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This article is all about rehoming or giving up your rabbit for adoption. Honestly, this was a hard article to write because I know if you’re thinking about putting your bunny up for adoption you must be heartbroken. Still, I want to help you and your bunny.
In this article, I’ve listed the top “Do’s and Don’ts” of rabbit rehoming. I would like to thank my community of rabbit lovers who were not quick to judge but instead came through with the best advice.
Giving up a pet when you don’t have the means to take proper care of them is almost as hard as putting them to sleep when they are seriously ill. Pets after all are more than just animals, they become part of a family.
For some people, giving up their pets is simply unthinkable and an option they refuse to even entertain, for others, rehoming their rabbits is their only choice and in many cases is in the best interest of everyone involved, including the bunny.
So let’s explore how to find a new home for your rabbit in a way that’s best for everyone involved.
Ways To Giveup A Pet Rabbit
Once you’ve decided that giving up your pet rabbit is the right thing to do, then there are two paths that you can take: you can put your rabbit up for adoption yourself or you can give them up to a rabbit-centric adoption organization or rescue.
Self Rehoming A Pet Rabbit
Rehoming your rabbit yourself might be more tedious because this entails having to put up the ads yourself, scheduling the home visits as well as doing the future adoptive pet parents’ interview.
However, this also means that you have more control over the process and over your bunny’s eventual new home and family. Despite the extra work involved, this option will probably offer you more peace of mind because you know for a fact that you have been meticulous with the process and that you have chosen the best home for your pet rabbit.
Also, this option gives you the opportunity to foster a good friendship with your pet’s adoptive parents. This could mean that you are allowed to have some visitation rights or at least stay updated with your bunny’s new life.
Giving Your Rabbit To An Animal Rescue Or Shelter
Another good option to take when giving up your pet bunny is to give them to a rabbit-ready animal shelter or rescue. Note that I specifically said ‘rabbit-ready’ because many animal shelters don’t have the expertise or equipment needed to take pet rabbits for rehoming.
However, multiple organizations specifically cater to rescuing pet rabbits and those organizations are spread across the United States. I’ll include a list of some of the larger rabbit rescue organizations below.
P.S. We included a list of some of the better-known rabbit rescues at the bottom of this article.
Giving up your pet to organizations/rescues will not involve you in the adoption process. The animal shelter or rescue will do all these activities on behalf of your bunny. However, rest assured that these organizations will be able to pick the best new home for your rabbit.
I don’t recommend giving up your rabbit to a general animal shelter and even if you do, please try as much as possible to give them to a no-kill shelter. No-kill animal shelters are committed to not put-down (kill) animals even if they can’t find that animal a new home. Not all shelters make this commitment for fiscal reasons.
Shelters tend to be packed full of animals and sometimes won’t take your rabbit due to the number of pets that they already have in their care. However, even if your local animal shelter can’t take your pet bunny, they might be able to point you in the direction of a smaller organization that can help your bunny find a new home.
Many areas have a smaller rabbit rescue group that works closely with their local animal shelter to provide rabbit rescue services. Often these groups are made of a group of private rabbit lovers who just are trying to make their corner of the world just a little better.
11 TIps For Giving Your Rabbit Up For Adoption
We all want what’s best for our pets even if in the end the best choice for them is to let them go to a better home.
We compiled here the list of the best tips for rehoming your rabbit to ensure that your rabbit gets to its best home.
1. Make Sure That You’re Sure
The first piece of advice I’d give is to write down all of your options regarding your bunny. There might be avenues that will open up to you once you write down all of your options, maybe just maybe, rehoming your rabbit might not be the only option that you have and it might not be the best option for your bunny.
Think about the reason why you are considering rehoming your rabbit. Are you giving up your rabbit because of behavioral problems? Is your rabbit a chewer or is he aggressive?
Sometimes it is better to get to the root of the problem. The problem that you have might be hormonal in this case, spaying or neutering can help you solve the problem.
If you find that you have problems with chewing then this could mean that your rabbit is bored. This can be solved by toys or more exercise. It could also be that your hutch or your cage is too small for your pet rabbit.
It is important to know that many choices are available to you and there is also a community of rabbit lovers that are more than willing to help you, giving up your rabbit should always be your last option.
2. Have The Answer To The Question
The question you are going to get asked is “Why are you giving up your sweet pet bunny?” It’s an obvious question and a fair question. Anyone who loves you and your bunny will ask it, and anyone considering giving your bunny a new home will ask it.
And they should ask it.
Make sure you know the real answer and are ready to share it even if it’s hard to say out loud.
3. Start With Friends And Family
I know we gave you two options for rehoming your rabbit, but a lot of rabbits end up finding a new home very near to their old home.
There just might be someone who has spent time with your bunny who would be tickled to give them a new home.
4. Check Local Animal Shelters Early
Even if you prefer to rehome your bunny by yourself, check with the local animal shelters early to find out if they take bunnies. If they don’t, ask if they have contact information of anyone who is looking to adopt a bunny. In our article about adopting a bunny, one of the tips we gave there was to leave your contact information with the local animal shelter.
