Believe In Bunnies

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rescue

Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue

Rescue Vision

Sometimes I think, “everybody wants to help until it’s time to help” but it’s time to stop that way of thinking. That is blocking the help from showing up. In rescue, it’s always time to help.

There has not been one day in my 7+ years volunteering when no help was needed. Time to apply what I teach and coach. How often we neglect to practice what we preach and teach…

My ultimate vision is that rescue doesn’t have to exist, a world in which domestic rabbits are fully safe and protected. Yes, I want us to go out of business.

But in the meantime, I’ll cast this vision:

-Our veterinary bills are paid in full.

-Requests for transports are filled promptly and consistently.

-Our foster rabbits are happy and active. They are supplied with an abundance of soft-rugged indoor space and enriching toys.

-People make informed choices before adding a rabbit, or any being, to their families.

-Our volunteer squad is rich with motivated, compassionate, dedicated, loyal and kind people. We have so much help that we have to create tasks to satiate their desire help!

 

We continue to save more lives than ever, to complete and  enrich more families than before, to make a positive difference for the most grateful little furry ones.

And it’s an honor to live out my life’s purpose alongside such a remarkable team.

“The whispers fade. The impact of your purpose stays.” -Melissa Poepping

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angels Believe Bunnies Rescue

Some Rabbit Stories

I feel like I haven’t told you a rabbit story in a while…

That’s probably because I don’t feel like I own the stories as much as I used to. I feel very behind-the-scenes in Rescue… and I am NOT complaining. In fact, I prayed for this. I set very clear intentions with the Universe that the core group of volunteers, who were doing everything when I started helping out, would be matched by a team equal in passion, dedication and purpose and bigger in size.

Dreams come true. Intentions, with consistent work behind them, manifest.

Wednesday night, I sat in front of the computer screen, broadcasting to our group of volunteers and supporters about the various events of the day. I’m a fan of sharing as much of what’s going on as possible—clear communication is the foundation of making it work!

On Wednesday, on top of the day-to-day business of feeding and caring for foster rabbits, veterinary appointments and the like, we had a particularly active day. All at once:

-an adopter who lives well over an hour from the vet’s office needed a ride to said vet’s office, as her rabbit stopped eating. She doesn’t drive. Within minutes of asking for help, a volunteer arranged to drive her to and from an emergency appointment.

-we rescued a bunny who had been living outside for 3 years!! Outside for even 3 minutes in our climate/environment is dangerous. This rabbit had, of late, become the chew toy of the family’s new dog when the dog went outside to poop or play. That’s the short version of the story, as you can imagine. The rabbit is safe now.

-a rabbit who has been in our foster care for a bit over a year was diagnosed with cancer. Angel’s foster mother noticed that she hasn’t been finishing her food and hasn’t been very active. A volunteer took Angel in for a checkup and the doctor diagnosed Angel with cancer. X-rays show that it has metastasized in her chest. Now, we do everything we can to keep her comfortable… and dream of some angel of a person to show up and give her a forever home for whatever time she has left.

-a team of volunteers went out to rescue what was reported as two abandoned rabbits in a residential neighborhood in Suffolk County. Upon arrival, our team found out that these rabbits belonged to someone on the block who was not caring for them and letting them run in the street. The “owner” grabbed both rabbits in one hand and tossed them to our volunteers. Our group is unable to accept owner surrenders… but this wasn’t a typical surrender. These two rabbits, both male, are in rough shape, underweight, covered in bite marks and dirt. Their foster family is caring for them, teaching them to trust and making sure they have lots of delicious greens and hay to eat.

Those four situations, on top of the everyday operations, made for an energetically overwhelming day. But we’ve curated such a phenomenal team of volunteers and supporters… everything worked out the best it possibly could. I was able to focus and “call the plays,” capitalizing on my innate organizational skills. The team was able to execute and do the best we could for the greatest good. Then, I got to hop onto a Facebook Live and recap the day to our group of volunteers and supporters.

