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Last Post by supierce at 5/27/2013 4:09 AM (7 Replies)
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User is Offline breannaloo
63 posts Send Private Message
5/15/2013 5:23 PM

Ever since I was a little girl, I said I wanted to establish an animal rescue, but I wasn't sure what kind. My love for rabbits started at a young age as well, and has only become stronger since I've gotten older. I'm still young (21 in a few months), however my priorities are different than those my age. I have four rabbits that I've rescued of my own, and instead of using my money on new clothes and shoes, I buy new rabbit toys, different hays, additions to their cages. They're my babies and I adore them. I'm known where I live as "the bunny lady". People ask me all of the time about their own rabbits, where they should get one, how to take care of them, etc. My facebook feed is filled with rabbit awareness posts. Last year, I looked into establishing a rabbit rescue in my county. Upon research, I found that there was one (but just one) already. However, she never has gotten back to me about helping her out, like I asked. Also, I've recommended several people to her rescue, and ALL of them said that she either never got back to them, or kept pushing the "adoption interview" date further and further back, and finally never called them back. Additionally, the rescue's facebook fan page hasn't had any posts since October, but I know for a fact there are TONS of homeless rabbits in my county because I already get people telling me, who know me and my love for buns.

Therefore, with my parent's loving support, I have decided to for sure establish a rescue in my county.

I have family in another state who have established non-profits for other things, successfully, and are guiding me through as well. I have SUCH a passion for this, and it's all I want to do is find loving babies new, happy, forever homes.

I know that it's going to take A TON of work, especially at first, but I'm ready and more than willing! I'm about to file under my state (Florida) to incorporate a state non-profit. I'm working on typing up my "cause" and deciding on a mission statement.

I just wanted to post this here for any support or advice you may have, as I have a lot under my belt!

I have a couple of vets that I already know well because of my other buns, and I'm going to consult them about helping out so I can get them fixed and well before adopting the rescues out to a family. Also, my backyard is very large and I'm going to try to grow most of my greens.

Again, I may be young, but please don't consider that a factor! I swear, I'm much more mature and determined than the partiers my age!

Also, I've created a page for my soon-to-be rescue, and would love if you could "like" it! I'm going to start getting word out that it's in the works. www.facebook.com/thebunnyladyrabbitrescue

User is Offline Sarita
18890 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2013 5:11 AM
Good for you. I have had a rescue in the past as well but I had it along with 4 other rabbit friends and we did all the state paperwork and eventually got our 501c3 status with the IRS.

I will say this be prepared to spend alot of your own money in the beginning and for many more years to come - it's not a cheap endeavor and in fact it's very expensive and you could drain your savings or just your regular income - you need to be realistic about the expenses.

You also are required to have a Board of Directors and you must meet and make decisions and being on a few rabbit rescue boards I can tell you that this is very difficult. I've been a board member not only for the rescue I helped establish but for 2 other rabbit rescues. BTW the rescue I helped establish is no longer...we disbanned after awhile - rescuing is very draining emotionally and financially.

I would recommend that you sign up with House Rabbit Society to become an educator - my group members did this and it was a good resource and they are internationally known.

Be prepared to get lots of dump calls and emails and remember it is your job to not only rescue but to EDUCATE as well - in fact Education is your number one priority to try to help people KEEP their rabbits and not dump them.

User is Offline Sarita
18890 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2013 10:29 AM
Another thing you need to think long and hard about is how you are going to raise funds to support the rescue. Remember people aren't just going to give you money especially in the beginning and especially if you are not a 501c3 where they can use donations as a tax write off.

You may want to contact Oxbow or American Pet Diner to perhaps see about selling their products and make some money for the rescue.

Believe me, fundraising is a huge chore and it's not easy. You are going to require alot of funds - best to look into the cost of everything and make a budget to see what the initial cost will be.

User is Offline breannaloo
63 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2013 1:47 PM

Thank you SO much for your reply and helpful tips!

I'm trying to connect with people in my area who have a love for buns, as well as other shelters in the area of all kinds! My dad has a friend who owns a dog shelter, so I'm going to contact people like that I suppose.

There's ONE rabbit shelter in my county, and she never gets back to anyone about anything. So there is a strong need for a dedicated rabbit lover/rescuer in my area. There isn't any for hours from where I am. I may go speak to one that's about an hour and a half away from me in Orlando and connect with them. I think they'd appreciate someone on the coast taking some future buns off their hands!

I already am huge on educating people in my area. So, I'll just get even more into it!

I really think this is my life purpose. I went to school for makeup artistry, and have always wanted a Cruelty-Free Makeup line as well, so perhaps I can do something to benefit my rescue that way! Lots of ideas hopping around in this brain of mine, haha. 

User is Offline Sarita
18890 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2013 5:10 PM
Just remember that this is a business and not a fantasy and you must in the end be accountable as you have to report to the IRS. I'll be honest, rescuing will wear you down - sure, it can be rewarding, but you just cannot have the fantasy that it will be easy because it is not. Be prepared to realize that you cannot save every rabbit - there is not way to do that. Perhaps you should wonder why this one rescuer never gets back to anyone - she may be overwhelmed so don't judge her until you've been there - just saying....it's a difficult time consuming job.

User is Offline breannaloo
63 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2013 7:22 PM
I offered her my help multiple times and she won't let me help. My friend tried to adopt a rabbit and she kept pushing the date further and further away and then nothing. Another friend tried to contact her as well, left her several messages, and nothing. I understand it's hard, but that's why it doesn't make sense that she wouldn't accept my help. I know that sometimes I'll have to make difficult decisions, especially if a rabbit is in poor health beyond repair. But, I strongly believe just saving one rabbit is worth it!

User is Offline Sarita
18890 posts Send Private Message
5/17/2013 4:52 AM
I see you are in Florida - I would contact Dana Krempels who is the chapter manager and health guru for the Miami House Rabbit Society - she would be a great resource for you and I'm certain she would be happy to advise you. She has tons of rescue experience and all around rabbit experience.

User is Offline supierce
25 posts Send Private Message
5/27/2013 4:09 AM
Where in Florida are you??
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