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Teen wins grant, helps out rabbits

MILO DIPPEL RECENTLY received a Youth4Youth grant from Vermont Afterschool to create a rabbit adoption and drop-off agency. He is hoping to find a home for Ariel, who he has been fostering for Homeward Bound.

MIDDLEBURY — Thirteen-year-old Milo Dippel, a rising 8th-Grader at the Vermont Day School, is now managing a $3,000 grant. Dippel was awarded the Youth4Youth funds through Vermont Afterschool to support his idea to create a Rabbit Adoption and Drop off Agency.
Dippel’s was one of 43 proposals from across the state in the first-ever Vermont Youth4Youth Grant competition. There were 714 votes cast from young Vermonters and Dippel’s Rabbit Adoption and Drop off Agency project was one of the top seven projects.
Over the summer, Dippel has been fostering three of Homeward Bound’s bunnies: Ariel, Snow White and Belle. Recently Snow White and Belle were adopted, representing the first adoptions under the grant. 
Dippel is using the grant funds he received to provide housing, food, toys, veterinary care, grooming and basic supplies for the rabbits in his care. In his grant application he explained his hopes for the project: “I want to create a place where people can adopt/foster and drop off rabbits knowing that they (the rabbits) will have the care and products that they need to be happy, such as hay, food, toys, shelter and love.”
Dippel’s mother, AJ, is serving as his assistant in the project. “We plan to spend lots of time with each of the rabbits encouraging independence and socialization. I’m proud of Milo for being awarded this grant and for his generosity in helping to find these bunnies new homes.”
Caitlin Sheldon, Homeward Bound’s small animal coordinator, is mentoring Dippel through the project. “We really appreciate Milo’s passion for helping rabbits,” she said. “They are often an overlooked shelter animal and he is working hard to highlight the benefits of having rabbits as companions. He is doing a wonderful job so far.”

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