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I’m a bit biased here, because I exclusively get my rabbits from a rescue.
Actually, not true. Some of my rabbits have been foundlings, but I tend to pass those onto rescues, and foster them until they find a new home.
Why you should get a rabbit from a rescue
As I said, I believe the best bunnies are rescues, and whilst, sure, it’s providing a great home to a rabbit that needs one, but there are other great reasons to get rescue rabbits that are a bit more selfish.
They’re usually neutered and vaccinated
In the UK, you’d expect to pay about £50 for a rabbit – not too far away from the cost of a ‘new’ rabbit, but the added benefits of already being spayed and neutered.
A lot of the more responsible pet stores over here will give you a voucher so you can get your rabbit neutered for free.
That sounds responsible, and it is, but bear in mind that the fewer breeders there are, the fewer competitors there are, so it’s good business as well as good rabbit care.
But having rabbits fixed can be stressful. I stay up all night with mine, checking that they’re not going into stasis, and whilst it’s over in a couple of days, I personally prefer to get a rabbit that already been fixed.
Don’t use being scared of neutering as an excuse not to have your bunny fixed. Two of the foundlings we picked up needed spaying, and I didn’t hesitate to have them both done.
You can get an already bonded pair
It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s just…I’ve been there. Bonding rabbits can be stressful and it’s a lot of work. If I have the opportunity to get a spayed pair of rabbits, I jump at it.
Before you think I’m super selfish and lazy, my boyfriend and I are happy to take any kind of behavioural issue. Aggression and destructive behaviour will actually encourage to adopt, because we have experience in handling it.
You’re helping out other animals
For every rabbit that you adopt from a shelter, you’re helping out another by freeing up a space. I don’t have that much experience in rabbit rescues, because there aren’t any near to me, but I’ve volunteered at a local dog shelter for five years.
It’s staggeringly difficult to find shelter places for animals. Most of these places are charities and can’t afford to build extra kennels and employ extra staff to help them out. I struggle to deal with hearing about people purposefully breeding their dogs when there so many that need homes.
If you just want a rabbit, you can get one within a couple of weeks. But even if you want a specific breed and age, if you have a bit of patience, the perfect rabbit will turn up.
In my five years walking dogs at blue cross, I’ve seen them admit every breed of dog out there. Dalmatians, golden retrievers, pomeranians…hundreds of puppies…I don’t believe there are any good excuses for buying from a breeder, until we no longer need rescues.
There are thousands of rabbits that need homes
Rabbits are abandoned more than any other animal. Probably because they don’t conform to their stereotype of being cute and cuddly. And the majority are terrified of kids and will bite them.
Please consider adopting a rabbit.
You can get one that’s already litter trained
To be honest, there’s every chance that you’ll have to retrain them in their new environment, but you can at least ask if any of the rabbits are naturally good at being litter trained.
Yes, that is a thing. No, it is not common.
Rescuers can give you great advice
I’m not saying that breeders can’t, but if you get an older rabbit, the rescue may be able to help you identify any favourite treats, little quirks, or potential health issues.
Why I wouldn’t buy rabbits from pet stores or breeders
- I don’t agree with it, whilst other rabbits need caring for.
- I prefer adopting rabbits that are already fixed, vaccinated, and bonded. I like to be able to get straight on with getting them settled in without worrying about retraining them later.
- Rescues do a difficult job that I couldn’t do, and they need to be supported
Final thoughts on adopting a bunny from a rescue centre
Please please please adopt. There are so so many super cute, friendly bunnies that need homes.
And trust me, I’ve had baby rabbits in the past, that I’ve treated extremely well, and been very kind too, and they still turned out to be arseholes (luckily I love a sassy bunny).
Whilst your treatment of a rabbit can have some affect on their behaviour, bunnies develop a personality of their own, irrespective of outside intervention and experiences, just like us.
A rabbit you’ve raised from a baby won’t magically be friendlier, cuddlier and like being picked up any more than a rescue would.