
3088 posts Send Private Message
5/18/2007 7:22 AM
Hi! Have you thought about making some type of wire lid for the ex-pen? Then maybe you could go outside with it and not have to worry so much about the hawks (tho, I guess they might not SEE the lid and come down and crash into it...karma? haha).  I think if you could ask them to let you be able to be an administrator on petfinder and put the bunnies up yourself it could help a lot.  I do that for my shelter, and its really not too much effort, and very user friendly.



User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8674 posts Send Private Message
5/18/2007 12:56 PM
You could also use a sheet. And use clamps to secure the sheet on the top. This is what they do at saveabunny on pens when there is an escape artist (even with the tall pens) .



User is Offline Hedi
Dayton, OH
976 posts Send Private Message
5/18/2007 2:12 PM

(Bailey is eating right in front of the camera-so cute!)

Well, we had a mtg today with the shelters executive director. We are going to move the buns to a different location so they will be seen better by visitors. We are getting large two story cages for all but we can only house 4 buns at a time. We will make them so we can set up a pen in between the cages for playtime for all buns throughout the day.

They also have a space picked out for us in the backyard that they will fence off for us and then we will cover with a tarp (or something) and the buns can have outside play time as well.

I brought my x-pen in today that I bough yesterday. Each panel is 24" Wx36"H. It opens up fairly large. No bun attempted to escape. I had it up front with me where their cages are right now and put them in the pen while I cleaned and then let them out again for playtime later. It worked out very nice. And there were only about 6 dogs running free today and one little one came up and checked the buns out but that was it-none of the others were interested.

Still fightin to get them fixed before we adopt out. Apparently the mom bunny we have right now we had before, adopted out with several others, the couple separated and returned all the buns-and then two of them came back pregnant! That should have told them right there they should have been fixed! But..one battle at a time..at least they are all happy and healthy.



Carrera 6yo Mini Rex
Pookie 5yo Dwarf
Cooper 2yo old Mini Lop
Hooper (Hooptie) 2yo Mini Rex

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8674 posts Send Private Message
5/18/2007 8:55 PM

Well congratulations on really making a big difference there in the bunnies lives, and I am so happy to hear the shelter is really wanting to make it better for them too.   Sometimes politics get in the way, so I am happy to hear how quick they are in making changes.  That really say alot for all of you!

The back yard - is it grassy? 




User is Offline Hedi
Dayton, OH
976 posts Send Private Message
5/19/2007 10:53 AM

The backyard does have grass but its also the area where the outside dog kennels are. The area they want to put us has very large wood chippings so we would need to figure out a floor alternative.

The sheet as a top for the pen is a great idea-I would have never thought of that.

For right now we will stay up front but we are supposed to meet again in 2 wks to decide on final place for bunnies and the outside area AND about getting buns fixed before adoption.



Carrera 6yo Mini Rex
Pookie 5yo Dwarf
Cooper 2yo old Mini Lop
Hooper (Hooptie) 2yo Mini Rex

User is Offline MooBunnay
Dallas, Texas (Allen)
3088 posts Send Private Message
5/19/2007 8:22 PM
Hi Hedi! Wow, you are accomplishing so much! Good luck with everything, and let us know if you need more input, the Bunny Bunch has fought quite a lot of battles for bunnies here in LA, so I have a lot of resources for any type of advice you need!



User is Offline Hedi
Dayton, OH
976 posts Send Private Message
5/20/2007 5:56 AM

Osprey gave me the name of one of their bunny advocates and she emailed me some great ideas (thanks Osprey!)

1.)We are going to try and get our own petfinder login because only one person has access and the buns are never updated.

2.) Figure out how to raise $ to get the shelter buns fixed. We have a bakery that makes doggy treats so why not bunny treats too? And maybe we can sell bunny stuff to raise $ as well.

3.) I am getting the checklist columbus house rabbit society uses for their adoptions because we have adopted out buns to live in hutches (ouch). I am not there nor the other guy so we have no say in these.

4.) The humane society has agreed to buy bunny condos so they have more room. We already have two so they will buy two more.

5.) We may move the buns to a different location but either way we are going to set up a play pen so during the day if we aren't there they can continue to rotate buns out to play. This will increase their time out to play from one hour to several.

6.) The HS Exec. Dir. has told us that we have complete say when a bun is ready to go. So that if a bunny is physically ready to be adopted out but mentally or emotionally has issues we can keep them however long we feel they need. (for example, we have a little boy bunny who obviously has never been out of a cage. I got him out to play and he just sat there. He didnt know what to do. He got nervous even jumping up on something one foot high.)

Yeah!



Carrera 6yo Mini Rex
Pookie 5yo Dwarf
Cooper 2yo old Mini Lop
Hooper (Hooptie) 2yo Mini Rex
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