I am honored and humbled to work alongside such loving and dedicated people. Much love!

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Believe Bunnies Purpose

Mother’s Day Tribute

Hoppy Mother’s Day! Enjoy this classic Mother’s Day story from the Believe In Bunnies archives…

My mother never let me have pets other than betta fish.  My betta Bonus lived 5 or 6 years and traveled back and forth from Connecticut to home on every college break.  I was never much of an animal person anyway.  After college, but still living home, I asked if I could get a rabbit.  For no known reason, I decided I wanted one.  Mom said no.  She said, when you have your own house, you can have whatever you want.

I never, and I mean never, have wanted human children.  When certain people hear that, they flick back with trite retorts like, “You will someday” and “You’ll change your mind when you’re with the right person.”  Mmm hmmmm.  Socrates said, “Know thyself” and I always have when it comes to this topic.  And I know human children are not for me.  When I met my “right person,” it was maybe our second or third date when the topic of pet rabbits came up.  We both wanted one yet never had one.  So, in my own way I guess, I did become a mother when I met the right person.

To me, being a mom or serving in any loving role is about spiritual connection.  The labels of mother, father, grandchild, uncle, what-have-you are all human constructs.  On the level of the soul, in our truth, the labels don’t exist.  Love is love.  Care is care.  Compassion is compassion.  Connection is connection.

Judge all you want, but my love for my boys Peanut and Tater Tot and the love I see my fellow bunny moms, dads and volunteers give to these four-legged angels is the truth.  If you need to label it, the connection is as maternal or paternal as a human-human relationship.  Just like I don’t have the desire for human children, not everyone with a pet wants or will reach or can reach the connection.  Those are the people who indiscriminately or circumstantially give up their pets.  But that’s a topic for another day.

So Mom, thank you for not letting me have a rabbit when I wasn’t ready.  You are a phenomenal mother (obviously, look at what you made!) and you knew yourself and knew me enough to know that pet-parenting was not appropriate at that time.  When the time was right and I became a bunny-mom, you embraced your grandbunnies more than I even expected, since you aren’t necessarily an animal person.  But I know you admire and respect the love I have for my boys and the compassion I channel for all of Long Island’s domestic rabbits through rescue work.

Happy Mother’s Day, whether your children hop, bark, talk… whether they live with you, live with another family, live in a rescue or shelter… they are your children, if you feel the love and connection in your soul.

Special shout out to the foster moms out there—you are love.

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Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue

We Won’t Stop

Around this time every year, I publish a story that I wrote in 2016… a reminder to some, new knowledge to others, about why Rescue exists.

We won’t stop until they are all safe and loved.

Found but still lost

I am the initial point of contact when someone emails information@longislandrabbitrescue.org.  This month, the number of “finder” emails we have received is more than double the number we receive in a typical month. We define a “finder” as someone who has either spotted a stray domestic rabbit or has rescued an abandoned domestic rabbit and is reaching out to our group for resources and recourses.  I have typed the following sentences an alarming number of times this month: “We don’t have a shelter facility; all of our rabbits are fostered in private homes. If you or someone you know can provide an indoor foster home, we can…”  And it’s not even Easter yet.

We get at least a hundred emails to the aforementioned address per month—only three times in my almost three years of being at the email helm has someone reached out because their rabbit had actually gone missing. So I can safely conclude that these “found” rabbits are abandoned, dumped, neglected.

Abandonment happens one of two ways, from my perspective.  There are the scarily misinformed, who think their rabbit, who no longer serves a purpose in their family, will survive in the woods or in a park because other rabbits live in the wild.  Yeah… those are wild rabbits.  Not domestic rabbits.  Domestic rabbits will not survive and will face the harsh elements of the seasons and starvation, and predators.  A horrible fate.

