RABBIT WRANGLERS Overview
Programs: Rabbit Wranglers is an all volunteer-staffed network of foster homes. The following services are provided to the rabbit community and general public:
Rabbit Wranglers works with animal shelters and aids these facilities with humane rescues. The organization also assists animal shelters by taking in those rabbits with challenging behaviors that prevent their adoption, or those who require medical or palliative care beyond what the shelter is able to provide, or those who would otherwise be humanely euthanized due to shelter over-crowding. Additional rabbit intakes occur through contact with humane agents, owner surrenders and rescued strays.
Rabbit Wranglers spays/neuters all of its rabbits and provides any medical care needed. The organization works with area shelters for low-cost alter surgeries and micro-chipping, and with a veterinarian who holds a weekly clinic at reduced rates. Rabbits with health or behavior issues preventing adoption remain with Rabbit Wranglers until the issues are resolved. In those instances where hospice care is required, life-long, loving, and humane care is provided by the organization.
Rabbits suitable for adoption are transferred to an area shelter if space is available. Otherwise, they remain in Rabbit Wranglers’ foster homes where they are socialized and litter-trained. Throughout their foster care placement, the organization works to find them permanent homes as house rabbits. Adoptions occur through online resources, word of mouth and at adoption events.
Rabbit Wranglers works to improve rabbits’ lives and reduce the numbers of discarded rabbits by educating the general public about proper rabbit care and health. The goal of education is to assist people in becoming better equipped to care for their own rabbits, as well as making informed decisions as to whether or not a rabbit is the right companion animal for their families. Education is accomplished via phone, email and in-person consultations, as well as outreach during Pittsburgh House Rabbit Club meetings and adoption events held at local pet stores and other venues.
Rabbit Wranglers also offers a variety of services to assist people with the care of their rabbits, including: boarding, medical respite, grooming, behavior resolution, and bonding two or more rabbits.
As part of the process of becoming a nonprofit, Rabbit Wranglers formalized its programs and streamlined its infrastructure and operating procedures. The organization also strengthened its relationships with local Pittsburgh shelters, Humane Officers and Veterinarians. These modifications have provided a solid base for decision-making for the future and for management of significant external critical issues. Rabbit Wranglers has grown quickly from a two-person operation, to an organization that is now 50 volunteers strong and highly regarded in the rabbit community. We achieved this through our professional coordination of rescue efforts with area shelters and humane officers; ongoing recruitment of volunteers to assist with fundraising, education, and fostering; and our interaction with countless rabbit owners to provide assistance during times of medical crisis.
In May 2011, Rabbit Wranglers debuted on a television segment of WQED’s Pittsburgh 360. The show continues to air every few months and has been a wonderful opportunity for the organization to reach out to hundreds of people.
Rabbit Wranglers has an excellent track record for providing care to medical and behavior rabbits. In 2011, 81 rabbits found their way through our doors. Twenty-seven of these rabbits had their health issues resolved and were transferred to area shelters for adoption. Seven rabbits found their forever homes while still with the organization, and 13 long-term medical and behavior boarders returned home to their families with their issues resolved. Sadly, five rabbits, unable to overcome the medical issues that brought them to Rabbit Wranglers, passed away.
Additionally, in 2011, the organization boarded 24 rabbits while their guardians were away from home. The boarding of these rabbits, along with the 13 long-term medical and behavior boarders mentioned above, show that owners trust our ability to provide care for their rabbits. Local shelters, who accounted for 30 of our intakes, turn to us first for their high maintenance rabbits. We also receive calls and emails daily from rabbit owners seeking our assistance; many of these individuals find their way to us via other satisfied rabbit owners. The majority of our funding is received from private individuals – many who are rabbit owners. This too is a testament to our good reputation as a soundly run and skilled nonprofit.
We began 2012 with 29 rabbits in our care and have admitted an additional 70. We have also provided boarding services for 30 rabbits this year. Our current census is 35.
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