SPCA education program!

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MiniLopHop

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The staff has changed at my local SPCA and we are finally starting a community education effort around rabbits! :yes:

I am thinking of giving a monthy presentation that people can come and bring any questions. I also have a book that I have been working on that covers basics that we could sell at these events (I'm trying to get it down to 50 pages, but rabbits are so complex!). I thought for a fundraiser we could have a beauty parlor day where we groom the buns and then take beauty shots for a donation. The most important thing is getting a spay/neuter program started!

If you have any other ideas I would love to hear them! The first topics I was considering were (an hour each?):
Is a bunny right for you and what to expect (brief overview)
Housing/Environment
Nutrition
Interactions (bonding to humans and other animals)/Behavior
Health Care

:ponder:
 

Imbrium

Jennifer
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ooh, exciting!

if you're doing a beauty parlor day and taking pics, perhaps you could expand on that idea and do a calendar or two... a bit late to start on a 2013 calendar, I suppose, but maybe you could do one next fall. you could also sell cheap snacks/baked goods at events with profits going to the SPCA.

I think 5 separate hour-long sessions would be a bit much for a lot of people, especially if it was only one a month - they'd get settled in their ways with a new bunny and not bother to keep coming back, most likely. I mean, I've had my two bunnies for less than 5 months - I can't imagine still attending classes to learn the basics :p. it might work better if you could condense things into two 2h sessions. I recently attended a 2h class for my city's TNR program (due to being adopted by two stray kitties) and that seemed like a good length of time.
 

MiniLopHop

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Oh I like that idea. We could run the classes before the spa even since nails need trimmed on a regular basis. I hope people are interested. I think by offering the class monthly people who are new might come. I'm also going to try to network with other rabbit rescues in the area and the local petstore (they sell supplies only) to advertise so perhaps we can draw in more people. I just have a fear I will get all prepared and no one will show up.
 

missyscove

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The bunny bunch rescue near me offers grooming as well as holiday themed photoshoots for rabbits as a fundraiser.
 

Imbrium

Jennifer
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I'd show up for moral support if you weren't so far away :(

nail trimming would be an excellent lesson. off the top of my head, other topics that would be good to work in (though you've probably already thought of them) would be bunny burritos, how to syringe feed, GI stasis symptoms and potential causes/at-home remedies/when it's time to go to the vet and how to build an emergency/first aid kit.

if you had the time/capital, you could even build emergency kits to sell at the classes. it was a bit of a pain in the butt to track down all the stuff I needed for my kit and I had to order some of the stuff online - would've been very convenient to be able to buy a pre-made kit!

I bet you could reduce costs a good bit through buying in bulk and soliciting vets to donate items and/or sell them at cost (like vet wrap, critical care, probiotics, etc.)... if you only solicited vets that were confirmed as "rabbit-savvy", you could reward them for their help by having a list of the vets' info included in each first aid kit (along with an emergency/after hours vet that's good with bunnies) - that way, they get advertising and you get a lower production cost on the first aid kits, plus you'd be able to help people avoid vets that are willing to treat rabbits but aren't truly savvy.

if you were looking to expand the vet listing but didn't need any more items for the kit, maybe you could talk some of the vets into offering a coupon that waived the exam fee on the initial visit for a new bunny patient, then you could up the cost of the kit by $10-20 or something and make more money for the SPCA with each one.
 

irishbunny

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That sounds great, I'd love to do something similar. I recently gave a short presentation on rabbits to people on my college course (Animal Science) and most of them told me they had no idea that rabbits were so complex and could be so affectionate. I'm hoping some day to possibly give presentations in schools and what not. We badly need it here too! Good luck with it and enjoy it! I bet it'll be fun :)
 

Korr_and_Sophie

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It might be better to do a basic care course that is a couple hours. This should cover feeding/nutrition, housing, cleaning, grooming (brushing, nails, scent glands) and medical care. You don't need to go too in depth on each topic, but cover the basics on what is good and bad and how to start off on the right foot. If people have questions on something, you can answer those as well.
If you wanted to go more in depth with some things, then those could be separate times. Like one on medical and vet care and you could have a vet come talk.
If you are targeting new bunny owners, then you need to be able to cover the basics as people probably won't come back. Unless you could do it on a weekly basis, it is hard to so something different each month.
 

MiniLopHop

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Thank you for the feedback! I do like making a single intro class that is a couple hours to hopefully get people started right.

Christina, do you have any idea what they charge?

Jennifer, what all do you have in your first aid kit? When I was a new owner I would have loved to be able to buy one. I just assembled things as I found them necessary.
 

Imbrium

Jennifer
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here's the thread from when I made my first aid kit; the last post is the final list - http://www.rabbitsonline.net/f40/need-help-building-bunny-first-aid-kit-69819/index5.html (I left off the basics that I knew I always had around for human first-aid purposes like gauze pads, q-tips, neosporin w/out pain relief, rubbing alcohol/hydrogen peroxide (not 100% sure those are both ok for surface wounds for bunnies), etc... wouldn't be a bad idea to include small amounts of some of that stuff in a pre-made kit, though.) as a note, walmart's the best place to buy pedialyte if you're making kits - I found it at the grocery store first, but they only sold it in big bottles... walmart sells a 4-pack of smaller bottles for about the same price, so one pack would cover four kits. I ended up returning the grocery store stuff... used a bottle of pedialyte after the girls' spays and now I still have three unopened ones left. (I bought generic, not sure if the name brand stuff also came in smaller bottles, but generic's the same thing anyway)
 

MiniLopHop

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I'm also finishing up my little book, I want to get it under 50 pages so the SPCA can print it off. If anyone would like to add their bunny pictures please email them to MiniLopHop@gmail.com I will ofcourse give photo credit. If you include the thing you think is most important for new owners I will make sure it is in the book. Then when it is finished I will email you a copy :)
 

Nancy McClelland

Larry
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I used to do articles for the papers when we lived in California but then everyone wanted to give me their bunnies. We took a few in, but it had to be a compelling reason as we got most from shelters before they were executed (euthanized).
 
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