A therapy rabbit might be the right choice for your family if the size and needs of a dog may seem overwhelming. Please bear in mind that a rabbit is however a commitment of time and care as well. Please see our rabbit care guide.
Rabbits are very clean animals making them ideal for working with immunodeficient individuals such as those undergoing cancer treatments. (hemophiliacs, very young children and diabetics should where wrist protectors due to the risk of scratches).
Here are just a few of the ways that Rabbit Assisted Animal Therapy Activities may benefit you or your facility:
Interaction with a therapy rabbit can teach empathy to living things, how to read body language (animals do not mislead the way humans do making it easy to read them). A client can learn to look outside of themselves and at their surrounding environment by observing the rabbits and their interactions. Children and adults who have not had the role model of parents can learn and fulfill the need to nurture and be nurtured by caring for a rabbit. Rabbits are unconditional in their acceptance. Making a patient feel included and loved.
Studies have shown that interaction with animals sparks social interaction and laughter among client groups. We have personally witnessed in our group therapy activities the smiles, laughter and interaction of patients helping each other, sharing stories and laughing with staff, visitors and each other! This is especially effective in hospital or nursing home settings as patients often feel depressed and isolated/alienated from their peers. The interaction with the rabbits breaks down those barriers! Clients may be more relaxed and willing to talk during or after animal visits.
Touch is one of the most beneficial forms of animal assisted therapy and the variety of fur types found in rabbits makes them ideal for this type of therapy activity. In cases where a client has been abused and physical touch has become a form of stress and anxiety animals can fill that instinctive need in a safe non threatening manner during the rehabilitation period. This interaction may also assist in teaching proper physical interaction. This is also true with some conditions such as ASD, with children who have difficulty in social situations and understanding physical limitations. Working with the rabbits can assist by modeling in a safe and controlled environment.
Studies have also shown the interaction with animals to significantly lower blood pressure and heart rates in patients.
These are just a few of the healing abilities of our therapy activities.
Currently we work with the mini rex (4-4.5 lbs) as well as the much larger Flemish Giant (10-20lbs) Each breed of rabbit offers a unique type of therapy and one may be better suited than they other. Therefore it is important that you discuss your unique needs with us so we may better match you with a rabbit.
For example the Flemish giant are a very docile and calm breed making them ideal for the very young, the elderly and those lacking the gross motor skills of their peers.
The mini rex are a more active but still calm breed with a very dense "velvety" fur offering an excellent calming tactile therapy. One could sit for hours just stroking the fur of a mini rex rabbit and our rabbits often enjoy snuggling up and having their heads stroked by children and adults alike.
We are currently working to provide rabbits that can be shown by those individuals needing to build confidence and self esteem. Showing the rabbits is beneficial as a tool to teach goal setting, coping and social skills. As well as following a specific standard of achievement.
We offer two types of placement. We can bring our team to you or your facility for hands on learning and interaction. This is great for schools, nursing homes, hospitals and community groups. We can also place a rabbit with a family or individual on a permanent basis(some terms apply) where care will be the responsibility of the placement home. However Tender Loving Ears will offer ongoing support where it is needed. For further information on either of these placement types please fill out the form on our registration page and a representative will contact you.
Please note that at this time we are not a government funded program and cannot offer a tax receipt. We fund our program purely on donations and the sale of rabbits not qualifying as therapy companions. All other costs are covered by me personally. Our rabbits are either donated, born here or sold to us at a discounted rate.
Any and all donations are welcomed and a thank you to the donator will be placed on our website as well as a link to their website (if applicable).
Items that are always needed and welcomed are as follows:
*good used or new cages
*rabbit feed (Rolling Acres Brand)
*timothy/alfalfa hay(Good Horse Quality)
*travel cages/pet carriers
*veterinarian gift certificates for spay/neuter
*gift certificates for TSC, Home Hardware or Local Pet Supply Stores
Not sure if we can use it? Please feel free to ask us or make a donation via paypal! Thank you for your continued support!
We also accept the donation of your pop cans and used liquor and beer bottles/cans for recycling. Thank you!
We are currently in need of someone to make us little vests identifying our rabbits as therapy rabbits. We are hoping to use a lavender or lilac color for these. If you think you may be able to help please email me.
We are also occasionally in need of transport for rabbits as well as children and adults to shows. If this is something you may be interested in doing feel free to contact us!