Bunnies (in baskets)?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by punk-a-doodle, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A while ago, my husband and I and our two rabbits went in for a (free) screening to see if they would be suitable as therapy animals. It went very, very well...but then we found out it would cost us 250 to 400 dollars to register us and the rabbits. I totally understand that you are paying for liability coverage and courses to help you react well in different situations...but we didn't know it would be that much money and just can't afford it to be able to do volunteer work. I found a nation wide rabbit-specific group called 'Bunnies in Baskets". They have excellent liability insurance (up to a million dollars in damage), and still give courses. That would only cost us about 20 to 40 dollars to get all of us registered. Thing is, I just haven't heard much about them, and am a bit nervous. Has anyone here used Bunnies in Baskets for therapy animal registration? Did you like it? Did it offer enough support to get you started? Are there any other groups you would suggest that wouldn't be as pricey as the big names (ie. Delta Society), and our locally available group? Any other input? Thanks!
     
  2. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    also to consider, not all hospitals/homes/schools will require you to be affiliated with any group. What group was the $250 estimate from?
    Our local club is offering training dog training classes, 4 weeks of training followed by 4 weeks of testing/observing the dogs at work. Cost is $120, $80 for the training, $30 fee to TDI plus $10 if you are a new member of their system.
     
  3. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey Dain, when I lived in a really rural area as a kid, it was so easy to just go visiting with my guinea pig! It may just be around the city here, but it seems like most now want that liability coverage. Especially the hospitals, which does make sense. I'm going to be asking around more here for the next few weeks while we decide what to do though. I was also considering individual purchased liability coverage, but it sounds like it is much more expensive to go that way rather than group umbrella coverage. I haven't found much on that though, and nothing for rabbits when google searching.
    The $250-400 range was from the local group that mainly works with dogs (250ish was the most discounted I could get after asking if any of the training/liability fees could be lowered due to rabbits not needing as much of either. They said they couldn't, but that they could drop the price for students, long time-members, and people going through training together). It's a 75 dollar charge for each person to remain a member each year. For Bunnies in Baskets, it looks like it would be $16 total, which would be awesome! I've just never been able to go through a group before, and don't know what to look for and what is legit at all.
    This is the rabbit-specific group's page:
    http://www.bunniesinbaskets.org/be-one-of-us.html
     
  4. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never heard of that group. It could definitely be worth checking out. I would also check to see if the place you are visiting would work with them. Some hospitals will only accept certain groups - our local hospital will let TDI sponsored people in, but not Delta Society. Are the classes internet-based? If so, some hospitals might not accept their "certification"
    Also check that the insurance amounts they provide would be enough to satisify your local business.

    I was going to do therapy work when we lived in Orlando. It was sooo confusing. One nursing home was Delta Society. One required nothing. One didn't care if you were with a group, but you had to have $1MIL in insurance coverage. One was only TDI. Another you had to go through and be approved through their department, even if you were certified with a national group. It's really best to talk to the hospital/home you are interested in and see. Some don't allow therapy visits for any reason, from any group.
     
  5. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the guidance! Lots of good avenues for me to pursue.


    Quote: So confusing for sure. x_X I had to giggle when the Bunnies in Baskets' policy said that they get 1 mil coverage. I'm just picturing the rabbits going on an attack spree a la Monty Python's killer rabbit.
     
  6. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you have to think of "someone could have an allergy attack and sue the hospital" Or maybe the bunny gets down on the floor and someone trips over him. The medical coverage that BIB offers is actually pretty small, I think it was only $15K. That would be something to check into because $15,000 doesn't cover a lot of medical bills. The big item is liability coverage of course and they do have that pretty covered at $1M.
    Another thing to ask would be what company they have coverage through. At those low membership fees (and I don't think they are a huge group with lots of members) the premiums would be fairly high, so just curious what company. If it is a fly-by night or even self-insured, could you get left on the hook for money?
     
  7. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Or even just a toenail scratch and then suing...but the mental imaginings of them causing huge amounts of explosive damage is priceless to me. X)

    I was surprised to find that the liability coverage of the local group is actually not included on their website or in the reading materials they sent us home with. I'll have to email them about that, but it kind of makes me nervous that it isn't listed anywhere. It just says that "liability insurance" is included in the annual fees.

    The Delta Society http://www.deltasociety.org/Page.aspx?pid=260 Says that:
    "Coverage for injuries suffered by Pet Partners Teams is limited to qualified medical expenses of less than $10,000 for Pet Partners Handlers. There is no coverage for injuries suffered by Pet Partners Animals." Is that the same category of medical coverage as the BIB one, or is one referring to coverage of the person with the pet, and one referring to medical coverage of anyone your pet harms? I'm terrible at deciphering legalities.

    BIB is with Liberty Northwest, and offshoot of Liberty Mutual. I've read nothing but terrible reviews of Liberty Mutual's coverage. :/ For the Delta Society, I can not find out who they are actually insured under, as the websites just keep saying that they have a 'commercial general liability insurance' policy. I've only read good things about BIB so far on their facebook page, and then from a google search. Unfortunately, at all the groups I've looked at, I can't find a single case when someone needed the coverage, so no one mentions the quality of the coverage.


    Quote: Definitely worried about this. :/ Just people I know in day to day life have had so many troubles with the 'reliable' medical insurance companies, some car insurance companies, etc., that I'm especially worried about dealing with groups that I have very little to no information on.

    Thanks for your continued help!
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  8. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok, the Delta Society part you quote is coverage for YOU as a representitive of them, in case you were to get hurt. I wonder how much coverage they offer if your dog (bunny) was to hurt someone?
    I'd guess that someone needing the coverage would be pretty rare. I would guess that Delta Society shops around on a regular basis, to insure that they are getting the best rates possible. Not listing a specific company on the website means they don't have to update it when/if they change. I'm sure that if you contacted them directly you could get the info.

    I would check Delta Society and TDI (both Inc and International) to see if you can get approved to visit on your own. The fees you were quoted by your local group just seem astronomical. Since you technically won't need any of the training, are they not willing to just let you pay for the test? Again, contact other groups and see if you can just test with them. Contact local kennel clubs and see if they are sponsoring any therapy dog seminars or know of any in the area.

    Like I said, the whole training and testing is going to be as much as 1/2 as much here. The testing and registration themselves are only $40
     
  9. Sayeessa

    Sayeessa New Egg

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    Hello, I am a Bunnies in Baskets (Therapy Rabbits) member and my rescue organization is an affiliate in Ohio. This is a great program with lots of support, easy to understand instrution and lots of fun. You can find information on their website and facebook page. We have several therapy bunnies and are training more now. In my opinion this is a great group!
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  10. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so, so much for chiming in! I have been on the fence about what to do, but hearing from a member makes me think it's time to sign up. [​IMG]
     

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