Then, there are the heartless, who just don’t care, who need this “thing” out of their house.  Sometimes these people try to seek help before abandoning their rabbit, but most town shelters aren’t equipped to handle rabbits and most rescue groups are overloaded, no matter the animal on which they focus.  For these, about whom “careless” is the nicest word I can muster, the living being they once chose to care for has passed his/her expiration date and must be tossed out.  Just a note—if caught abandoning an animal, one faces $1,000 fine and other legal consequences.  If you see something, take pictures. Send them to me.  I’ll turn them in for you.  I’m not shy.

We need:

  • Stores and breeders to stop selling rabbits.
  • People to make more informed decisions before adding any living being into their families.
  • Foster homes, donations and volunteers to save the abandoned animals.
  • You to speak up, if you know someone has dumped an animal.
  • Compassion for all things living.

As a rescue group, our resources are limited but trust that we use them to their maximum potential!  Thank you for being one of our resources.  Spread the reality about rabbits as pets—10-12 year commitment, specialized veterinary care, bunny-proofing (As I hear my chief destruction worker bunny Tater Tot tearing in to what I hope is his cardboard tunnel in the next room…).  As awareness is heightened, I hope there are far fewer rabbits out there to save.  But for now, many rabbits are found but still lost, as the number abandoned far surpasses the number of foster homes and adopters.

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Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

Equivalent Advantage

Members of our Rescue team were on two missions today: one squad was out on a catch and another squad was conducting adoptions.

The catch was unsuccessful and the adoption didn’t happen. The abandoned rabbit was super scared and elusive. The environment in which he’s been abandoned is complicated. The adopter came to meet adoptable rabbits but decided to wait before making a decision. She left with an empty carrier. It would be easy to feel defeated, to feel like we lost today. We didn’t lose. We are experiencing temporary defeat.

The only way we lose is if we stop.

In Outwitting the Devil, Napoleon Hill asks and the “Devil” answers:

Q: Is failure ever a benefit to man?

A: Yes. Indeed, learning from adversity is the third of the seven principles. But few people know that every adversity brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage. Still fewer people know the difference between temporary defeat and failure… If they knew the difference between temporary defeat and failure, they would not quit when they meet with opposition from life. If they knew that every form of defeat and all failures, bring with them the seed of unborn opportunity, they would keep on fighting and win. Success usually is but one short step beyond the point where one quits fighting.

My fellow volunteers are the most persistent people you’ll ever meet because they work with purpose. They experience emotional and physical hardships in our work. They push through heartbreak, through thorny bushes, through dismissive comments, through bitter winds.

They lean on each other, they regroup and they plant the seed of equivalent advantage acquired through each temporary defeat. Conversations tonight have not been ones of frustration. They’ve been about fresh approaches to catching this terrified little rabbit and about best practices for communicating with potential adopters.

When you need inspiration to persist against all odds, look to our team. I am honored to work with them, to organize and communicate while they are on the frontlines, impressing the stuff out of me seven days a week.

Our work is rarely easy, but always rewarding—the reward is saving and protecting animals and building character and community beyond expectations.

Local? Join us: Volunteer with LIRRG

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Believe Bunnies Energy Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

The Great Slow Down

Alternate title: How We are Crushing Our Goals

As I write this, the Rescue group with which I volunteer is processing its 40th adoption in 2018.  40. 4-0.  In 2016, we completed 51 adoptions.  For 2017, we set a goal of 52 adoptions; we completed 55.  For 2018, we set a goal of 56.  Here we are, less than 4 months into the year, and we are CRUSHING our goal.  Every adoption is another life saved.  Every adoption is another family made complete.  Here’s how we are making it happen, from my perspective.

We, the collective of volunteers, supporters, adopters and foster families, believe so deeply in our mission.  Just above my desk is my vision board.  At the center of my vision board: Domestic rabbits are safe and protected.  That is the center of all of the action that I take.  Our group is rich with like-minded people who will stop at nothing to carry out this mission.  Belief and inspiration in action.

