RabbitWise® or RabbitWise®'s Bunderground Railroad are never the legal custodian of the rabbits in transport. The agency that physically held the rabbits and requested BGRR services is responsible for them according to their agency's policies and procedures about use of volunteers, transport, transfer of physical custody, liability, and responsibility. In that sense, BGRR Conductors are temporary volunteers for the agency requesting services. Conductors therefore may be asked to present identification and/or complete paperwork for these agencies. All BGRR SCs and Conductors have a certificate stating that they are official volunteers for RW's BGRR and all of them wear tee shirts that state that they are BGRR Conductors. A photo of the Conductor tee shirt is at the bottom of the "Volunteer" page.
RabbitWise® and RW's BGRR operate on the basis of several underlying principles. Participation in the BGRR requires adherence to the these principles.
RabbitWise®'s BUNDERGROUND RAILROAD PRINCIPLES©
1. Rescuers are expected to resist the urge to rescue when it may not be the best solution to transport rabbits over long distances when closer to home plans are available.
2. Every attempt will have been made by the rescuer/agency to find local resources for endangered rabbits before activating the BGRR.
3. Local resources have precedence over geographically distant resources.
4. Requesting assistance from sanctuaries such as Best Friends, Black Beauty Ranch, etc. will be done as a last resort so as not to exhaust our "last chance" resources.
5. It is better to place rabbits in a less than ideal situation than to allow them to be killed. Where possible, these situations can be designated as temporary until more suitable situations can be found. FOLLOW-UP IN THESE SITUATIONS IS MANDATORY.
6. Types of placements in order of preference are as follows: individual permanent adoptive (forever) homes; individual foster homes; rabbit rescue organizations shelter facilities; multi- animal no-kill shelters; sanctuaries; kill shelters used ONLY as a last resort to buy time. AT NO TIME SHALL A RABBIT BE LEFT IN A FACILLITY OR SITUATION WHERE S/HE WILL FACE DEATH. RABBITS ARE TO BE REMOVED BEFORE HARM COMES TO THEM. NO EXCEPTIONS.
7. Some rabbits are not more equal than other rabbits (hat tip to George Orwell).
8. No one rescue group or organization holds a corner on the truth about rabbits; dissent about "what is best for rabbits" is tolerated within reason.
9. Outside conflicts between rescuers, organizations, etc., are not to be brought into the BGRR AT ANY TIME FOR ANY REASON.
10. Cooperation between EVERYONE involved is expected and valued and takes precedence over individual quibbling.
11. Proper decorum and respectful behavior is expected at all times.
12. It IS ABOUT THE RABBITS. This is where the focus will be kept.
RabbitWise®'s Bunderground Railroad wants the rabbits being transported to be safe and well cared for during their travel. To that end, conductors who volunteer with RabbitWise's BGRR are known to be rabbit knowledgeable and have signed an agreement to follow BGRR guidelines, policies, and procedures. We also understand that in times of emergency, everything may not be as well organized as would have been preferable. To help make sure that you have the necessary information for the rabbits' transport available to State Coordinators and Conductors before they arrive for pick-up, we offer the following resources and guidelines.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGENCY PRE-PLANNING
Develop a means to ID the rabbits. "Tattooing" them on the inside of the right ear with a black non-toxic felt tip marker is safe and effective.
Put the rabbit's ID number on all corresponding documents for that rabbit.
Health Certificates (a form distributed by the state of origin's Department of Agriculture), if required, must be signed and dated by a veterinarian.
Put all the documents for a particular rabbit together in one folder. RW suggests using plastic sheet protectors, which will protect the documents from damage in inclement weather.
Always keep the folder and the corresponding rabbit together.
Pack enough food to accompany the rabbits for the length of the trip. Package it in zip lock bags.
Permanently label your carriers, litter boxes, etc. with your agency's name and telephone number so that you may possibly get them back during a future transportation exchange.
Prepare an emergency contact information sheet to give to the Conductor.
HELP US HELP THE RABBITS: CHARGE YOUR DONATION. Use the convenient Pay Pal button below.