Service animals and their human companions must be allowed access to buildings (including restaurants, libraries, supermarkets, and churches), transportation systems, and other public areas and services.
A therapy (or visiting) animal is a generic name given to an animal once it has been specifically evaluated and registered with one of the national organizations that operate in this capacity. Bunnies in Baskets is one of those organizations. Therapy (visiting) animals do NOT operate as specially trained assistance or service animals that open doors; turn on lights; assist the hearing or visually impaired. Therapy (visiting) animals do NOT have federally granted legal access to public transportation, airplane cabins or public buildings as is afforded to service animals. Many different types of animals participate in both AAA and AAT.
Good visiting rabbits come in any size, sex, breed or mix of breeds. They need to like people, be controllable, be trained, well mannered, and have a stable personality. The rabbit's ability to calmly accept unusual or new circumstances is one of many keys to a good visiting rabbit. Not every rabbit will like doing this activity. Rabbits should not be forced to do an activity they dislike; it creates too much stress for them.
The rabbit handler must be able to communicate with his/her rabbit in a gentle, positive manner; recognize their animal's particular signs of stress; and know how to help their rabbit(s).
Younger rabbits can begin low impact training and exposure/desensitizing at any age. Handlers can begin learning handling etiquette and techniques before their rabbit (bonded pair) is ready to begin training. A large portion of what is involved in preparing to engage in these types of activities is exposure or desensitization to a wide variety of unusual sights, sounds, smells, touches and situations. Both the animal and handler learn proper responses to situations.