The Carrot Tribune - October 2017

The Carrot Tribune

In this issue...

  • 25th Anniversary Party!
  • Basic Bunny Class
  • Hoppy Hour
  • Bunny of the Month
  • Filling your Bunnies Stocking
  • Why BUNS Spays and Neuters
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Party Time!

We're hosting a party, and you're invited! This year is our 25th year in operation, and we want you to help us celebrate this November. It's a Hoppy Hour, Pignic, and Party all rolled into one great time! We'll have a raffle, bunny kissing booth, bunny photo booth, bunny bowling, bunny-wares sale, and more! Lunch will be available, along with wine, beer, and desert!

When: Saturday November 18, 2017, 12:30 pm to 3:30pm
Where: Earl Warren Show grounds, 3400 Calle Real in Santa Barbara

Tune in next month for more info!

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Basic Bunny and Guinea Pig Class

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 October 14. Join us on our Facebook event page to learn more! 

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October Hoppy Hour

Bring your fuzzy friend, October 28 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM 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!

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Filling your Bunnies Stocking

Have you ever wondered why your bunny can be sooo naughty? Because every bunny knows that Santa leaves naughty bunnies a bundle of sticks. So as that special night approaches, every bunny tries their very best to deserve the biggest bundle of sticks in Santa’s sleigh. Don’t disappoint your bunny or next year he will be really naughty.

Willow branches are high on every bunny’s Santa list. And, with a little vigilance you can find willow trees growing right here in Santa Barbara. Snip a long flexible branch from the tree. Fold it back and forth, leaves and all, until it makes a nice bundle. Tie it with raphia. If you are lucky enough to get willow branches, cut them into 6” to 10” lengths and tie them in a bundle for your bunny’s stocking. Store them in a well ventilated and dry area until Santa arrives.

Here are some other things you can do to make your bunny or guinea pig’s holiday extra special.

And remember, if your bunny wants you to leave carrots for Santa, he may be planning to sneak in after you go to bed and eat them all.

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Why BUNS Spays and Neuters

This year is the 25th anniversary of BUNS! We're celebrating by sharing stories about our history.

In 1992, when BUNS began, there were only a few bunnies at the shelter. But with BUNS the quality of care increased and rabbits were not routinely euthanized. People became more comfortable bringing rabbits to the shelter. By 1994, it was clear that rabbits were entering the shelter faster than they were leaving. Some of the rabbits delivered litters at the shelter. So we were very aware of how quickly rabbits could breed.

At first we handled the increased population by adding more housing. Outdoor hutches at first and then we built the rabbit building. The building housed 18 cages, which we thought would be sufficient. But no. The rabbits kept coming in and not enough were going out.

One of our volunteers, Vickie Ward, had worked with other non profit animal rescue groups. She advocated for spaying and neutering rabbits from the begining. At that time, the County, on adoption of an un-neutered dog, collected a refundable spay neuter fee. The money would be refunded to the adopter upon presentation of proof that the dog had been neutered. Not everyone reclaimed their money, so the money in the fund grew. The County used the unclaimed money to spay or neuter dogs and cats. BUNS asked for some of the money for rabbit spay and neuters. We did get one grant, but it did not last long.

Vickie made arrangements with Dr. Westheimer to spay and neuter rabbits for a reduced price. She, very generously, agreed to donate the cost of spay and neuter from her own pocket. Vickie continued to pay for spays and neuters until she stopped volunteering at BUNS. By that time we were committed to spay neuter. To this day, BUNS spays and neuters all the rabbits although the cost is often over $200 per animal.

BUNS also tried neutering male guinea pigs, but sadly the guinea pigs we neutered died shortly afterwards. After four deaths, we had to give up. 

It took a long time and a lot of hard work to develop our current spay neuter program, but there were two excellent outcomes. 

First, Animal Services decided to spay and neuter the rabbits at the Santa Maria and Lompoc shelters prior to adoption. They did not want residents of those towns to have less service than BUNS was providing.

Second, over the years intake at BUNS has reduced and our rabbit population, while it varies, has stopped growing. Still, every year BUNS gets calls from families whose rabbits gave birth unexpectedly. Today, we are better able to help them and we are glad to be of assistance.

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