No self-respecting site about rabbit hutches or indeed any aspect of rabbit care would be complete without a word about where to get your bunny from in the first place. New rabbit owners can avoid some distressing scenarios – poor bunnies becoming sick or worse dying soon after they reach their new home. Some responsible breeders operate with high integrity and care for their rabbits– others churn them out for profit alone, with no regard for what happens after the sale or the animals’ care needs. This article explains one way to make sure you pay to have a bunny with a health check, get good advice on how to care for you rabbit and where to find these opportunities. There are some tips here to make the process a smooth as possible.
Where Can I Buy A Health Checked Rabbit?
OK, so that title is a little bit sly of us – but… One answer is rescue centres – although the process is correctly termed ‘adoption’ rather than characterised as a straightforward sale. A good rabbit rescue centre will give their rabbits a thorough vetinary check before allowing people to adopt them. Unscrupulous breeders may not provide you with a health history – or allow you to see the facilities the rabbits were bred and raised in. this is especially true with many pet stores – you simply have no idea where they beautiful baby bunnies in the glass cage came from. They may not have been socialised with humans when young, leading to handling problems as they mature. Rabbits are sociable and it’s often advised to adopt two to prevent them becoming miserably lonely – two poorly bunnies is doubly sad. The assurance of a rabbit whose health status if documented is high, next you need to consider whether you are able to provide a healthy environment for it.
Do I Qualify To Adopt A Rescue Centre Rabbit?
High quality rescue organisations will indeed be selective about who they allow to take their rabbits home. This is actually one of the best things you can do for yourself – you want to be sure that long-term, you have the lifestyle and capacity to properly care for your rabbit, to avoid distressing or embarrassing outcomes later down the road. Staff at centres should conduct a thorough interview with you but this is a two-way situation – for you to ask questions that can inform you as to whether this is really the right pet for you. And there’s no shame in deciding between you that perhaps this species is not right for you – rabbits are not low maintenance pets and whilst you may be a very caring person, perhaps you just don’t have the lifestyle to accommodate one right now. If you and the staff have come to a positive decision, you can move onto the formalities of the adoption process.
Do I Get a Rabbit For Free?
Although policies vary by centre, the answer is generally no, as you have to pay a fee to cover the costs of administration for the adoption process. In many ways, this is still very good value, as it includes that all important health check. It may also include rabbit vaccinations – needed against many life-threatening diseases. The rabbit may also have been spayed – to prevent unwanted litters, which again represents good value as opposed to private vet’s fees. Despite perhaps seeming less imposing than a cat or dog to own, in fact, rabbits will cost you money in the long run with housing, runs, supplies and at least annual vet checks so the fee is justified. Once you’ve paid the fees, you’ll need a carrier to bring your pet home in and of course – a rabbit hutch.
Coming Home and Equipment
You will need AT LEAST the following minimum basics:
- A rabbit carrier
- A relationship with a vet who is knowledge about rabbit car
- Spaying if this hasn’t been done
- A large hutch – at least 4 times the size of the rabbit
- A hay rack
- Chew toys
- Roll about toys
- A rabbit run or rabbit proofed are of your home for daily exercise
- Specialist rabbit food and hay
Once you’ve got these basics, you can move onto enrichment and creating the best life possible for your new pet. The staff at the centre can give you plenty of advice on how to care for your rabbit and shouldbe there for you on an ongoing relationship –although health care concerns need to go to your new vet. Rabbit adoption can be an excellent way to introduce a new rabbit to your home and save a rabbit who might in some places, end up being put to sleep otherwise for want of a good home.
Clickable links to Worldwide Rabbit Adoption Webpages – Including Whether Its Right For You And the Buns!
First of all, a general site for rabbit adoption with a huge page of country by country links at Rescue Me’s rabbit pages
Now keep scrolling down for other rescues in your country:
North America – USA & Canada
Rabbit Adoption and Information network co-ordinates many rescue centres and provides advice in the USA
Petfinder co-ordinates many rescue centres which may have rabbits in the USA
Zooh Corner Rabbit rescue works locally in California:
The House Rabbit Society facilitates adoption in many American states at this page:
There are shelters listed at Rabbit Pal’s website – click on the USA link on the adoption page
Ontario rabbit rehoming organisation online – Rabbit rescue
Nationwide Canadian adoption resource – Rescue Me
Nationwide Canadian pet adoption resource – Adopt An Animal
The Humane Society of Canada has a very small section:
There are shelters listed at Rabbit Pal’s website – click on the Canada link on the adoption page
The UK’s Rabbit Rehome co-ordinates many centres and has advice at
Pets Need you is an online resource for pet rehoming in the UK with a section for rabbits
The UK’s nation-wide RSPCA conducts a full vet check for all their bunnies in need of homes and a full interview to help prospective bunny ‘moms’ and ‘dads’
There are shelters listed at Rabbit Pal’s website – click on the UK link on the adoption page
France’s Refuges Animaux has details of nation-wide adoption centres rehoming rabbits
Spain’s Animal Adoption Network may be able to assist:
There are shelters listed at Rabbit Pal’s website – click on the Spain link on the adoption page
The German section of Rescue Me is at this page:
There are shelters listed at Rabbit Pal’s website – click on the Netherlands or Belgium link on the adoption page
There is a huge list of resources for many countries worldwide at Rescue Me’s website -
World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has a country by country list of rescues:
Rabbit Pal – links to worldwide rescues (Australasia, Europe, elsewhere):
IMPORTANT: This article is provided for information only and links are provided in good faith – we cannot endorse nor be responsbile for the content or practice of external links and rabbit rescue organisations. If you have any concerns about rabbit health or welfare, please contact a knowleagble vet. For information on whether your lifestyle can successfully accomodate a new rabbit, please seek professional advice from an appropriate care organisation. Sorry for sounding like a little lecture guys -now that’s out the way, we hope you liked the lovely photos – here’s the genius photographers behind them:
Three bunnies on grass – top photo http://www.sxc.hu/profile/devinkho Bunny on hind legs http://www.sxc.hu/profile/rooling Black and white rabbits http://www.sxc.hu/profile/oOlemon Close up of beautiful rabbit http://www.sxc.hu/profile/christa