Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter Is Dedicated to The Care and Welfare of Rabbits and Guinea Pigs – Noozhawk


Noozhawk’s Four-Legged Friends and More Guide is officially here! We have sniffed out local businesses that best cater to the needs, health, comfort, training, exercise, and general welfare of our furry companions!

To provide a closer look at the pet establishments in Santa Barbara County, Noozhawk has conducted a series of interviews with representatives of local businesses for this year’s Four-Legged Friends and More Guide that will be sure to have your tail wagging.

In this interview, Noozhawk spoke with Jean Silva, Lead Volunteer at Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter (BUNS), to learn more about the services this nonprofit provides!

Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter (BUNS)

Question: What is the name of your business or practice?

Answer: BUNS (Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter).

Q: What is the mission behind your business?

A: To find new homes for rabbits and guinea pigs on the south coast of Santa Barbara County. To support rabbit and guinea pig families with education, food, and other assistance.

Q: What types of animals does your business cater to?

A: Rabbits and Guinea Pigs.

Q: Can you describe the services or products your business offers?

A: BUNS finds new homes for rabbits and guinea pigs. We provide 24 hour rabbit and guinea pig information and referral. We have hay for sale on the front porch of the shelter. We offer assistance with grooming for both rabbits and guinea pigs. We can help with behavior problems. We hold Hoppy Hours and Pignics for fun and entertainment.

Q: How long have you been in this industry?

A: BUNS was founded in 1992.

Q: What makes your business or practice unique?

A: BUNS is the only rabbit or guinea pig rescue in Santa Barbara County. We are operated solely by volunteers who give their time for the love of the animals.

Guinea Pig Click to view larger

One of the amazing guinea pigs waiting for you! (Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter (BUNS) photo)

Q: What training, education and experience do you and your staff have? Do you hold any professional certifications?

A: All of our lead volunteers have years of experience caring for rabbits and guinea pigs. Volunteers have attended House Rabbit Society Educators Conferences to learn the latest in rabbit care and medicine. Some volunteers are clicker trainers. Other volunteers are Vet Techs. One volunteer has a certificate in Applied Animal Behavior.

Q: What is your level of expertise regarding pet health and behavior?

A: Some volunteers are clicker trainers. Other volunteers are Vet Techs. One volunteer has a certificate in Applied Animal Behavior.

Q: How do you manage behavioral problems?

A: First, is the behavior due to a physical condition. Second can we change the environment or the routines to obtain a desired behavior. Then can we train the desired behavior or train an alternate to the undesired behavior.

Q: Do you work with all breeds/ age groups?

A: Yes. All breeds and ages of rabbits and guinea pigs.

Q: What method of training do you use? (i.e. positive reinforcement, electronic training, clicker training, training equipment etc.)

A: We use positive reinforcement.

Q: What do you do if a pet is aggressive towards you, your staff, or other animals?

A: Aggression happens for a reason. We figure out the reason for aggression and remove or try to reduce the strength of the response.

Q: What advice would you give to a new pet owner?

A: Every pet is unique. Learn how to make them comfortable and happy. Then they will bring you joy.

Q: Are you currently accepting new clients?

A: Visitors are welcome M-F from 2 to 4 and Sat from noon to 4.

Q:  Can you name a few common reasons animals end up in your shelter?

A: The family cannot keep the pet in a new rental. The family did not know that they had a male and female rabbit and had an unexpected litter. They found a bunny or guinea pig.

Q: Do you rehome animals no longer able to live with their owners?

A: Yes.

Q: What kinds of challenges have you faced within the pet care industry?

A: The pet care industry and the rescue community are almost exclusively focused on dogs and cats. BUNS advocates for needed services for rabbits and guinea pigs.

Q: How do you help make your client feel at ease leaving their pet in your care?

A: We recognize and accept that circumstances can separate pet from their families through no fault.

Q: Can you describe the process to adopt an animal at your shelter?

A: We ask that the family visit the shelter to meet and get to know the animals. We will ask about the family, housing, pet experience and provide information as needed. There is a one page application. The adoption fee is $40.00 for a rabbit and $12.00 for a guinea pig.

Bunnies and Piggies love Hoppy Hours and Pignics Click to view larger

Bunnies and Piggies love Hoppy Hours and Pignics (Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter (BUNS) photo)

Q: Are you a nonprofit? Do you accept donations?

A: We are a nonprofit and we are happy to accept donations.

Q: How do you keep the public informed about your business or service(s)?

A: BUNS has a website, facebook page and instagram.

Q: What is the typical cost of your service(s) or product(s)? Do you offer any payment plans or discounts?

A: Rabbit adoptions: $40; guinea pig adoptions:$12. Toenail trims $5.00; Hay by the flake $5.00.

Q: What are your hours of operation?

A: M-F 2-4 Sat noon to 4. Phone service 7 days a week.

Q: What is one fun fact about your business?

A: Visitors can hand feed the bunnies and piggies.

Q: Is there anything you would like to tell our readers that was not mentioned above?

A: Join us for Hoppy Hour and Pignics.

Click here to learn more about Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter (BUNS).

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