The Carrot Tribune - March 2017 - BUNS

The Carrot Tribune


In this issue...

  • March is Adopt-A-Rescued-Guinea-Pig Month
  • Critter Care Class, March 11
  • Pignic, March 18
  • Hoppy Hour, March 25
  • Bunny of the Month
  • Bunny tales - 25 Years of BUNS
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Adopt-A-Rescued-Guinea-Pig Month!

March is Adopt-A-Rescued-Guinea-Pig Month! This yearly national spotlight on guinea pigs began in 2002 by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to raise awareness of the number of guinea pigs in animal shelters.

BUNS is known for finding homeless bunnies a new home, but we often have quite a few homeless guinea pigs too. Their care and diet is very similar to rabbits and the number of guinea pigs we have housed has steadily increased. At one time, BUNS needed only 1 tower designed for 6 guinea pigs to house the ones coming in, but in 2015, we devoted an entire room to them. BUNS volunteers got a crash course in guinea pig care in 2011 when over 40 guinea pigs were brought in, many of them pregnant.

Last year, BUNS sheltered and found new homes for a total of over 70 guinea pigs. They came in all sizes, ages, colors, hairstyles and personalities and many folks discovered the joy of having a guinea pig in their lives. Many of the guinea pigs were in bonded pairs; others were introduced to a visiting guinea pig and went home with a new friend. Being a social animal, they are happiest if they can share their life with another guinea pig or at least be in close proximity to one another.

This month's Pignic event hopes to draw attention to the fun of having guinea pigs. Some of our adoptable guinea pigs will be there. Did you know guinea pigs "popcorn" when they are happy? They learn quickly the sound of a food bag and some can be easily trained. It’s a great opportunity to see guinea pigs in a natural setting and maybe consider adoption in this Adopt-A-Rescued-Guinea-Pig month!

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Critter Care Class, March 11

1:00 to 2:00 - Handling and Husbandry
2:00 to 2:30 - Training

Bring your Rabbit or Guinea Pig. Learn easy handling and care-taking during the first hour, then for the last half hour play training games that are fun for you and your pet! 

$5.00 for an individual
$10.00 for a family
Free to BUNS volunteers

All classes are in the Humane Society Education Building, at 5399 Overpass Rd, Goleta, (to the east  of the Animal Shelter)

Our next class is March 11. Join us on our Facebook event page to learn more! 

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March 18 Pignic

Mark your calendars and bring your Guinea Pigs to our March 18 Pignic!

What’s a Pignic?  Pignics give your Guinea Pig a chance to play with other Guinea Pigs. Boars and sows will have their own pens for supervised play. If you'd like, you may bring your own set up for individual play, so your pig can see the others from their own pen.

The Pignic will take place on the Humane Society Lawn, at 5399 Overpass Road, from 1:30 - 2:30. Admission is $10 per Guinea Pig and includes a health check. All animals must be healthy. Nail trims will be available for $5.00. 

Join us on our Facebook Pignic page for the latest news!

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Time for another Hoppy Hour!

We have another Hoppy Hour this month! Join us March 25 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM. Bring your fuzzy friend and give them an opportunity to socialize with other rabbits! Socialization is a very important part of overall rabbit welfare, and a Hoppy Hour is the perfect opportunity to let your bunny play with others. 

Hoppy Hour will take place on the Humane Society Lawn, at 5399 Overpass Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93111. Admission is $10 per rabbit. All animals must be healthy and rabbits must have been spayed or neutered at least 30 days in advance.

We'll be providing light refreshments for both you and your bunny, so please join us for an afternoon of fun!

Join us on our Facebook page for more info!

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Guinea Pig of the Month

Sofia & Katerina are ready for their close-ups! These 2 sisters eat, sleep and play together and are closely bonded. They are young girls about 8 months old just starting out on their life's journey. March being Adopt-A-Rescued-Guinea-Pig Month, is a perfect time to take these two cuties home.

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20 Years with BUNS

This year is the 25th anniversary of BUNS! We're celebrating by sharing stories from our volunteers about their experiences with BUNS. This month's story comes from Jackie Zaida: 

Thinking about the fact that Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter is celebrating their 25th anniversary makes me realize how young BUNS was when my family started volunteering.

We’ve been a part of BUNS for the past 20 years, every Sunday at the shelter and often representing the rabbits off-site as well.

When my older daughter was in 3rd grade she wanted a rabbit, so I agreed to start looking into it. Having always been proponents of adopting dogs, we started our search at the Humane Society and found only two very large, not very social rabbits. Not a good fit for a home with children. What I did find at the Humane Society was a copy of the House Rabbit Handbook. I was able to borrow it and our search for a rabbit continued. Unfortunately we did not learn of BUNS. We found a little dwarf rex at a pet store which no longer exists. We brought her home and set her up in our living room and learned we knew nothing about rabbits.

Darla Cannon, a volunteer at the time worked with my husband Dan and told us about BUNS which soon led to us volunteering as a whole family. When we started volunteering there were 18 indoor cages and around a dozen hutches scattered around the yard under trees for shade. Guinea pigs were a rare occurrence, but when we had them they were housed in very small hutches. I remember washing litter pans over wood pallets laid down. There were no storage sheds yet and the kennels by the wash area usually had dogs in them. Occasionally other animals were housed in there too. Over the years there have been goats, turkeys, pigs, and, for one memorable summer, sea lions.

BUNS was not enclosed by a chain link fence 20 years ago, nor was there a division between DAWG and the County (but that’s another story). We had a decorative wood picket fence, but it was no protection for our animals from dogs that got loose.

I quickly got involved behind the scenes with the board serving as secretary, and even being president for several years. I still do the home visits for adoptions. Dan found himself helping with shelter improvements. Starting with building exercise pens, and moving on to new two story hutches. Hard to remember back to when we only had around a half dozen pens. Both our girls volunteered until they went off to college. While helping at BUNS they created our first guinea pig brochure.

Looking back over 20 years what memories stick with me? First, not long ago, when we had a big rescue of lionhead rabbits, lops, and dwarfs. Hutches in pens as well as the creation of “room C” with cages for housing the overflow. We had to exercise rabbits every other day since there were so many. I also remember when there was a wild fire with a lot of evacuations and we took in so many rabbits we had cages stacked up on top of hutches. Thankfully just about every animal was reclaimed when the fire was under control. Today, though our numbers are low and very manageable, I know we can deal with whatever fate throws our way.

I think the future looks bright for BUNS and I'm proud that our family has been a part of getting us to this point in the story. I love looking at our white board in room B seeing all the names of our adoptees. It seems to me that we have more repeat adopters or new adopters who know about us.

Stay tuned next month for more about BUNS early years! Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don't miss the March edition of The Carrot Tribune!