We all know how important having good vet care is for our companion rabbits. The public often looks to the veterinary community for advice and what kind of pets to add to their families and what the specific needs of those animals might be. So vets can make some of our best allies when it comes to discouraging someone from getting a rabbit who might not be prepared for the level of care and attention they require.
Recently, some of our own local Central Ohio veterinarians have Partnered with MMC to share our message. In north Columbus, Ohio, The Animal Hospital of Polaris recently began a patient newsletter and included information about Make Mine Chocolate! in addition to linking to our website.
Also in Central Ohio, Dr. Lani Herrli of the Norton Road Veterinary Hospital took foster bunny Preston to her boys' grade school to teach them that rabbits are not for Easter gifts. She also took buttons from our CafePress store as well as our signature chocolate ceramic pins to give to all the kids.
Sabrina’s House~~Rabbit Rescue of North Carolina attended an event at the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State University on March 31. By featuring the MMC flyers, they were able to generate “quite a bit of conversation” as well as “many ‘thumb's up’ from our guests.”
Dr. Tony Kremer will be appearing on ABC and FOX channels in Chicago this week to discuss rabbits as Easter gifts. He plans to present the anchors with our signature pins! This is a great way to raise awareness of the campaign and to educate the public.
MMC supporter Lois Veeder arranged for Philadelphia-area Avian and Exotic specialist Dr. Len Donato to appear on NBC-10 consumer news last Friday with his bunny. Dr. Donato will also be interviewed on KYW tomorrow morning. It’s fantastic to have the support of the veterinary community, and we are very grateful for their participation!
The Make Mine Chocolate! campaign is the Charity of the Day on Goodsearch! Use Goodsearch for all your internet searches and designate the Columbus House Rabbit Society as your charity. It's an easy way to contribute without hurting your wallet! Proceeds raised help fund our foster program, educational campaigns and, of course, Make Mine Chocolate!
Only one week left to purchase raffle tickets for this beautiful original painting entitled "Mr. Brooks in the Garden" by Joseph Larkin. Tickets are priced at $1.00 each.
Joseph is an extremely talented professional artist who kindly donated his time and skill to create this amazing work of art.
For your chance to win, visit our raffle page!
Make Mine Chocolate! will be the topic of discussion on Best Friend's No More Homeless Pets Forum March 26th - 30th. Our very own Terri Cook will be the guest "speaker"! Have you ever wondered what happens to those cute rabbits sold around Easter? Tune in.
If you would like to sign up for Best Friend's No More Homeless Pets Forum, please visit: http://www.bestfriends.org/nomorehomelesspets/
As always, our Partners are finding clever ways to share the “Make Mine Chocolate!” message. From the west coast to the east coast, in Canada and across the Atlantic in the UK, groups and individuals are telling their neighbors that rabbits are not disposable pets! Here are just some of the creative things our Partners are doing:
On the airwaves! Alabama EARS was on the Chris and Dee Dee show on Star 99.1 FM in Huntsville, AL (the top-rated radio station in Huntsville). They were invited to be on the show after they delivered a press release with a huge basket of chocolate Easter bunnies! They also made a new friend in Lisa Mason of the New 106.9 The Eagle, Birmingham’s Classic Hits Station, when she met them at the Cottontails Craft Show. She has been promoting MMC on her station’s website.
Alabama EARS offers this advice to other groups: radio stations really seem to like being bribed with chocolate bunnies and MMC pins!!
In Wichita, KS, Bunny TNT (Training, Nurturing, and Therapy) will appear on a very popular morning radio show on B-98 FM in a live interview before Easter.
Columbus HRS president, Karalee Curry, will be making her annual appearance on the Louie Free Radio Show, which broadcasts from Youngstown, Ohio. Retailers hop to it! Rabbit Central is again including a flyer in with every order they send out! Cats & Rabbits & More is pasting our postcard to the outside of every shipping carton – that way even the UPS drivers will get the message that rabbits are not disposable pets!
MMC in print! MMC received extensive coverage in the current edition of Kind News, a publication of The National Association for Humane and Environmental Education (NAHEE), which serves as the youth education affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). And MMC’s Terri Cook recently answered interview questions for The Times of Northwest Indiana for an upcoming article. Other publications covering the campaign include The Wichita Eagle newspaper (Wichita, KS), who interviewed Bunny TNT, and The Journal News of Westchester, NY published a Letter to the Editor, written using the MMC template.
