Finding a Home
for a Rabbit
Rabbits are often purchased
as impulse pets or gifts for children. Sometimes, after people
realize that a rabbit requires the same commitment as a dog or cat,
they question their decision. There may also be times a beloved
family pet has to be given up due to a drastic change in
circumstances in the home.
you have changed your mind about your rabbit, we urge you to speak
to us or read our information about rabbit behavior. Did you know
that spaying and neutering helps to decrease negative behaviors
associated with sexual maturity (including digging and chewing)?
Often, people don't realize that a "destructive", "messy" or
"aggressive" bunny can become a perfect bunny with a little help
from its humans. You may be surprised to find out how easy it
is to litter train your rabbit and bunny-proof your home, making it
easier to have your rabbit out of the pen or cage, socializing with
you. The more time you spend with your rabbit out of its pen or
cage, the more you will realize it has a unique personality of its
you have determined that you really must find a new home for your
rabbit, we urge you to consider the following:
people decide to "free" their bunnies and release them "back" to the
forest. The domestic rabbit is actually a descendent of the European
Wild Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), a different species than the
wild rabbits we have in the U.S. Wild rabbits tend to live in groups
and have complex warrens dug into the ground, where they can retreat
to for protection. In contrast, a domestic rabbit released into the
wild will likely succumb quickly to predators, poison, disease or
food shortages soon after being released. But even wild rabbits
don't live long as individuals: they survive as a species, by
procreating. If you care about your rabbit, please don't release it
into the wild!
option would be to contact your local shelter to see if they will
take your rabbit. Some shelters charge a surrender fee, and some
shelters have waiting lists. You should also find out about your
local shelter's screening policy. Many shelters have to euthanize
rabbits to make room for more to come in. Plus sometimes there is no
screening policy in place. You don't want your beloved pet given
away for human or snake food!
your area shelter is full, or if you prefer to try to find a home
for your rabbit yourself, place ads in newspapers, pet stores, vet
clinics, petfinder services on the internet or anywhere that caters
to animal lovers. It is helpful to provide as many details as you
can about your rabbit: health, personality, behavior, sex, etc. Note
that an altered rabbit (neutered or spayed) is more likely to find a
new home than an unaltered rabbit. We suggest that you provide the
following information to potential adopters:
The rabbit's name
Sex, whether the animal
has been spayed or neutered or not
A brief physical
description, including approximate age and weight
A brief description of
the rabbit's personality. For example: Is the rabbit used to
other family pets or children? Does it like to be petted? Beg
for treats? What does it like to play with? etc.
List any special
conditions for adoption (i.e., no children, indoor homes only,
When placing your rabbit in a new home, it is also helpful to
prepare a list of questions to ask potential adopters. Remember, it
is your responsibility to make sure that your rabbit is placed in a
good home. Some sample questions you can ask include:
Have you ever had a
rabbit before? If so, when, and where is that rabbit now?
How will the rabbit be
Why do you want a pet
What qualities do you
expect from a pet?
To ensure that your rabbit gets a good home, beware of giving your
rabbit away for free or to people who do not appear to be interested
in hearing about the rabbit's personality, likes, dislikes, diet,
behaviour, etc. If you feel that a potential home is not suitable,
then make an excuse and do not adopt to that person. Politely tell
them that the rabbit does not do well with children or dogs, for
example. Remember, it may take a bit of time before you find a good
home for your rabbit. In the interim, we encourage you to read the
educational information on our site or
e-mail us if you need
advice on dealing with behavioral issues.
Thank you for making a positive effort on your rabbit's behalf!
Following are some tips that we believe will be helpful in finding
your pet a safe new home and family. Keep in mind that your rabbit
is a pet and is used to and deserving of a life of love and
attention. Rabbits are intelligent, playful, social animals who NEED
attention and live longer, healthier, happier lives as spayed or
neutered INDOOR companions. A rabbit that lives indoors will
generally live 5-8 years longer than its out-of-doors living
counterpart, to the ripe old age of 8-13 years (some have even lived
to be 15.)
YOU ADVERTISE YOUR BUNNY:
that your pet will miss you and that if there is any way at all that
you can make accommodations in your life so s/he can remain with
you, that is always the best option.
should be spayed or neutered. Altered rabbits make healthier,
happier, neater companions because they no longer have the urge to
mark or protect territory. It will also assure you that no more
unwanted rabbits will occur (millions die every year because there
aren't enough homes for them).
box train your bunny-even if s/he lives in an outdoor hutch. Then
you can advertise a trained house rabbit, thus helping to assure
your friend the best life possible.
your bunny. Spend time with your bunny so that s/he will be more
receptive to adopters and thus help "sell" her/himself.
papers, vet offices, pet stores, Internet (coming soon: detailed
bunny's good points: house trained, fixed, plays peek-a-boo, etc..
a fee. A minimum $40 fee will help assure that your bunny is going to be
a loved PET.
callers. Ask if they know anything about rabbits, have they ever had
one, how much time
will bunny be alone, what about other pets and bunny's safety.
before allowing your bunny to leave your home; you could even drop the
bunny off yourself so you
can do a house check. Say NO if you are not 100% comfortable with
the new people.
new owners what the bunny is used to (diet, etc.) and what sort of
living arrangements are
appropriate for a house rabbit.
brought back to pet stores or breeders are often killed or used as
released into the wild (parks, fields, etc.) WILL DIE - from
predators, starvation or sickness.
Placing a pet in a good home does take time and patience, but it is
worth the effort, and it is the very least that they deserve. THANK
YOU for caring, and good luck!
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