On November 30, 2017, I went to hear my mentor Gabrielle Bernstein speak at her “SuperAttractor Workshop.”  In talking about her principle of taking spiritually-aligned action, Gabby said, “You speed up by slowing down.”  That struck me—and not just the juxtaposition of words.  Do you mean to tell me that I can accomplish even more if I just slow down?  Even me, who needs to go-go-go (and maybe go some more) so I don’t feel like time is precariously wasting away?  Ok… I’ll give it a shot.  I’ll breathe.  I’ll stop working with a sense of frenzy and choose a peaceful mood.  And I’ve made it part of my practice to work on one task at a time, to use my laser-sharp focus with more grace.

In early 2018, I started reading You2 by Price Pritchett.  I wrote to you about it.  Plain and simple: it works.  It was recommended to me by my business mentors and the Universe started showing me its power immediately through the Quantum Leaps in Rescue.  I even wrote on the bottom of page 1 of my copy: “Slow & steady is not necessary!  Rescue had a leap in January 2018 to show me the possibilities.”  Now, I am in no way taking full credit for 40 (any minute now!) adoptions in 107 days.  But I sit at the hub of this incredible group and we energize each other.  We made a committed decision to save as many lives as we possibly can.  Radical honesty: some of the team wanted to set the 2018 adoption goal much bigger than 56.  Fear-based, I thought, let’s just add one more to last year’s record.  I was playing small.  The Universe has shown me that we can add more than +1 in a year.  I may be going slower, but the Universe is not.

So, here’s to slowing down.  When I slow down, I get even more done.  When I slow down, I receive clarity about what needs to get done.  When I slow down, the Universe speeds up and brings my vision to me.  We are crushing our goals with ease, belief and inspired action.  I am beyond proud to be a part of this team.  Much love.

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angels Believe Bunnies Energy Healing Reiki Rescue Uncategorized

Jimmy

jimmy

When Jimmy came into the care of our Rescue group, his name was Bugs and he was sick.  I was glad that we were changing his name (we stick with people names, always) because I had a hard time calling a rabbit with an eye infection Bugs— like he had bugs and we were teasing him or something.  But it’s all semantics.  Here’s what I wrote about Jimmy for our recent fundraiser:

Jimmy and another rabbit were abandoned and brought to a local animal shelter that is mainly equipped to care for dogs and cats.  Staff noticed that Jimmy (who was known as Bugs there) was ill as soon as he was brought in and their veterinary staff cared for him the best they could.  The other rabbit was adopted rather quickly, but Jimmy was still sick and still without a home.  One of our dedicated volunteers visited the shelter, brought supplies and gave Jimmy some love.  As the days went on, Jimmy’s health kept getting worse.

As soon as we were able to secure a space, we took Jimmy into our foster care. We are grateful to the staff at the shelter for caring for Jimmy while he was with them.  Jimmy settled into his foster home with a voracious appetite and a loving spirit.  A vet visit was planned for the immediate future, as his eye looked infected.

Then one morning, Jimmy’s foster mom noticed that Jimmy’s eating had slowed down– a sign that something was wrong!  Our volunteer team sprung into action and rushed Jimmy to Catnip and Carrots Veterinary Hospital, where the caring doctors accepted Jimmy as an emergency patient.

Jimmy was hospitalized for almost a week with an eye infection, upper respiratory infection and gastrointestinal stasis.  He was released to his foster home yesterday to continue recuperating and we are turning to you, our amazing supporters, to help with Jimmy’s vet bills.

I volunteer at Jimmy’s foster home weekly and this Monday he wasn’t feeling well again.  His eating had slowed down, just a bit, but those who are rabbit-savvy know all too well that rabbits are NOT “wait and see how he’s feeling” creatures.  One must act immediately if any change in behavior or eating is observed.  Jimmy’s foster home gave him meds and some of his favorite foods to entice eating.  I arrived in the afternoon and made some time to share some Reiki energy with him before I started my chores.

