Finding a Home for Your Rabbit
Thank you for caring enough to contact Rabbit Meadows and for making an effort to secure your rabbit’s future. If you have adopted your rabbit from Rabbit Meadows, our adoption contract states that you must return your rabbit to us. Please provide a copy of your adoption contract, or let us know which HRS foster home you adopted from and the date of the adoption, as we will need to verify this information. We also need 7-14 days notice in order to make room for a returning rabbit.
Because of the overwhelming number of unwanted rabbits, however, we can take in only the ones who are scheduled to be euthanized at animal shelters. Even then, we can only save a few. Your best hope is to house the rabbit yourself or board her and advertise until you find the right home.
- There are two major steps to finding homes for rabbits. The first is to prepare the rabbit for adoption. The second is to advertise and screen callers for suitability.
Preparing the rabbit for adoption
If you have not already made them, these are the preparations:
1. Spaying/neutering—for health and behavior reasons. It improves the chance of being adopted as an indoor companion (so that your rabbit will enjoy a life that is both safe and social). Unneutered rabbits tend to "mark territory." It also insures that no more unwanted rabbits will be produced after the rabbit leaves your home.
2. Litterbox training—is achieved by fastening a litterbox to the side of the cage in the corner the rabbit uses as a bathroom. Once bunny is using the box, try him in a safe bunny-proofed room with one or more litterboxes. In a matter of days a neutered rabbit can be advertised as housetrained.
3. Socializing. The more receptive your rabbit becomes to petting, the more she will show off for prospective adopters. Spend some social time with her.
4. Learn the bunny’s health status and personality. Follow up on any health problems with a trip to the vet, so that you can tell the new adopter what to expect.
Advertising is as simple as placing ads in local newspapers and on veterinary, pet supply and supermarket bulletin boards.
1. When placing ads state your rabbit’s strong points: neutered, house trained, affectionate, friendly, gentle, bold, etc.
2. Make a flier with a photo of your rabbit, and a detailed story about your rabbit. People will respond to a story with photo much more than to a 3 x 5 card with "rabbit free to good home."
3. A $10-$20 fee in the ad excludes callers wanting a free rabbit for the wrong reasons. People willing to commit to adopting a rabbit will readily pay a fee.
4. To screen people who answer your ad, engage the caller in a conversation about their previous animals to find out what they’re looking for in a companion animal. Explain that you’re asking questions because you want the new adopter and the rabbit to be happy.
5. Define bunny-proofing—a place where items that rabbits find tempting to chew, such as house plants or electrical cords, have been placed out of reach. The rabbit should have a cage but be allowed some supervised freedom daily.
6. Say no, if you feel the home is not suitable; make an excuse. Politely tell the caller that your rabbit doesn’t do well with children, isn’t used to hutch living, is scared of dogs, or whatever.
Imagine the kind of home you want your rabbit to have and then stick to your ideal. It is possible to find good homes for rabbits, but it takes time, commitment and strategy. Good luck placing your rabbit.