Our return to weekly Meet 'n Greets, at PetSmart in Flatiron has proven to be a great way of raising awareness of our mission, educating the public about proper rabbit care, and providing an outlet for prospective adopters to meet our foster rabbits and ask questions. The new bright and cheerful signage, flyers and business cards, designed by our volunteer Devon, really help draw attention to our foster bunnies available for adoption...
|We are incredibly grateful to all our volunteers, who not only help care for our foster rabbits, but also donate their time behind the scenes with transportation, veterinary scheduling, counseling potential adopters, running our social media accounts, and helping with fundraising.
|While we have much to be proud of this past year, there are still so many abandoned rabbits who need a home. Rabbits are the 3rd most abandoned pet after dogs and cats. Your monetary help is needed to fulfill our mission; 90% of our expenses go toward veterinary care for our rabbits. Typical veterinary bills include spray & neuter surgeries, RHDV vaccinations, plus medical emergencies as they arise. That is why we’d like you to consider donating during this season of giving. Your donation will help keep our current rabbits healthy and will go a long way toward preparing our future foster rabbits for their forever home.
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Jalitza Pena is a NYC local who recently adopted Lili (formerly known as Heather) from Bunnies & Beyond this summer after a brief period of fostering. Jalitza is an animal lover and shares her home with a hamster named Stripes, her husband, her child, and her mother. We touched base with Jalitza to ask her some questions about how she came to Bunnies & Beyond and how things with Lili are going.
What initially drew you to Bunnies & Beyond?Having a pet is helpful for my anxiety, but I’m severely allergic to cats and dogs and my daughter has asthma. We do own a hamster, but he’s more my daughter’s pet and I wanted a pet that I would feel a deeper connection with. I first became interested in bunnies when I saw a cute reel on Facebook. It sent me down a rabbit hole of research and investigation. I wanted to make sure a rabbit would be the right fit for our family and that we would be able to properly care for one. So I went online, looked up what it looked like to care for a bunny and learned that they weren’t easy starter pets. I was pretty sure I could handle the responsibility, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit fully by adopting first. I also really don’t know that pet store animals are treated well or taken care of properly. So I looked for local rescues and where I could foster. I reached out to Bunnies & Beyond and was very impressed by how much they were willing to work with me and how thorough they were. They asked me for photos of my set up and it was very clear that they cared about where their bunny would be going.
When we first got Lili, I immediately fell in love. She is so sweet! I wondered why she hadn't already been adopted, but I guess it just means she was meant to be our bunny!
How long did it take for you to get Lili? What did the foster process look like?I started my research in June. That was when I was looking up how to properly care for bunnies and also prepared the apartment and spoke with my family. I wanted to make sure my husband and daughter especially were excited and would help with care. By the beginning of July, I had filled out the foster application. I think I got a response the same day! About two weeks later, after a quick home visit, Lili was settling in with us.
How is it having a bunny in your home?It’s honestly not as high maintenance as I thought it would be! Of course, I make sure she has water and hay at all times and we feed her veggies. I clean up after her regularly and she is VERY particular about how her area looks. She has preferences about which blankets we put on the floor for her. And she can cause trouble when she feels like it - just recently she’s started sneaking into our bedroom and napping under the bed sometimes. But she’s so sweet and curious and wants to investigate everything. I like keeping an eye on her. She’s so entertaining, she makes us all really happy. And you can tell she loves us, too! She’s always flopping or zooming around the apartment - I always try to take video on my phone but she’s so fast, it’s hard to catch her. When I first fostered her, I was told she had mild megacolon and was worried we might not be able to handle that. But Kirsten sent me an article that put my mind at ease, and there haven’t been any issues so far! We actually had her first vet check up together and the vet was super sweet and said Lili looks great! When she first came home with us, I was a little worried. Everything you read says that bunnies are very very sensitive and can get sick so easily. I was nervous. But then she splooted in her space and stretched out and I knew she was going to be okay with us. She found her forever home!
What would you say to someone who is curious or on the fence about fostering or adopting from Bunnies & Beyond?Do your due diligence. Research because it’s so important to make sure that a bunny is the right fit for you and your family. You’ll learn how to care for them and how to deal with emergencies. It may seem overwhelming at first, but things get easier as you get to know your bunny and you learn with your bunny.
Anything else you want to share?I’m so happy we found each other! I call her my little ninja because she’s so soft and quiet. Sometimes I’ll be sitting in the living room and she’ll slide up next to me or between my feet and she’ll catch me off guard. It’s so cute. Everything about her is cute. When things are in her way, she’ll toss them aside and throw them out of her way. She’s so funny and has such a big personality, even though she’s a small girl.