As a big fan of creative approaches to public health, I am intrigued how children, young adults, and just about everyone respond positively to the chance to interact with rabbits and how regular access to them promotes stress reduction and management of mental health challenges. Bunny Besties originated as a handler and a couple rabbits volunteering to the Pet Away Worry and Stress (PAWS) program at the UMN Twin Cities Campus. As a co-founder of that program, I was amazed at the unanticipated enthusiasm for the rabbits and the demand for more bunny "hopportunities" which served as the motivation to expand and start a non-profit specifically dedicated to providing rabbit Animal Assisted Interactions (AKA "Animal Therapy".) Bunny Besties continues to be a regular partner with PAWS and now features visits to homeless shelters, schools, libraries, and hospice settings. Your support provides rescued rabbits with a second chance at life that includes excellent care, quality food, specialized veterinary services, and above all the chance to give and receive love from those who benefit strongly from the program. I hope that you will consider a gift to Bunny Besties this year. - Gary
Hop on our 2020 Fundraiser!
Bunny Besties misson is to provide standardized high-quality Animal Assisted Interactions ("animal therapy") with rabbits to support the emotional wellness of our community, with an emphasis on serving children, adolescents, and young adults as well as those facing challenging life transitions.
Bunny Besties was co-founded by a woman and her son. They were working at Nursing homes and People Serving People Homeless shelter when a call came from the newly formed Pet Away Worry and Stress program at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus. The Director of the PAWS program had a recommendation of these two and wanted them to bring bunnies to the UMN PAWS. They began in September 2014 and have never looked back. The first three rabbits were such a huge hit with students that additional volunteers and rabbits soon joined the effort. Bunny Besties soon established itself as a 501 c 3 non-profit organization in 2017.
SMALL BUT MIGHTY:
With a current team of 28 volunteers and 19 rabbits. Bunny Besties continues to contribute to the PAWS program as well as provide rabbit interactions to homeless shelters, hospice, schools, and library reading programs. We have participated in over 550 events with a total of over 23,000 attendees, mostly children and young adults. Bunny Besties was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award (Gold Level) in 2018 and 2019.
We need to raise $15,000 of "Bunny Money" to support our 2020 programs. Bunny Besties recruits rescue rabbits, puts them through school, and provides them with a lifelong home, specialized veterinary care, high quality nutrition, and most of all, the chance to provide and receive love from those going through stressful life transitions. Bunny Besties receives some income through service provision but is primarily dependent on philanthropy to meet our costs.
Support emotional wellness with bunnies! Donate today!