You may think it's easy to adopt a rabbit but you can't just turn up and take any bunny that takes your fancy.
Many people think this is the case and then they feel disappointed when this isn't the so.
You have to be assessed to see if you are suitable to adopt a bunny or not. (And a good job too!)
Some of the rabbits that need re-homing have already been through
enough heart-ache and stress to last your lifetime, never mind theirs,
so there are procedures in place that most adoption centres follow. This
is so you, the new owner, and
the rabbits have the best possible start.
For example, anybody who
wishes to adopt an bunny will require a home check before the animal
can leave the centre.
Here is a quick and simple process guide to adopt a bunny...
Visit the animal centre and select your rabbit(s). If
two rabbits have already bonded, they will need to be adopted together.
If you already have a rabbit, then you will need to ensure that your
rabbit accepts the new one.)
Meet the rabbit(s). You can have a cuddle and sit with them for a bit so they get to know you a little.
Some centres use this time for introducing your own rabbit to the
rescue rabbit to see if they 'get on'. However, the bonding process with
rabbits is highly complex and this process may need more time. Read my rabbit bonding page for more on this.
If the meeting is successful, place a reserve fee on the rabbit(s). See
below for UK standard fees & deposits to adopt a bunny. The prices
are for one rabbit however some centres offer discounts for adopting
more than one animal.
All family members should meet the rabbit(s). This
is especially important to those that are going to be the main carers.
If someone is going to tend to your rabbits while you are away on
holiday or a long weekend etc, they should meet the rabbit(s) also.
A home visit will be carried out. A
convenient date and time will be booked for a visit by one of the
rescue centre team to assess your home, hutch, run and knowledge on
If the home visit is successful an appointment will be made to collect the rabbit(s). Mark it in your diary! This is the day your beautiful bunny will be coming home with you!
On collection all adoption paperwork will be
completed and the balance of the adoption fee paid. You will need to take I.D. with you and a means to pay your adoption fee balance, usually minus your original deposit.
All rabbits must be transported in a suitable carrier. Bonded
rabbits should travel together as they calm one another down in times
of stress. A recommended carrier is one that has a completely removable
top, easy close wire window and plenty of air circulation holes. Include
some bedding from their rescue centre housing so they have a familiar
smell of home with them.
10. Release your buns! This is a truly a magical time - remember to have your camera ready!
When a Rescue Rabbit Gets a Forever Home
the moments when my rescue rabbits came home.
I rescued two dwarf lops from my local RSPCA rescue centre.
'Kisses' & 'Cuddles' were already bonded so they both got their forever home together.
Kisses was originally called Kate & was with a buck rabbit called William but she didn't like him at all :-), funny!
She was successfully bonded with Cuddles (about 2 years her junior) who was originally called 'Middleton', but my son was only three at the time and he couldn't say Middleton, so he re-named both of them. Very aptly too!
In fact, they were the inspiration for Just Rabbits. I used Kisses and Cuddles in my very first logo and website banner, way
back when I first started with this site. The image you see
above in the header, is both of them stretched out
relaxing, only hours after they arrived home. They settled in and made
themselves comfortable very quickly! They are also where I got my company colours from too!
Adopt One - Save Two
Think about this... If you adopt one rabbit you are actually saving two! By taking one rabbit home you are making room in the rescue centre for another one.
If you take two rabbits - You are saving FOUR!
I can take this concept one step further...
If you rescue one rabbit from a shelter, when you have a lonely rabbit at home, that's another one saved too.
It's a known fact that rabbit's that live on their own are much more likely to suffer with boredom, depression and loneliness.
Some of them are effected so much by this, that they just give up the will to live completely.
Rabbit Adoption Follow On Procedures
Six to eight weeks after you adopt a bunny, or bunnies, hopefully, a follow up home visit will be made to see how your rabbit(s) have settled in.
Important NoteAbout Neutering Some rabbits may leave the animal centre before they
have been neutered. A free neutering voucher will be issued which must
be used within 6 months of the adoption date.
Adoption Fees The standard fee to adopt a bunny is about £35.00 with a deposit of £5.00
A pair of rabbits usually comes at a discount at about £60.00.
(Note that re-homing centres, shelters and charities have already spent in the region of £200 per rabbit in health checks, vaccinations, neutering opperations & treatments, so your fee is a small contribution in comparison)
Common Adoption Centre Policies
DEPOSITS MUST BE PAID IN ORDER TO RESERVE A RABBIT FROM MOST CENTRES.
THE DEPOSIT WILL USUALLY BE DEDUCTED FROM THE ADOPTION FEE ON COLLECTION OF THE RABBIT.
DEPOSITS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE
NO RABBIT CAN BE RESERVED UNLESS A DEPOSIT HAS BEEN PAID
PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Consider the Rabbit's Lifespan A domesticated pet rabbit can live for a surprisingly
long time. As care and understanding of rabbits improve most bunnies can
now live into their teenage years! So remember
you need to consider the full lifespan of your rabbit, not just the
first few months, when thinking about their long term care.
If you are unsure of any of the above procedures to to adopt a
bunny or you are worried about the long term commitment of it all, you could
consider adopting an
older rabbit or fostering instead.
Rabbits as Gifts
Even if it's Easter, Christmas or a Birthday the practice of giving any animal as a gift should be avoided.
The well known saying "A dog is for life not just for Christmas" holds true for all
animals including rabbits. Rabbits are often given as presents and sadly end
up in rescue and re-homing centres all the time.
Here's some basic reasons why giving a rabbit as a gift is not a good idea...
The novelty wears off - it's usually the gift giver that likes the idea but the gift receiver may not even like rabbits.
The rabbit's long term care
hasn't been considered and the new owner feels overwhelmed by the attention needed to care for a rabbit.
Gifts are usually given on Birthdays and Christmas which are the worst times to introduce a scared little rabbit in to your busy, noisy and bustling household. They need calm surroundings to settle in to.
Many pet shop rabbits are from breeders that have bred their rabbits like crazy in order to stock the pet shops with bunnies for Christmas & Easter. If they are willing to make a profit from this irresponsible behaviour then they are probably just
as likely to be irresponsible in ensuring the health of the animals they are
breeding from. Vet bills don't make good presents.
Most people like to choose their own pet, the colour or character the gift giver may pick might
not match up to the personal choice of the gift receiver.
Caring for any animal is a big commitment and a lot of research is needed before the new owner is confident about their needs. For example feeding the wrong type of food to a rabbit will probably kill it.
However, if you do want to give a gift to an avid rabbit lover, there are lots of other things that will be just as, if not more, gratefully received: