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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Therapy Bunnies Update

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    • skunklionshow
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      I have decided to call our classroom bunnies the therapy bunnies.  As of last update we have 3…2 boys–Trigger and Leo (a rex and lionhead) and 1 girl–Jessica (dwarf).

      We have named our pet therapy program "Bunny Luv", since the bunnies are our main therapy animals.  I’m pleased to report that all seem to be doing very well in their respective classrooms.   We are preparing our first Bunny Luv fundraisers for late December…the kids want to make kitty and dog treats to sell, as well as t-shirts. Trigger is the Wild one of the bunch…he freely roams our shared hallway and if any classroom doors are left open, he freely hopes in to say hello.  He does this w/ the office as well.  If we have parents visit we just say…"oh that’s just Trigger…he likes to visit everyone".

      Jessica is still a bit shy w/ my classroom.  She has expanded her roaming area and will often accept treats from a seated student.  I’m pleased to report that her litterbox training is going very well.  She has her first Vet visit next week b/f Thanksgiving.  Any input about the upcoming Spay or special questions for the vet?

      Leo is very laidback.  He seems very comfortable in his classroom.  He loves giving bunny kisses, getting brushed, and eating brocolli straight out of your hand.  He prefers to sleep in his litterbox.  He was trained to use his cage as his bathroom and seems pretty stubborn to keep it that way…he tends to dump out his litterbox to sleep in.

      I’m very pleased w/ how they are all doing and the good that they’ve been doing for the kids.  We have arranged staff placements for the Thanksgiving weekend.

      So the kids have a few questions for me to post:

      1.  What other toys/treats can we bring our bunnies besides papertowel tubes & veggies?

      2.  Do the bunnies "talk" w/ each other at night, when we go home and they are in the room together?

      3.  Do they need a nightlight?

      Thanks for the input…I’ll keep you posted on our bunny luv t-shirts.


    • wendyzski
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      1312 posts Send Private Message

      I’m so glad to hear it is going so well.  It sounds like you are discovering that everybunny is unique, and I’m glad your students are having the opportunity to spend time with these wonderful critters!


    • MooBunnay
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      3087 posts Send Private Message

      In response to your question about the bunnies talking at night….I have three buns at home and if I ever get up at night and look into the living room, they are usually sitting on top of their little cardboard condos looking at each other, and I can tell they are deep in conversation.  I think most of the time they are discussing how they are going to rip up and remodel their cardboard condos, or what kind fo treat they want at breakfast!

      For toys, my rabbits also enjoy braches from apple trees…I’m not sure what other types of branches are OK for bunnies to eat….and they enjoy anything made of (untreated) willow wood.

      It is so nice to hear how well your bunnies are doing, at my rescue organization we often hear the sad things that happen to classroom bunnies, and its nice to hear about someone who is very responsible and caring with their classroom bunnies.


    • Theresa Moan
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      You could try baby toys like plastic hooked rings or keyrings. One of my bunnies loves to toss her rings around and she definately tries to "score hoops" by always tossing it into her food dish!


    • Lucy
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      I agree about the baby keys. i have two sets I found at a thrift store for 25 cents each- it’s really not worth it to buy them new. Also, wendyski came over and game me to cat toys for fujoe- she said Pepper didn’t like them but Fujoe started to chase them around the apartment. One was a little solid plastic ball with bells in it, and the other was another plastic ball with bells in it- but there were holes in it for him to pick it up and throw it.

      The thing I have found with the toys is that Fujoe likes them for a little while, but then will just stop caring about them. Good luck…


    • Anita Stark
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      When Fujoe tires of a toy do you leave it around for a while or remove it?  Sable plays with anything new for a while, then he ignores it.  He eventually "discovers" it again and treats it like a new toy.  I’ve found this especially with the cat toys you described, he just recently found the ball with the holes in it and the bell inside.  He’s started tossing it around again after leaving it alone for weeks.


    • Lucy
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      ya, they are all over the place. I never move them. And I found the same thing- he’ll go back to something. Like his keys, there wil be weeks when he doesn’t pick them up. But then, all of a sudden for like 4 days in a row he’ll be tossing the keys. The only thing I’ll remove is old cardboard… there’s just too much fur stuck in it. or sticks… if I see they are mostly chewed- out they go!