E-zine coverage! MMC is receiving coverage throughout the online community. A short article appeared on the Deviant Art website in early January. Freelance writer Terra Walters will be publishing an article in the coming weeks, and the April issue of Catalyst magazine will feature an article by Sunny Branson covering the MMC campaign.
High School MMC Fundraiser! The ambitious students of the Richardson (TX) High School CARE (Concern for Animal Reform and Education) group are holding a fundraiser to increase awareness of what happens to Easter bunnies around Easter time. The money they raise will be donated to Make Mine Chocolate! to allow us to continue our important work.
Adopt a rabbit! One of the most clever ideas we’ve heard this year came from All Creatures Rescue & Sanctuary in North Carolina. They’ve created Plush Bunny Adoption Kits, with each stuffed bunny coming with a care guide, the HRS coloring book, an "adoption contract" with simple-to-understand bullet points of responsibilities towards real bunnies, and a pretend "pen" for the bunny to live in, which the child can decorate. Each toy bunny is named after a real rescued rabbit and comes with a printout of his/her picture and real-life story.
“Make Mine Chocolate!” has gained popularity in cyberspace, and not just by linking to traditional websites. With the increasing popularity of personal networking pages, the ability to share the MMC message has exploded. One way is through Meet Up groups, who organize to meet and distribute our flyers, postcards, and other materials, such as SAVE (Saving Animals Via Education). We’re also connecting to individuals who believe in our message with our own networking pages. MMC can now be found on Facebook (at www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2245514436) and My Space (at www.myspace.com/makeminechocolate) . These pages have been created especially for encouraging visitors to link back to the main MMC site, to browse, explore the Interactive Bun, and learn that rabbits are not disposable pets. Linking to these sites (by becoming “friends”) will encourage visitors to your own site to check us out.
I want to first thank you for your participation in the 2006 “Make Mine Chocolate!” campaign. Once again, with the strength of our partnerships, the campaign was another huge success! Last year saw the addition of Partners from around the globe, from Canada to Great Britain and Australia. Some of our retail Partners helped spread our message by including flyers in the orders they shipped. "Make Mine Chocolate!" ads and articles appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country, and our logo and link appeared on more than 75 websites. Individuals posted flyers throughout the US and around the world, as far away as Australia. More than 2,500 supporters proudly wear our original “Make Mine Chocolate!” ceramic pin. Over 725 others are sharing our message by wearing “Make Mine Chocolate!” T-shirts and sweatshirts, and nearly 700 "Make Mine Chocolate!" magnets adorn refrigerators and doors. Lastly, our raffle of the painting “Racing with the Moon” by Joseph Larkin raised a grand total of nearly $600 to help finance our ads and other campaign efforts.
Here’s a preview of what we’re planning for 2007:
Photographer Challenge: Our biggest challenge at Easter is dispelling the myth that rabbits and young children are a good mix. Portrait photographers often capitalize on this myth by offering kids’ portraits taken with baby bunnies. This year, we’re encouraging our Partners to work with local photographers to find humane alternatives to using live rabbits in their portraits. We’ll post a letter template explaining the campaign and our concerns and offer suggestions for alternatives. We’re also working on a poster that compassionate photographers can display explaining to customers why they are not using live animals in their photo sessions.
Cafepress: While the original pins, magnets and a few shirts are still available through our website, we’ve opened a “Make Mine Chocolate!” store at Cafepress, filled with MMC merchandise! We’ve added coffee mugs, buttons, bags, ceramics, and several styles of shirts. Use the link on our website to hop on over and check out all the great new ways to share our message!
Raffle: The hottest item of last year’s campaign returns: the very talented Joseph Larkin has offered to provide another original painting to be raffled for $1 per ticket. A photo of this beautiful art work can be seen on our website.
The Interactive Bun: Our online learning center will feature a new game that allows the player to build a safe living area for a rabbit. With artwork by Joseph Larkin, this interactive space lets the player choose all the items that go into housing the well-appointed rabbit.
Partners Page: We’ve updated our Partners page with our 2006 Partners in a geographical listing. Please visit here to determine which Partnership option best suits you, and let us know which option you are fulfilling. In order for your logo and link to continue to appear on this page, you must maintain your status as a current Partner.
Web Design and Blog: We’ll continue to enhance our website to make it easier for our Partners to share information, activities, and creative ideas on how you are participating in the “Make Mine Chocolate!” campaign.
Our goals for this year are ambitious, but the enthusiasm of our Partners inspires us to keep the campaign fresh and exciting. Thank you in advance for your continued support of “Make Mine Chocolate!”