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Rabbit Wranglers

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: To help abused, neglected and abandoned rabbits and educate the public to improve the lives of these companion animals.

Results: Since its inception, Rabbit Wranglers’ primary accomplishments include: rescuing abused, neglected and abandoned rabbits; assisting shelters with their high maintenance cases and overflow population; providing medical, hospice and behavior rabbits safe harbor and state of the art care; and finding them loving and permanent indoor homes. The organization has also been successful in educating the public about the unique nature and proper care of these intelligent companion animals. 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.

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.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Rabbit Wranglers was started in 2003, to assist shelters in learning and caring for the third most adopted companion animal. Funded from a personal bank account, hundreds of rabbits were helped and local shelters were spared the financial investment. In 2010, the decision was made, urged by volunteers and future donors to apply as a federal charity. With this designation, we were able to recruit more volunteers to be able to implement the programs we had started: training shelter/veterinary hospital employees and their educational facilities; training adoption counselors with best practices; providing educational and adoption off-sites at shelters and pet stores; trapping released domestic rabbits; and offering palliative care of homeless rabbits. We've expanded to include palliative care for owned rabbits and even added new services after listening to the needs of the community by providing boarding and grooming services with rabbit-savvy and compassionate volunteers as well as coordinating social and friend-raising interactions with rabbit-minded individuals. Since it's designation, Rabbit Wranglers has not only helped the long- and short-eared furry ones and their companions, but it's operated as a successful, thriving business. I am honored to be a part of this organization because of its volunteers, donors, clients and the communities it serves. In 2003, I knew an organization like this would be helpful, but now, it's a necessity, and a recognized community partner.

I am Suaz Forsythe, a founding board member and proud partner at Rabbit Wranglers.


Board Member

Rating: 5

At Rabbit Wranglers, we have a lifetime commitment to the rabbits in our care that extends beyond adoption. We build positive relationships with each adopter and provide a variety of services to the rabbit community including boarding, medical respite, and one-on-one consultations. At Rabbit Wranglers, we do not euthanize rabbits with chronic health or behavior issues, or because they have been with us too long. In fact, working with these types of rabbits is our specialty. At Rabbit Wranglers, our doors are always open and rabbits are welcome to stay for as long as they need us.

This is our mission and this is what makes Rabbit Wranglers a very special place.

While working with the neediest rabbits is often a challenging endeavor, it is not an impossible one. Our dedicated volunteers, generous donors, and steadfast shelter partners have helped us to successfully rehabilitate and find loving homes for hundreds of rabbits since we opened our doors six years ago.

Because of our supporters, we are able to devote resources to the unique needs of each rabbit while providing exceptional care for the population as a whole. We are able to offer support and education to the rabbit community. And, we are making a difference.

We thank these kind people for believing in our mission and for supporting our efforts. They make what we do possible.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

On April 28, 2013, Rabbit Wranglers will celebrate its third anniversary as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 2012 was a year of tremendous growth and success for the organization. Included among its many achievements was having been named one of Pittsburgh’s 15 “Top Rated Nonprofits” by Great Nonprofits. This distinct honor symbolizes the positive impact the organization has on rabbits and the people who share their lives.

Rabbit Wranglers expanded its reach over this past year and, as a result, nearly doubled the number of rabbits helped. The last ten days of the year alone brought in ten very sick rabbits in need of immediate veterinary care. The volunteer base has also doubled. Without these selfless men and women, Rabbit Wranglers would not be able to do what it does. Their tireless efforts enabled the organization to help 133 medical, hospice and behavior rabbits and provide boarding services for an additional 50 rabbits during 2012. As the year drew to a close, 51 rabbits remained in care. Countless rabbit guardians and the community at large also received assistance through education and outreach services.

On behalf of Rabbit Wranglers, I can’t begin to express how truly grateful we are for our generous donors. They make what we do possible and give from their hearts to help the rabbits in our care. We would like to thank each of them for their support and trust. We are also thankful for the support of the rabbit community as a whole and delighted by what we have achieved. We look forward to accomplishing even more in 2013.

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