Anyone with...Therapy Rabbits?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by punk-a-doodle, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Songster

    Apr 15, 2011
    So, I've been hoping to get involved with an animal therapy program for years now. I haven't yet as I have felt that our pets so far, while amazingly loving with us, get too stressed out with strangers and/or are less than forgiving with them. Our eldest cat knows tricks and will let my husband and I do absolutely anything to her and still purr, but if someone outside us, close friends, or my husband's mom touches her the wrong way, she will growl and possibly lash out at them. We adopted an adult cat with CH a while back, and while he can be the most loving lap cat with family and strangers alike, his condition seems to make him prone to startling easily. I hear it is not good to use animals who will run away, and he simply will if there is a loud noise. Desensitization helped him some, but he still reacts before calming. Once he snuck into the basement, and I found him frozen in a terrified ball behind a box. It took him a full day to calm down just because he was in a strange situation even though he put himself there! I'd hate to see him react to a hospital... Our heeler is the best and most loyal dog we've ever owned...but is a heeler and was adopted as an especially skittery adult. She will now tolerate but does not usually enjoy strange people touching her.

    That brings us to our newest pets, two English lops. Both our female and male are *very* tame and social. They are also younger than we usually get animals at (5 and 6 months when we got them), so have adapted easier to socialization. They actually enjoy going out to pet-friendly hardware or pet stores and being fussed over. Either I think, would be great therapy animals, but the male in particular is chill and lies still for cuddling. He also does the rabbit 'purr', so he actually enjoys being held and pet by people. He has a tendency to fall asleep in your arms. Seems to do fine with kids and adults alike. I think our girl would be better suited for agility because of her energy level and need for mental stimulation, but our buck at least seems like a perfect candidate for a therapy animal right now. I've seen that others on here have been involved with therapy, either with their other pets, or with their rabbits. For those who have had therapy rabbits, what was applying for certification like? What sort of requirements are there for rabbits? I would not go through the Delta society (a little bit too much money for me personally for something I would be volunteering to do), but rather one of our local groups. Just getting some ideas before looking into it further. Thanks!

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