Rabbit Adoption Procedure

Does Your Bunny Need Some Buddy To Love?

Rabbit Adoption / Re-Home Pre-Check

Before you start the adoption process, you should have researched all there is to know on a rabbit’s needs and be sure that you can provide the care, time and money that they require.

Rabbit Adoption Procedure

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. 

Some of the rabbits that need re-homing have already been through enough heartache and stress to last your lifetime, never mind theirs, so there are procedures in place that most adoption centers follow. This is so you, the new owner, and the rabbits have the best possible start.

For example, anybody who wishes to adopt a bunny will require a home check before the animal can leave the center.

Here is a quick and simple process guide to adopting a bunny…

  1. Visit the animal center 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.)
  2. Fill in an adoption questionnaire.
    Here’s the rabbit re-home adoption application from the RSPCA to give you an example what the basic questions.
  3. 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 centers 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.
  4. If the meeting is successful, place a reserve fee on the rabbit(s) if possible.
  5. 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.
  6. A home visit will be carried out.
    A convenient date and time will be booked for a visit by one of the rescue center team to assess your home, hutch, run, and knowledge on rabbits. Note – This is not available in all areas.
  7. 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!
  8. On collection, all adoption paperwork will be completed and the balance of the adoption fee paid. 
  9. 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 center housing so they have a familiar smell of home with them.

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 center for another one.

If you take two rabbits – You are saving FOUR!

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 rabbits that live on their own are much more likely to suffer from boredom, depression, and loneliness.

Some of them are affected so much by this, that they just give up the will to live completely.

Rabbit Adoption Follow On Procedures

Adoption fees vary. Consult with your local House Rabbit Society or animal shelter for prices in your area.

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 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 centers all the time.

Here are 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 into 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 behavior, 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 color 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:

  • Books on Rabbits
  • Rabbit Themed Gifts
  • A ‘homemade’ voucher promising to pay for the rabbit when they choose and complete the adopt a bunny process would be a more heartfelt present.
  • A ‘homemade’ voucher promising a trip to a rabbit rescue center is a great sentiment too.
  • Vets vouchers towards vaccinations/neutering – these are very well received as they represent a considerable cost. 

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Miranda Hawkins
Miranda currently lives just outside Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband, 8-year old son, and what she lovingly calls her “zoo.” Miranda grew up in the Midwest and always had animals around while growing up. After graduating from college, she married her husband Sam and they moved to the mountains of Colorado where Miranda became very involved with the regional rabbit rescues.

Currently, her “zoo” includes two dogs, one rambunctious cat, and three indoor rabbits. Oliver, a delightful Black Otter Holland Lop, and Juniper, a gorgeous Opal Satin Angora, are a bonded pair and have been together for three years.

She had the pleasure of adding an energetic Fawn Flemish Giant to her family one year ago, named Sir Gregor. He had been abandoned outside a pet store and was put up for adoption. Miranda feels very blessed to have this lovable lagomorph living amongst her family and is a strong advocate for educating people about rabbits and how special they truly are.

Miranda has put together a team of rabbit lovers and breeders from across the country and hopes you will find the information and resources on the JustRabbits.com site beneficial. She loves to hear from her readers and looks forward to seeing many more people become loving responsible bunny parents.