A Hippity Hoppy Time

canine training facility hosts monthly bunny socials

Hillary Bell

A fantastic newly hopped up event has started taking place in Eau Claire at the EmBark Canine Training Center. But before wagging your tails and anticipating that car ride, dog lovers, let me tell you: This monthly event is actually for the cute and fluffy bunny rabbits.

“They really do need exercise, and sometimes burst into running and kicking up their heels. It’s called binky-ing ...”

Rabbits are very social animals, and seem to enjoy being around other rabbits as long as they are spayed or neutered. They also require regular exercise in order to stay happy and healthy. The bunny social event, Hoppy Time, allows room for pet bunnies to play, interact, and explore all inside of EmBark’s training area.

“They really do need exercise, and sometimes burst into running, and kicking up their heels. It is called binky-ing, they do a joyful little twist of their back legs in the air” explains Sue Anderson, the organizer of Hoppy Time.

The idea for Hoppy Time grew when Sue and her friend took a trip to a similar rabbit get together called Hoppy Hour at an animal shelter in Golden Valley, Minnesota. 

“It was amazing, I believe there were at least 80 rabbits, and many more people!” Sue said. “They meet every other Sunday, sometimes getting up to 150 rabbits. The rabbits had dog agility equipment and boxes to play in.” They decided it would be something to try in Eau Claire. “Heather Mishefske, the owner of EmBark, was so encouraging about the whole idea – she instantly and enthusiastically agreed to let us use her facility” Sue said.

All bunnies attending Hoppy Time must be spayed or neutered at least a month in advance of attendance. This will help keep the peace among all bunnies at the event. The cost is $3 per bunny “family.” Some people bring three or four rabbits, and they often have some shelter rabbits there too, so the rabbit community can spread the word to find homes for them. Children are welcome, but they must be supervised and must always ask permission of the owner before touching a rabbit. If you want to get in on the fluffy fun, just come! Spectators are always welcome, too. No charge.

Hoppy Time is held once a month on Sundays from 3-4:30pm. It’s a great opportunity for all bunny lovers to talk and share information about rabbits. The next three dates are Nov. 11, Dec. 9, and Jan. 13.