Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bunnies In Baskets Interview

Hi there,
Thanks for stopping by! I am very happy to be sharing this wonderful interview with Sarah Baran of the organization Bunnies in Baskets.  Sarah is Executive Director of Bunnies in Baskets and here to share all about Bunnies in Baskets with us.

RS:  Hi, Welcome to Rabbit Slippers...I am  happy to have you with us to share about Bunnie-in-Baskets. Could you tell us a bit about Bunnies-in-Baskets?
BIB: We are a 501(c)3 that trains Visiting Rabbit Teams (human and rabbit OR bonded pair) and provides community humane education.
RS:    How and when did Bunnies-in-Baskets start?  
BIB: I wanted to take my bunnies on visits and didn't want the "rules" of the dog-oriented organizations.  I started BIB because bunnies are NOT dogs----and we can structure ourselves accordingly.  (Bunnies don't get vaccines, etc.....don't need collars.....)

RS: Was there a certain inspiration for Bunnies-in-Baskets?
BIB: I was in a national organization with my dog and loved every minute.However when I wanted to visit with my rabbits, it was all rules, rules, rules and nobody seemed clear about them or had experience with a rabbit.  I wanted to create the organization and program I needed.

RS: You like to bring Adopted Rabbits in your program, correct? Do you adopt based on certain criteria for your program?
 BIB: Many BIB rabbits have been adopted or are currently in foster care. Spaying/neutering is recommended, but not required.  What we do need are certain personality traits----rabbits that are "human curious" and enjoy petting are great candidates. 

RS:  Do you train the bunnies and/or your volunteers?
BIB: Yes.  We have a comprehensive online training class of readings, evaluation and practicum activities.  The vet certifies the health and temperment of each rabbit and BIB registers each team.

RS:     Can you tell us a bit about that? 
BIB: What is most important is learning to read your rabbit's language.  We must always put the animal's needs first---we are asking a lot of them.  The practicum activities offer great operational insight in measured doses.  We offer feedback, support and lots of resources!

RS:    Do you have volunteers that  bring in their own bunnies also?
BIB: Yes---mostly it is a person with their own bunnies.  We do have an affiliate membership available for organizations.  We are an international organization---USA and Canada.
RS:   Who takes care of the bunnies?
BIB: The person who owns them.

RS: What types of places do you visit with bunnies? Do they have any restrictions?
BIB: No---hospitals, schools, nursing homes,etc.....  We offer excellent insurance to our Visiting Rabbit Teams.

RS: What guidelines do you follow? 
BIB: http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/animal_assisted_guidelines.asp

RS: Do you support other organizations or recommend any for any purposes?
BIB: We informally support the House Rabbit Society and their state affiliates. 
RS: Can we meet some of your bunnies?

BIB:We have too many to count!  However, please visit our website and thereare tons of pictures!

 RS: You have a store that helps support your program-please tell us more info how we can support your program?
BIB: Please come and visit at http://www.bunniesinbaskets.org/store.html ----have some fun, and buy something useful and good for people, bunnies and the world!

I would really like to thank Sarah Baran for taking the time to share with us about Bunnies in Baskets!  You have me thinking of even starting an affiliate chapter here! Having done bunny visits, I know how special it is to the recipients and the volunteers! There is something magic that takes place.

Sarah A. Baran, MS
Executive Director, Bunnies in Baskets
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 You can find related posts (on bunny visits in nursing homes) at  http://rabbitslippers.blogspot.com/2009/11/todays-bunny-visit-to-nursing-home-some.html , http://rabbitslippers.blogspot.com/2009/11/our-bunny-visit-to-nursing-home-is.html , http://rabbitslippers.blogspot.com/2009/11/going-to-do-rabbit-visits-in-nursing.html from my own experiences.  Bunnies in Baskets might be a new step or direction ahead to take!

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