HRRN Volunteer Position
What is a Bunny Groomer/Socializer?
The Bunny Groomer/Socializer job is a fun, yet vital position, as it keeps the shelter bunnies healthy, as well as gets them use to people touching and holding them, which helps them with their chances of finding a forever home as quickly as possible.
What all does the job entail?
The Bunny Groomer/ Socializer position requires you to to feel comfortable carrying rabbits–many of whom do not enjoy being picked up or held–to and from the grooming station in the shelter.
You will be shown how to groom all varieties of bunny coats, and be given all the necessary equipment to do so.
Grooming rabbits regularly helps them feel better by helping them shed the fur they may be struggling to, as well as it helps keep that pesky hair from being consumed, which can create hair balls in their intestines if allowed to build up, causing a life-threatening digestive blockage.
Grooming rabbits also socializes them with humans and human contact. Many of our shelter bunnies have been neglected, or have never had much human contact, so this job is imperative for those shy, unsociable bunnies as they are normally the hardest to find homes for. We’ve seen huge changes in shy bunnies who get groomed and handled regularly, they learn to trust and come out of their shell, which in turn helps them stand out during adoption meet and greets.
This particular job has more of a physical risk component then physical restrictions, since you will only be carrying a 4 to 10 lb. rabbit and sitting down while grooming them. But as stated above, many of the shelter rabbits do not like being picked up or handled, and therefore there is a high likelihood of getting scratched, or less-likely (but it happens) nipped or bitten. Normally, when a rabbit gets scared, they kick out with their hind feet to run away, that is the most common situation which ay result in a few claw marks from their kicking to escape. We will show you the best handling techniques to best avoid being injured while handling the rabbits, but sometimes there’s no avoiding it. The scratched are never dangerous or deep, but they still hurt. We also always have a first aid kit available at the shelter.
How long does this take per visit?
This depends on how any rabbits need groomed, and how many other bunny groomers are taking shifts that week. But really, its however many bunnies you have the time for and want to do. Sometimes you may only have 30 minutes so you get two done that day, but then two days later you have two hours and so you get four or five done. It normally takes anywhere from 10 minutes to 40 minutes per rabbit, depending on how difficult they’re being and how much hair they have to brush/shed.
When do I need to be at the shelter to feeds pellets?
This job is flexible in it’s time. You are welcome to stop by at any point during the day to groom rabbits, you just need to let the Volunteer Coordinator know what time you are looking at being at the shelter.
What if something happens and I can't make it?
We get it, things happen. As this position is not one of the more essential jobs (like hayer or waterer), occasional missed shifts are not as disruptive or detrimental, we just ask that you let our Volunteer Coordinator know as soon as possible.
But, we understand sometimes 24 hours notice can’t be given, emergencies happen. If several shifts are missed in a short period of time, we may ask that you either take a break from volunteering until things settle down where you can be more consistent schedule-wise, or see if there is a more fluid volunteer opportunity that may work better for you.
How much rabbit interaction do I get?
Lots! The Groomer/Socializer role is all about rabbit interaction. Eventually, you will know each shelter bunny very well.
Want to become a Bunny Groomer/Socializer?
Yay! We’re so happy you think being a Bunny Groomer/Socializer is the right volunteer opportunity for you! Please fill out our volunteer application and our volunteer coordinator will reach out to you within a few days to schedule your first day at the shelter.