At Funny Bunny Services, dogs and cats take a backseat to another furry friend that’s growing in popularity — rabbits. As the only pet grooming shop dedicated solely to bunnies in Toronto and also one of the only in Canada, owner Morgan Black has cornered a (floppy, furry) niche in the market, and she says it’s only growing from here.
“A lot of people got pandemic pets, and a rabbit for a lot of people was that quick, easy, kind of household rabbit in a chill environment. They’re often good first time pets before going for a dog,” she says. “There certainly were people impulse buying and then abandoning their pets to shelters. But the ones that that went into it doing their research, they fell in love with the lifestyle of owning bunnies.”
That’s something Black can relate to; in high school, she impulsively bought a rabbit, realizing quickly how much work they can be when it comes to grooming. “I’ve always been a give it your all kind of gal. So I taught myself the A to Z on bunnies, including how to groom them. And then a year later, I opened the business,” she says.
She started out helping friends who had bunnies with grooming, then started posting her services on sites such as Kijiji, all while still in high school. Black was performing grooming services on the side while studying to be a pharmacy technician and working another part-time job. “Eventually it just took over my life. And I did not even see it coming,” she says.
Black notes that because rabbits are prey animals, they’ve been evolutionarily programmed not to like being picked up, and generally only like to give affection on their own terms. That can make grooming these animals very difficult compared to dogs, for example. “They’re very fragile, they’re very small — their skin is literally like tissue paper,” she says. “And at regular groomers, it can be a very stressful environment; all the dogs are barking, there are all these loud blow dryers and it’s a really hectic environment.”
That’s part of the reason why Black offers rabbit-only services. “Having a home-like environment where it’s just one-on-one with the rabbit and the groomer, it does wonders,” she says. “I wanted to provide that safe, comfortable experience for them.”
Funny Bunny offers a variety of rabbit-specific services, including a molting blowout, an ear clean and full spa treatment packages for each type of rabbit. The Scarborough shop (they also have a location in New Brunswick) also offers a bunny hotel, with 24/7 care that includes daily play time, cuddles and regular photos sent to owners.
For now, Black says Funny Bunny has their hands full with two locations, but in the future, she hopes to open a location on the west side in Toronto. “We have hundreds of clients that venture out every single day to get their rabbits groomed, but it’s a long trek, and with rabbits, like I said, they can get stressed,” she says of the 30 French Ave. location in Scarborough.