I grabbed my Joy oil before our session.  That’s not one of my go-to Reiki oils but I was drawn to it so I follow my guides.  I rubbed 3 drops in my palms, anointed my third eye chakra and started our session.  Jimmy responded right away by turning his back to me and grooming himself, a message of “Yes, I’m here but I’m not sure what you’re doing, lady.”  While he’s a snuggler, he’s understandably cautious due to his history.

He “showed” me something about his back left leg, like it was caught or twisted or bent previously, so I sent energy there.  Of course, I didn’t touch his back leg—I only know one rabbit who tolerates that kind of behavior from his mom (the same rabbit who tried to bite my hand off a few months ago!).

The other message Jimmy shared with me is big counter-clockwise circles.  I forgot to tell his foster mom that so hopefully she reads this.  I don’t know what that message means quite yet but he’ll show us at some point.  As soon as I closed out our session, thanking Jimmy for his openness to receiving the energy, he started to nibble on his pellets—a joyful sign!

I thank my guides and angels and all of our rabbit-friends over the Rainbow Bridge for helping me share healing light with Jimmy.  Much Love.

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angels Believe Bunnies Rescue Uncategorized

Philomena & Boo

This past week was book-ended with loss for our Rescue group.

Philomena, long-time sanctuary bun and notorious feisty lady, made her journey over the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday.  I volunteer time every week at our sanctuary and special needs foster home so teeny tiny Philomena and I had a relationship— not a close one, but that was her choice.  Because of medical concerns with her heart, she has never able to be spayed, thus earning her the title of a sanctuary rabbit, one who cannot be adopted out.  No matter my approach, fast or slow, quiet or with a verbal warning, Philomena would box her tiny paws at me, then hop away and hide.  She never allowed me to connect with her and I respected that.  She did have quite the affinity for our volunteer Robert.  Robert could handle her better than anyone else.  She would let Robert pat and cuddle her.

At the end of January, Philomena’s impairments caught up with her and she quickly fell ill.  She got immediate veterinary care but her age (estimated somewhere between 6 and 9 years old) and her physical struggles were just too much for our tiny little fighter to combat.  I’ll miss her bug-eyes and her attitude.  I’ll remember her fondly as an independent lady who liked her space and who made the tiniest “bunny buttons” in the largest quantities!

And then midweek, adoptable boy Boo fell ill.  He recently battled a case of head tilt and infection.  We hoped he was recovered… but the illness came back with vengeance.  He was “rolling,” which could look more like uncontrollable thrashing– scary for the animal and scary to witness.  The outpouring of love from our volunteer team was (as usual) inspiring.  While Boo struggled and his condition worsened from mid to end of the week, our team spent extra time at his foster home, making sure Boo could reach his water and food and ensuring he was safe and comfortable.  Boo crossed the Rainbow Bridge as we crossed into the weekend.  I’m sure Philomena met him there and they binkied off together.

There was a very large and surely very intense abandonment case out in Suffolk county this week and, despite the fact that two other rescue organizations were handling the case, our group received some criticism online for not being actively involved in this situation.  On top of the realities of our limited time and money resources… if those critics only knew the truth of what the week was like for our team…

Boundless love to all those who loved Philomena and Boo.

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Believe Bunnies Uncategorized

All Quiet on the Rescue Front

It’s amazing what freedom you can attain when you release things, habits (and people) who no longer serve you in a positive way from taking up space in your life or even just in your head.

Confession: I checked my email, on average, every 9 minutes from the time I took over the communications for our Rescue group up until just a few weeks ago.

Do you know how mentally crippling it is to check every 9 minutes?  Can you fathom how much time I wasted refreshing and clicking?  Guess what—we NEVER get emails every 9 minutes.  But there I was, for years now, ineffectively using my time, checking and checking for responses, for new communications.  A purely addictive behavior that served me, or Rescue, no positive purpose.

