What do people do at a Christmas party for rabbits? At the Bunny Bunch Orange County rabbit rescue in the city of Fountain Valley, people talked rabbits, shopped for rabbit gifts for their bunnies, themselves or friends, had holiday photos taken, donated to the rescue via the ornament tree or other methods and much more.
Saturday, December 8, was the first Christmas party for the Bunny Bunch OC, which officially opened just one month before. It’s the second location in Southern California for The Bunny Bunch. Its first location is in the city of Montclair in San Bernardino County, which has been going strong since 2007.
One person eager to talk rabbits at the party was Bob F. A sign posted on one of the rabbit’s pens noted that the Lionhead/Lop mix was on hold pending a house check. Bob and his family are the soon-to-be owners. The rabbit is named Cutie Pie, and he plans to introduce it to another rabbit that recently joined his family. He and his family had rabbits several years ago, but had taken a break from them. Recently a starving pet rabbit hopped into their yard. After searching and failing to find its owner, they welcomed her to the family and named her Little Foot.
“It brings people closer together in a family when you bring in a pet,” Bob said. “It’s a gift to understand and appreciate an animal.”
The Bunny Bunch OC is still new on the scene, but it’s already making great strides. Items from its wish list of donations are gradually coming in, although the flooring still needs to be done and the ceiling should be lowered.
Caroline Charland, founder and president, said she couldn’t ask for it to be going better. The Bunny Bunch OC has a lot of volunteers who do everything from rabbit care to helping with events to grooming and socializing the bunnies and more. It’s a good start, but she said more volunteers are always welcome.
“There’s always something to do,” Charland said. “The more volunteers we have, the more we can do.”
The Junior Program is doing well, and Charland mentioned several children who were helping out at the rescue. One got involved because she likes and owns guinea pigs.
That’s right. The Bunny Bunch OC rescues not only rabbits but other small pets as well. Rabbits are the majority, but it also has a few guinea pigs and recently took in some chinchillas. Many animals get great care at the Bunny Bunch while awaiting adoption and life in a Forever Home.
The work to find homes for these pets is constant. And Charland is always looking ahead and planning for the Bunny Bunch. “Christmas is over for me,” she said.
The Christmas parties wrapped up and the Holiday Photo promotion is going strong until December 23, so she’s already planning the classes that will start at the Bunny Bunch OC in January. Education is one of the goals of the rescue, and she’s been teaching these classes at the Montclair location for years. The classes cover rabbit grooming, rabbit bonding, general care and even healthcare tips.
For 2013, Charland also plans to expand the products offered in the boutique section of the rescue, adding guinea pig and chinchilla products along with many more rabbit products.
Another big goal for the New Year is getting the Outreach Program rolling in Orange County, which has been working so well out of the Montclair location. Volunteers are trained at the Bunny Bunch OC and will then set up with a few bunnies for a few hours outside a Petsmart, Petco or Centinela Feed and Pet Supplies to offer information.
Ultimately, Charland hopes to expand the Bunny Bunch so it is known throughout Orange County and, in five years, work on opening a location in Pasadena, which will put it in three counties in California.
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