We had to cancel the April 1st & May 13th Bunny Yoga because there has been a deadly rabbit virus outbreak in BC recently. The good news is Janet and Krystal from Bandaids for Bunnies has ordered the vaccines from Europe. It should arrive next week, and all of the bunnies under their care are scheduled for vaccination before June, 2018.
I want to fill everyone in on what happened and what’s going on. (Check Latest Bunny Yoga Schedule)
What is Bunny Yoga
In case you never heard of most fluffy and adorable yoga class, bunny yoga is a yoga class with real rabbits running around. It’s a mild yoga class and our instructors modifies it so bunnies and humans remain safe during class.
Sunberry Fitness has been running bunny yoga classes regularly since 2015. We fundraise for Bandaids for Bunnies, a local rabbit rescue and shelter. The 2 ladies that heads the organization, Janet & Krystal, are truly knowledgeable about bunnies and care deeply about animal welfare. Krystal started the shelter in her mom’s garage. They were paying most of the expense out of pocket before a customer suggest we get in touch with them to do a yoga class.
These has been some an extremely fun and engaging class. The support from all of the participants & the community has been amazing! We could not have been more surprised and appreciative by the people that come. And you might have seemed it on TV and BuzzFeed. Yes, these are some famous bunnies now.
2018 BC Virus Outbreak
Right before midnight on Mar 3, our last bunny yoga session, I got an urgent text message from Janet. She sent a link from a March 2nd BC government warning that there is a Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease outbreak on Vancouver Island.
Rabbits with this disease usually die within 9 days, the likelihood of death is higher than Ebola for humans.
This virus does not affect humans and other animals, and cannot be transmitted from bunnies to humans or humans to bunnies. However, the virus can be transmitted by air or by coming into contact with shoes, clothing, bags, etc.
We were able to run March 4th class by asking any participants that went to Vancouver Island in the previous 30 days to change their tickets to a later date.
Then It Got Worse…
Bandaids for Bunnies has been monitoring the situation closely, and together we have been actively coming up with various strategies to make sure the bunnies are not exposed to the virus during Easter bunny yoga on April 1.
Exposure prevention became impossible on March 21 with reported outbreak in the Lower Mainland. With the outbreak so close to us geographically, it is no longer safe for the bunnies to be in contact with a large number of humans.
In early April, BC SPCA further issued a warning to all rabbit shelters to stop public visits. The BC government also recommends all rabbit owners to take extra precaution.
For the bunnies’ safety we cancelled both of the April 1 and May 13 sessions. Anyone with tickets to those 2 sessions can exchange or refund their tickets.
Getting Better Soon
Luckily, a group of shelters in BC was able to locate vaccine in Europe. They are waiting for refrigerated shipping to be arranged. It should be arriving next week if there is no further delay
You can imagine how stressful this has for everyone at Bandaids for Bunnies. They had to temporarily relocated the bunnies, disinfect every cage and then move them back. The vaccination will add an extra $4000 to their annual expense. For this small organization run completely by volunteers this is a 50% increase to their annual budget. They are collecting donation to help with this, if you are looking for a great group to support this year you can find them here.
Back in June & More
The bunnies will be vaccinated sometime before June 1. The classes will be running again starting on June 3. We added 2 extra sessions this year to help Bandaids for Bunnies fundraise. If you have time on a Sunday afternoon in invite you to join us to hang out with the bunnies & do some yoga 😉
Find Bunny Yoga Dates.