Hahaha, get it out of the way. Everyone that’s heard me mention that I’d be volunteering in the bunny house has chuckled and made reference to Nevada’s seedy tradition. Yes, I’m volunteering in a bunny house. No, it’s not in any way related to a bunny ranch, Playboy bunnies or any other sex-related industry.
Now, on with the story.
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary has hundreds of bunnies (here are just a few) and only a handful of staff to care for them. They need volunteers to help out so I decided that’s where I’d apply some time each month. It’s not as high-profile an area as Dogtown, but I’m convinced that these bunnies are just as cute as any of the puppies at the sanctuary. And so, I’m spending two four-hour shifts per month at the sanctuary’s Bunny House cleaning cages, helping to feed and water them and socializing with them (translation: holding and petting).
Of course my first day on the “job” it’s one of the coldest days so far in Kanab and I’ve layered up with lined jeans, wool socks, three shirts, a coat and a hat. Good thing because I spent nearly two hours outside cleaning cages. The main bunny house has a population of bunnies that include some sick and less healthy ones, so the runs are two-part with an indoor area and an outdoor area. The outdoor areas are like bunny playpens with fleece throws and blankets, toys, wicker items for chewing and boxes to hide in. And poop. Lots of poop.
Did you know rabbits poop 300 times a day? That’s why the motto when cleaning the runs is “Don’t Look Back.” And you shouldn’t.
I got to work shaking out the throws and towels, sweeping up the poop, picking up toys, cage after cage. At first the bunnies were still inside, but as I worked my way down the line they started coming out to see what I was doing. That’s how I came to meet Toodles, a big boy that’s super friendly and just likes to snuggle with his run-mate. I also got some help cleaning from Kelso and Hyde, brothers who just couldn’t help but hop around at my feet as I moved toys around and swept up their messes.
Fuzzy is by far my favorite little bunny, not because she’s handicapable, but because she’s just so darn friendly. She was born during the Great Bunny Rescue in Reno in 2006 and has a neurological disorder. She drags her two back legs behind her but that doesn’t stop her from meeting people. In fact, staff member Burke said that because of her condition and the number of times she’s been seen by vets she’s used to people. That’s a good thing because I really enjoyed playing with her while I cleaned her area.
Another great bunny that I don’t have a photo of is Heathcliff. He’s a tiny little bugger, just bigger than a softball, all black with little ears that lay back. Ah, so cute!
So for now, sue me for not taking my camera to get some good photos of my day, but watch for some in a few weeks after my next volunteering session.
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