Learn about adopting rabbits
Whilst you may know that Support Adoption For Pets are the largest UK animal grant awarding charity you may not know that we also have over 350 small animal adoption centres, nationwide for pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas and sometimes even fish.
Our adoption centres can be found in most Pets at Home stores across the UK and are home to pets that are hoping for a second chance of happiness. Whilst they are with us we feed them, keep them warm with fresh bedding, safe and provide whatever veterinary treatment they may need. We never put a healthy pet to sleep and always strive to find the best home we can for each of our furry residents.
Advice for rehmoning or adopting a rabbit
With rabbits becoming a firm favourite for families, it is important to understand that rabbits aren’t a cheap, child friendly, time saving pet alternative. Actually rabbits do have very complex needs and because these needs aren’t generally known they are quickly being considered the UK’s most neglected pet.
Rehoming bunnies or rabbit adoption should be carefully considered so that you can provide a wonderful forever home for your bunny.
Generally rabbits need to receive daily attention so that they can get use to human contact, which will help with health checks. Most rabbits do not enjoy being carried so it is important that regular interaction with a pet rabbit is done at their level. Hutches should be cleaned out every other day and they must have fresh hay/grass (this should equate to about 80% of their diets) supplemented with rabbit pellets and fresh rabbit-friendly veg and daily clean water. They are social pets so most rescues would request that when adopting a rabbit, you are planning on bonding the new addition to an existing rabbit or taking a pair; which means double the work.
In addition to this they need daily exercise in a large run which ideally should be permanently attached to a large weather/rain-proof hutch! The great, Great British weather is so mixed and varied so you must ensure that your rabbit(s) accommodation is safe and protected! My six adopted bunnies actually have an entire shed to themselves and they love it!
Rabbits need to be vaccinated annually and should always be neutered or spay, regardless of whether they are a same sex pairing. This could help prevent life-threatening illnesses such as cancer in the future and in the case of males, could limit/prevent spraying. Like most rescues, Support Adoption For Pets will neuter, for free, any rabbit that comes from our adoption centres. In fact, in the last 12 months we have neutered over 4166 rabbits.
These are just the basics too! A recent article by Bristol Dogs and Cats Home suggests that the estimated costs involved in caring for healthy rabbits, including set up costs and annual “maintenance” costs, taking into consideration that your bunny could live for 8-10 years, could be over £8,000 which is obviously doubled when you bond a pair together.
This could obviously increase drastically should your bunny get sick and need other treatment. Rabbits can be susceptible to dental issues and they’ve very sensitive tummies.
This is in no way meant to scare off potential new adopters; rabbits are wonderful pets and each will have their own personalities. There are hundreds of bunnies out there that are looking for their forever homes but it is worth understanding their needs and the long term commitment required. Adopting a bunny can be extremely rewarding and it’s nice to feel that you have given an abandoned rabbit a second chance at happiness.
Speaking as a rabbit owner of six rescue buns, it is so rewarding to give them a safe and caring home and they really are great fun to have around
If you feel that you have a stable home and the time to look after a rabbit and you are keen to give a forever home to one, please visit one of our adoption centres or have a look at our Rehome a Pet directory.