Compulsion is definitely in my nature but I think this particular compulsion started as a result of taking on such an important task, a task that I deemed highly time-sensitive.  Combine that with an aggressive overachiever and solutions maker and BOOM: you’re checking for emails 6+ times an hour.  Sometimes, I’m sure it was more frequently.

Sure, urgent issues in Rescue pop up (or should I say hop up?).  But thankfully, they don’t occur every day and they certainly don’t happen every fraction of the hour, daily.  Through consistent personal development, mindfulness and my precious oils, I am proud to say that I check my emails 2-4 times per day now.  Massive difference.  And when I check them at this frequency, I respond with more clarity and delegate more effectively.

In response to my energetic shift, “things” have quieted down on the Rescue front.  Our educational efforts are wide-reaching.  Our communication with perspective adopters or struggling owners who didn’t adopt from us still happens but, as I don’t feel the (although sometimes quiet) mania I used to, the intense situations just don’t show up any more.  And when urgency arises, my clear mind and focused intrapersonal and interpersonal skills enable me to handle the necessary steps with much more ease than ever before.

As easy as it sounds to check one’s phone less, it wasn’t easy for me to cease the compulsion.  But I did it.  All is peaceful on the Rescue front.pc-clarity

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Believe Bunnies Energy Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

Never Too Far

Help can take myriad forms.  For labeling purposes, help in the Rescue world takes the following forms:

-Catches/Rescues: safely containing and bringing an abandoned rabbit to safety

-Adopting: committing to loving and caring for a rabbit indoors for his/her life span

-Fostering: caring for and loving an adoptable or sanctuary rabbit in your home until a forever home is found

-Networking: spreading the word about rabbit care, adoption and the bleak situation for domestic rabbits on Long Island via social media, in person or any form of communication

-Events: attending and/or helping coordinate education and fundraising events

-Transports: bringing supplies, donations or rabbits from one place to another (often “far” distances)

-Donations: in priority order of their need for our Group at the present time: time, money, supplies

-Bunny Chores: taking that aforementioned donated time and spending it cleaning, feeding and snuggling our foster and sanctuary rabbits

-Collecting Newspaper and Other Supplies: We’ve got to line our litter boxes somehow…

-Emails and Phone Calls: responding to the 100+ contacts we get per month

-Scheduling: adoptions, volunteer shifts, education sessions and events

-Positive Vibes: Energy exists and moves!  Although intangible to some, the positive vibes are amongst the most valuable forms of help you can give!

I think I covered all the major categories of help, but even if I glossed over one or some, you should get the idea of just how much it takes to make this all happen.  We are saving more lives than ever before; just because the team is great at doing so doesn’t mean the workload decreases ever or at all!  For every individual rabbit saved, we need many hours of volunteer time and hundreds or thousands of dollars (yes, per rabbit) in donations depending on length of time in foster care, medical needs, etc.

To those on the outside, it might seem “easy”—just go rescue that rabbit, pop her in a cage and a life is saved.  In truth, an efficient and effective Rescue Group takes way more than that.  We were involved in a rescue this week of two rabbits over the course of 4-5 days.  That rescue took place well over an hour east from the volunteers who were able to coordinate this particular case.  They didn’t balk at the distance or even at the cold weather on the day that Orion (black and white) was rescued.  When Luna (brown and white) was brought to safety, getting her transported west toward our most-frequented rabbit-savvy vets proved a bit more challenging and the ensuing conversation amongst volunteers and supporters inspired me to write this today.

No, I’m not bragging about how much we do.  No, I’m not flinging guilt at those who don’t offer frequent tangible help (PLEASE see the Positive Vibes lines above).  No, I’m not complaining about what this takes—it’s volunteer.  No one “makes” me do this.

When you feel inspired, scan the list above and know you’re never too far to help in some kind of way.  And every second of help, in any form, is treasured and appreciated, always.  Much love.

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