      I think there just has to be tons of toys, otherwise, he’ll find one of my shoes to play with… or his daddy’s shoe.. which is really funny cause you have this little dwarf bunny TRYING to pick up a size 12/13 size shoe… hehehe


    • BridgetteBunny
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      Hi I am new on this site and thought this was a great topic. I would love to do therapy work with my bunny at a hospital or nursing home or something. Does anyone do that with their bunny? At the shelter I used to work at they had “pet-a-pet” where a nursing home worker would come pick up a bunny for the day. Is this too much stress for the bunny? My girl is quite outgoing and curious but I am sure she doens’t like being carried around everywhere as she still is a rabbit. Any input on if this is a good idea or how to get started would be much appreciated. Thanks!
      -Lindsay and “Bridgette the bunny”


    • dmh426
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      433 posts Send Private Message

      Friends of mine are parents to a little girl with cystic fibrosis. I brought Sophie to see her in the hospital a few months ago. She was a big hit in the pediatric unit! A HRS friend and I have plans to bring two foster bunnies in next month. You should see these kids faces. Mackenzie’s hand is fisted because of her cystic fibrosis and she unclenched her hand to pet Soph. Priceless.


    • Gravehearted
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      Posted By bestlind on 12/27/2006 5:07 PM
      Hi I am new on this site and thought this was a great topic. I would love to do therapy work with my bunny at a hospital or nursing home or something. Does anyone do that with their bunny? At the shelter I used to work at they had "pet-a-pet" where a nursing home worker would come pick up a bunny for the day. Is this too much stress for the bunny? My girl is quite outgoing and curious but I am sure she doens’t like being carried around everywhere as she still is a rabbit. Any input on if this is a good idea or how to get started would be much appreciated. Thanks!
      -Lindsay and "Bridgette the bunny"

      Welcome to binkybunny bestlind 🙂

      I am not an expert on the subject by any means, but my guess is it would depend entirely on the bunny’s personality.  I think some rabbits would be really stressed out by it, but some more laid back kinds of buns might enjoy it.  The other thing to keep in mind – is since rabbits are relatively fragile,  it would be important to ensure the patients were gentle with her.  What if the bunny nibbled some breathing tube or something – eek!?  You’d also have to be careful that she wouldn’t scratch anyone or hurt herself trying to hop away.  Maybe if you got a bunny pack to keep her in, so she’d feel secure and people could still pet her?  We have one like this that might work…   they’re kinda like front packs that go over your chest.

       I did take a peek on google and discovered this article about therapy bunnies:   http://www.deltasociety.org/TextOnly/VolunteerArticlesRabbits.htm


    • Theresa Moan
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      249 posts Send Private Message

      GH- Where did you get that?
      Do they try to jump out?


    • osprey
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      Back to the very beginning of the thread, skunklionshow asked for other suggestions of easy toys to give her buns to play with. Ours absolutely love carboard boxes and tubes. I have one 10 inch concrete form tube made of cardboard and bunches of boxes with holes cut in them. The buns love these, climbing, chewing and rearranging them. We also have at least one foster bun in our system who enjoys paper grocery sacks.


    • Gravehearted
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      Posted By Theresa on 12/28/2006 5:27 AM
      GH- Where did you get that?
      Do they try to jump out?

      Bought mine at petsmart – but you can find them online too. I tighten the top drawstring when I’m walking around with them so they don’t leap out.   Hareiette hates it, but Viktor and Dori don’t seem to mind it as much.

      just so you can see the whole thing – mine is similar to this: http://www.amazon.com/Outward-Hound-Front-Carrier-Small-10pounds/dp/B00030NOXW/sr=1-1/qid=1167348720/ref=sr_1_1/102-8735952-4757706


    • BinkyBunny
      Moderator
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      It definitely takes a special type of rabbit that can be a therapy bunny.   There was one at the rescue group that I volunteer for.  She was a huge white rabbit, and she was easy going. I didn’t see the therapy and educational sessions she attended, but I was told she just loved the attention, and was very good with people.  I can’t imagine they carried her in their arms everywhere, probably more like they hung out with her in a pen (as they would bring an x-pen)  But I will double check on this.)  Unfortunately she passed away from natural causes.

      I know that they did try some other bunnies, but some would get stressed, even one who normally didn’t bite, bit.  I need to ask if they have find the "right" bunny for this type of outreach yet.   But you definitely want it to be beneficial for both human and bunny alike.

      I’ll check with the group I volunteer for and ask them for tips regarding this subject.

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Therapy Bunnies Update