This is also a good time to ask about their adoption policies…specifically, are they a no-kill shelter. I understand the financial reality that leads animal shelters to choose not to adopt a no-kill policy, but you need to know the reality of the situation before you send your rabbit there.
5. Consider Donating To The Animal Shelter / Rescue
If you decide to use the help of a local animal to rehome your bunny, consider donating to that organization to support their good work.
There’s a chance that financial pressures weighed into your decision to give up your bunny, and if so you might not have funds to donate. However, think a little outside of the box.
At the very least, you could donate any leftover rabbit pellets or hay. What an easy win!
What about the rest of your rabbit gear? Do you really need a rabbit cage, feeder, and waterer sitting around? Nope. Maybe the shelter can use that stuff to make your bunny’s time there better and then help other bunnies in the future
6. Ask for an adoption fee
If you are rehoming your rabbit on your own, consider asking for an adoption fee. An adoption fee will help weed out people who don’t have the means to care for your bunny and those that might be looking for rabbits for some other purpose than finding a new pet. For example, some people feed rabbits to other pets.
A rehoming fee does not have to be very expensive but it shouldn’t be cheap either. A $20 fee will do.
7. Be Generous
Rember that you’re looking for a new home for your bunny and not looking to make money on this deal. If you find someone who is a great fit for your bunny, be generous with them.
Either give them your rabbit gear or make them a great deal. It will be better for your bunny to go to his new home with the stuff that he’s used to.
8. Ask Questions Of Potential New Owners
If you’re thinking of rehoming your rabbit on your own you must interview the candidates. This will help you gauge their real intentions, knowledge, resources, and willingness to adopt your pet rabbit.
Some of the questions you can ask include:
- Why do you want to adopt a rabbit?
- Why do you want to adopt this rabbit specifically?
- Have you had any pet rabbits before?
- Do you have other pets in your house? How many?
- How many people live in your house?
- Will you plan for your adopted rabbit to be an indoor rabbit or an outdoor rabbit?
- How do you plan to house your rabbit? In a cage? Free roam?
- Have you had recent pets die? What was the cause?
Remember that it’s okay to be meticulous and thorough. After all, you want your pet to be rehomed to the best home possible.
9. Post flyers In Pet Places
Posting flyers for adoption in pet places is a great way to find animal lovers who might want a new pet rabbit.
Be sure to include a picture of your super cute bunny.
Also, indicating that your adoption fee will include freebies such as rabbit gears and toys will attract more potential candidates. Organizations and rescues tend to also bundle their adoption fees with other services such as free/spay-neuter but they usually cost up to $200. If you will offer all your gear with an already fixed rabbit then you are the most cost-efficient choice.
Potential places to post your “Rabbit For Rehoming” flyer includes:
- Vet Offices
- Pet Supply Stores
- Pet Stores
- Farm Supply Stores
- Animal Groomers
- Animal Trainers
- Animal Shelters
10. Get Social On Social Media
Social media is the modern place to post flyers. Share your information on your own feeds and find rabbit groups that allow such postings.
11. Be Patient
My final advice is to always be patient. It might take time for you to find the perfect home or organization for your pet but all good things take time.
Never settle and never stop looking until you are secured in the knowledge that you have done the very best for your rabbit.
3 Things To Never Do When Giving Up A Bunny
1. Do Not Release Your Bunny Into The Wild
If you’re thinking that your pet rabbit will probably be okay in the wild because they are social animals and they have wild cousins then you are wrong.
Domestic rabbits do not live long in the wild. They do not have the necessary skill sets to survive alone in the wild.
Their wild cousins will not welcome them into the colony like a long-lost family. Instead, you will be leaving your rabbit vulnerable and easy prey for predators.
2. Do Not Kill Your Bunny
I shouldn’t have to say this, but I’ve heard of it happening, so I’ll go ahead and say it; Do not kill your pet rabbit. Even if you are getting frustrated with pet ownership, it is never an option for any owner to put their rabbit down without any acceptable cause.
3. No “Free To Good Home” Ads
You might be looking through some sites and see a post about someone willing to adopt a rabbit but with a caveat, they’re willing to take your rabbit home but it must be free. Avoid these ads like the plague.
Free to good home ads are sketchy at best and often downright nefarious.
All too often, the people who place these ads are looking for rabbits to feed to large snakes, feed to dogs, or to kill them for their meat and fur.
List of No-Kill Shelters For Rabbits In The United States
|Magic Happens Rabbit Rescue
|Indiana House Rabbit Society
|The Rabbit Haven
|831.600.7479 (office)831.239.7119 (mobile)
|House Rabbit Society
|Depends on state
|Depends on state
|Long Island Rabbit Rescue Group
|Depends on state
|Depends on state
|Save a Bunny
|Ohio House Rabbit Rescue
|Midwest Rabbit Rescue & Re-Home
This article serves neither to judge nor discourage you regarding rehoming your bunny. We just want to give you better information so you can come up with the best plan of action for your bunny and yourself.
Do you have other tips not mentioned? Or organizations you’d like to add? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!