Saturday, 8 November 2008

Dance with the Bunnies Rabbit Rescue Interview

Recently I interviewed Bonnie Pulver - a wonderful lady who fosters and rehomes rabbits

Bonnie Pulver of etsy shop WovenDreams started her Dance with the Bunnies Rabbit Rescue over 10 years ago. She became a foster home for the rabbits from the Friends of the Pitt County Animal Shelter in America and usually has eight to fifteen rabbits for adoption. The Pitt County Animal Shelter helps in Bonnie’s spay and neuter programme. All of the rabbits are spayed and neutered before being adopted by their new family in their forever home.
Over the years Bonnie’s rescue has grown as well as her responsibilities. She attends local events to discuss rabbit care and has a TV spot every few months.
She is also an animal cruelty investigator for Pitt County having being trained and sworn in by the county commissioner. She attends investigations when needed. Bonnie says that this is a difficult job for her to do as it can get very emotional. She is always accompanied on an investigation. The majority of investigations are for dogs, however Bonnie will take all rabbit calls. The animal control units in the county and the city where she lives bring all captured domestic rabbits to her, instead of to the animal shelter, where a large majority of animals are put down due to the high numbers.

Bonnie says that once even the fire department brought a rabbit to her. Some of the rabbits are full of pests including fleas, ticks and maggots and sadly some of them just don’t make it. Bonnie says that this is a very difficult part of rescuing. Bonnie has rescued over one hundred rabbits and keeps a file of every single one. She has a section in her Etsy store that helps to support Dance with the Bunnies, which is funded solely by donations
As well as fostering and rescuing rabbits Bonnie has been weaving since 1979. This is her official website http://www.wovendreams.biz/

I asked Bonnie a few questions about her rescue work. Please read her replies below.
- What was your inspiration for starting Dance with the Bunnies?
I rescued a bunny from the Humane Society. They called me about more and I agreed to foster them. I then turned into Dance with the Bunnies.

- Why did you decide to foster?
I could not believe the numbers of rabbits that needed my help.

- When did you start your fostering?
Close to ten years ago.

- What obstacles have you had to overcome with the fostering?
I have had to build space for the growing amount of bunnies coming through my rescue.

- What type of support do you receive as a fosterer?
The Humane Society first gave me the support I needed. Then my support switched to Friends of the Pitt County Animal Shelter. It is a county wide organization that rescues many domestic animals. They spay and neuter my rabbits. They also give me their TV spots once every two months. WITN, our local television station, also interviews me several times a year about the MAKE MINE CHOCOLATE campaign.

- Do you have a set programme that you follow when you take a bunny in?
I definitely do not do impulse adoptions. I interview my prospective bunny parents and have them fill out an extensive contract. I talk to them about housing, food and items for bringing them home with. I also teach them about basic rabbit care. I always give them my business card and tell them to email me with any questions. I make sure they understand that if for any reason that they decide to give the bunny up, I will take the bunny back. I do not want any bunnies I have rescued going to bad homes or being set free.

(I am hoping that this type of answer may inspire other efa members to consider fostering as an option if they are not able to adopt permanently?)

- How do you 'vet' potential new bunny familys and do you do house checks and interviews with all members of the potential family?
(Some rescue in the UK do not release bunnies unless they are bonded, will only be living indoors and are not for a child)
I do interviews but do not do initial house checks. It does state on my contract with the adopters that I can check their home if I feel that they are irresponsible for any reason in taking care of their bunnies. I do not adopt a bunny to a family with children that are toddlers. I explain very politely the reasons why and give them ideas as to what they should adopt instead. I ask to meet the children otherwise and will sit with them and instruct them as to the proper handling and care of their new pet. I also make the parent know that they are responsible for the bunny and not the child. I make sure that they understand that when the child is grown and off to college, that they are responsible for the bunny.

- When do you know a bunny is ready for adoption?
My bunnies are ready for adoption several weeks after their spay or neuter.

- Is there a fee/donation towards costs for neutering and spaying and innoculations at a recommended amount when a bunny is adopted out?
The spay or neuter is taken care of the organization that I am a foster home for. There is a $50.00 adoption fee towards that. I do not receive the adoption money for my rescue. I work only on donations and out-of-pocket expenses.

- I saw your certificates for your lovely little luv bunnies - do you have a similar pledge when adopting out a bunny?
That information is covered in my contracts along with further pledges. The luv bunnies contract is an adorable partial pledge.

- What are/is your goals for Dance with the Bunnies?
I would like to educate the public more on house rabbits. In my area of the USA, outdoor rabbits are more popular. I am working on educating about house rabbits. I would like to continue pet therapy with rabbits.

- Do you have any advice for people thinking about becoming foster parents?
Give our bunnies lots of love because they most likely have had a bad life before they came to you. Give them time to heal. Be careful of who you adopt these wonderful bunnies to. Over the years, I have learned so much about caring for a rabbit. Every year I continue to grow with information. Love each bunny. No matter how difficult a bunny may be or how long he/she stays in your home, they will always get adopted. I kept Alice for 3 years before she was adopted. I was so happy for her. Fostering has forced me to see some horrible things out in the world. I am deeply in awe of these wonderful little bunnies who love us regardless of how they have been treated in the past. Enjoy your journey.

- How has fostering enriched your life?
Fostering has taught me respect for the kind furballs that we call rabbits. I feel that I am doing a small part of giving to help our planet and it's creatures. I love more because of the unconditional love these bunnies give to me.

- Anything else you would like to add?
Love your bunnies because they love you. They look to you for guidance, care and love. You are the light of their lives. Respect it. I would like to thank Bonnie for taking the time to share her experiences and thoughts and for kindly giving permission to include these pictures and links. Bonnie can be contacted by email to answer any bunny queries ncrabbitmom@gmail.com

These beautiful photo cards are sold in Bonnies etsy shop where all monies goes directly to supporting her fostering programme. You can find them here http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5614100&section_id=5524575 She also sells other beautiful items on etsy too.

To read this interview in full accompanied by all it's photos please visit the Etsy For Animals official website here http://efaartistshelpinganimals.org/index.php/members-action/521-wovendreams#content

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful bunny photos, and a great interview! :)

    ReplyDelete

thanks for leaving your lovely comment and taking the time to read my post, appreciated