Written and interviewed by Judith Pierce, Editor/Board Member
Genevieve (Genny) Pettyjohn began volunteering for Southwest Florida House Rabbit Rescue about five years ago when she discovered the rescue while researching care information for her rabbit, Thumper. She discovered that it was hard finding good information, so she put a call into the rescue and got the help she needed. It was then that Genny realized the need for more accurate care information to reach new rabbit owners like herself, and she wanted to help.
Not long after that, Genny saw a post on Facebook about the rescue needing transport help for a bunny in the Tampa area (where Genny lives) down to Estero, where the rescue is located. Now, Genny does a lot of transports, she fosters rabbits, and she’s an excellent resource for people needing rabbit care information, especially on bonding rabbits. She has become a great resource to the rabbit community and supports our adoptions in the Tampa area.
I asked Genny a few questions about herself to help us get to know her a bit better.
JP: Who was your first rabbit? Tell us a little about him/her.
GP: My first baby was Thumper. I adopted him from the SPCA in May 2017. He was some kind of a larger lop breed. His “mouf” was the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen! Thumper was kind and snuggly but not very high energy. We quickly learned he was an old man and we only had him in our lives for about a year and a half.
JP: How many rabbits do you have of your own? Tell us a little about them.
GP: Oh gosh, I have seven rabbits! First are Bambi and Cream. Bambi is the second bunny I adopted. She came to us very soon after Thumper because he needed a girlfriend. After Thump passed, we adopted Cream (aka Happy Boy) to become Bambi’s new husbun. They are our living room bunnies and get to roam free. Both are happy and so sweet. Bambi is eight but has the energy of a young bun!
Next is our trio, Arthur, Gwen, and Meadow, my “foster fails” from SWFL House Rabbit Rescue. Arthur (daddy), Gwen (momma) and their baby, Meadow, that didn’t want to leave so she peed on any potential adopters that came to see her! They are the sweetest bunnies you will ever meet!
Lastly are Luna and Snickers. Luna was set to be euthanized by 4pm for aggression when the SPCA reached out to me one morning in July of 2018. And aggressive she was! To make a long story short, it took many months of behavior training for both Luna and me. She is living her best life and takes love from us most of the time! Snickers was one of the Texas hoarding case buns. He wasn’t doing very well when the truck got to us, so I took him home and doctored him up. He never left and found himself a girlfriend in Luna!
JP: What is your favorite part of volunteering with the rabbit rescue?
GP: Do you mean besides all the bunnies I get to love on?! The people. I’ve met so many gracious, amazing people. And I’m so grateful for Jen Macbeth, our director, who answered my first call. She was so caring and helpful that I wanted to get more involved.
JP: What other types of activities do you enjoy?
GP: I love enjoying the outdoors, boating and camping with my husband and kids, sitting in the yard to nature watch and, of course, hanging out with my girlfriends!
JP: Tell us a little about your family.
GP: At home, I have my husband Chuck and children Ben and Allie. Chuck and I have been married for 22 years. We were high school sweethearts and started dating when I was 16 and he was 17. Ben is 22 and Allie is 20, and they both attend college and live at home. Allie is at fault for my addiction to bunnies, but Ben has also joined in on the club!
JP: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
GP: Oh gosh! I am such an open book! I am a certified teacher and I work hard to keep my certificate up to date. Teaching is definitely one of my passions! However, not a lot of people know that elephants are one of my favorite animals. I find them absolutely fascinating!
We are always in need of volunteers to help foster, transport, and share their special skills. Click here to submit a volunteer application!