2022 update: *Please note that Rabbit Romper Room has been temporarily discontinued due to the Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV).*

It’s a little known fact that rabbits are the third most frequently surrendered animal to shelters. They are often overlooked and misunderstood as companion animals.

To ensure the shelter rabbits are getting socialized and enrichment, “Rabbit Romper Room” was started over 10 years ago. Rabbit Romper Room is a dedicated space for shelter rabbits to run and play freely outside of their cages.

Sometimes the bunnies quietly explore their new and improved enclosure nibbling hay, and sometimes they enjoy hopping around doing “binkies.” When a rabbit is very happy, he will jump into the air and twists its head and body in opposite directions (sometimes twice) before falling back to the ground. This can be done while standing in one place, or while running, which is sometimes called the “happy bunny dance.” A rabbit can even turn 180o in midair. All this is a rabbit’s way of telling you that it is happy and overall pleased with you and its life! Some rabbits binky a lot and some hardly at all, even if they are being treated well.

Rabbit Romper Room is set-up in the education room in the Whittell building every Wednesday. Key to the success of Rabbit Romper Room is our very own “rabbit whisperer” volunteer, Paula Spencer. Paula has taken the lead in training, scheduling, and supervising the volunteers at each weekly session. From set up at 11am to clean up at 5:30 pm, Paula is present to ensure the rabbits are comfortable and enjoying their play time. She also spends every session teaching the volunteers about the nuances of rabbit health and behavior.

In addition, prospective adopters come to visit the adoption rabbits in Romper Room. This is an opportunity for them come in to spend time with the rabbits, learn about the benefits of rabbit companionship through adoption, and how to care for one in their own home. BTW, Paula and the other volunteers like to spread the message on the importance of spaying and neutering rabbits. In fact, here’s a compelling statistic they like to share to drive he point home — if two rabbits are allowed to breed and their offspring breed, in seven years they will have at least 184 billion rabbits!

Come check out Rabbit Romper room on Wednesday’s … you may see some great gymnastics moves in the form of bunny binkies … and maybe fall in love and adopt and rabbit as your next companion animal!