Whatever reason you have to get rid of your bunny, it is very important to do that in a responsible way.
Many people think that rabbits are low-maintenance pets but in reality, it is not true. Rabbits are long-term commitment (their lifespan is 7-10 years) and require your time and care as much as dogs for example.
Of course, people might be forced to give their rabbits away for other reasons ( maybe they move to another country, they cannot look after them properly anymore…)
Ok, here is the fact- you have a rabbit or rabbits that you need to rehome. I suppose you are looking for the best way to do that as you still care about your bunny, no matter you cannot keep him any longer.
I have made a research and will be happy to share all my findings with you. I hope this article will help you to find the best and most suitable way to rehome your pet, so just keep reading.
What Are The Bad Ways To ”Rehome” Unwanted Bunny?
Before we discuss good ways to rehome a bunny, let’s see what you shouldn’t be doing if you care about your bunny’s well being.
Don’t release him into the wild – this is not a good idea. People may think that this is something pretty natural. They don’t have to face possible critics or disapproval so leaving the rabbits somewhere in the woods might look like a perfect solution. It is not! Domesticated rabbits are even genetically different from their wild cousins. Pet rabbits cannot survive in the wild. They would die in a very short period of time. The reason could be starvation, predator attack, cold or some illness.
Look at the fur of your bunny. Do you know how many different colors and patterns variations exist among domesticated rabbits? These colors wouldn’t blend in with wild natural surroundings. This characteristic could make your bunny easy prey.
Domesticated rabbits don’t have survival skills developed properly. Why? Because, they don’t need them, they are not meant to live alone in the woods. They rely on humans for food, care, companionship.
Domesticated rabbits are rather timid and much slower than wild rabbits. Definitely less confident! Wild rabbits know the terrain and how and where to seek a safe place to hide. Your pet doesn’t.
Don’t leave your pet at the side of the road – You might see this option as less cruel, as you leave your bunny near the place where some human will pass by and potentially save your rabbit. As a matter of fact, your pet has more chances of dying than being saved.
Rabbits don’t know what is road and how dangerous it is. They don’t know to look after themselves and a vehicle can hit them instantly.
It is also inappropriate and useless to leave your bunny at the doorstep of some pet shop. The pet shop is not a rescue center, they don’t need your bunny.
Bear in mind that abandoning a pet is not legal so anyone found guilty will face the consequences (that could be a penalty or a ban on keeping animals in the future)
I have to mention the cruelest option even though I assume this wasn’t on your mind at all. Don’t kill your pet. I don’t know if you knew but killing a pet is an illegal thing to do so you might get charged for this. It is quite easy to distinguish wild and domesticated rabbits so if you plan to say that you killed the wild rabbits, officials will know that is wasn’t true. It is better to find another way to rehome your pet(s).
If you put ads in local newspapers or online avoid saying ”free to good home” as this may attract the attention you don’t want. For example, reptile owners can see this as a free meal for their pets. They won’t have any problem serving your cute bunnies to their lizards for lunch.
What Are The Good Ways To Rehome Your Bunny?
One of the best and most responsible way is to contact the local rabbit rescue shelter. It is advisable to call them first before you go as they can be very busy and might not be able to attend you if you come without an appointment.
So call the rabbit shelter first and explain the situation. They are used to different situations so most probably won’t receive any critics or things like that because you need to get rid of your pet.
It is recommended to be honest with people in the shelter and to tell them the right reason why you need to rehome your rabbit – no matter which reason you have. Don’t be ashamed.
Either you have financial issues or too many bunnies or a rabbit was a birthday present for your kid who is no longer interested in it or simply you don’t have enough time and sources for keeping bunnies in your home.
It is crucial to be honest and to pass as much information as you can about the rabbit itself, his/her health status, vaccination, spaying/neutering procedure if performed if he/she is litter box trained, etc.
The more information the staff from the shelter has, the easier it will be to find a good home for your pet.
Another great idea is to put an ad in the local newspapers or online. For this option, you need to have time. Putting ads will require some of your time, but checking those people who will respond to the ad will take much more.
Also before you write an ad, do prepare your bunny for adoption. You will be able to find a good home in a shorter period of time if a rabbit is prepared. That means that your bunny should be spayed/neutered, litter box trained, socialized, completely healthy and vaccinated.
After you have prepared your pet for adoption you can start writing an ad.
As I mentioned before, never offer your pets free but always put some small adoption fee, such as 10-20$. This should keep reptile owners away and people who really want to have rabbits as a pet and to take care of them will gladly pay that small fee.
It is also recommended to put some words that describe your bunny in a good way – such as ”friendly or affectionate”. Some practical stuff will also be helpful such as ”neutered/spayed or litter trained”. These things can help people decide to take your bunny.
When speak with people who are interested to take your bunny, ask them about their previous pets. This way you can find out lots of information about the potential new owner of your bunny.
Also, ask them about their home, don’t be embarrassed to ask if you can visit them first. I am sure that you have some perfect home for your bunny in your head so why not go there and check if that perfect picture of yours has anything to do with reality.
If you don’t like the house, people, conditions, simply find some excuse and leave. Don’t give your pet if you are not absolutely sure that he/she will be happy there. Maybe they have small children or dogs or they intend to put your indoor bunny in the outdoor hutch…
Another thing, never give your bunny to a child as children are not capable to look after rabbits properly. Make sure you give your pet to an adult person.
Whatever reason you have, doesn’t matter just keep looking.
Your rabbit’s vet is also a person who might help you with re-homing your pet.
Of course, you can ask your family and friends if anyone is interested in taking your bunny.
Once you find proper home and family for your bunny you can offer them all your rabbit’s things for free. Of course in case you are finished with keeping rabbits. This way your bunny will have something familiar with him.
Moving to another home is very stressful for a rabbit. He doesn’t understand what is going on. In case he has his favorite chewing toy or his litter box or a blanket, this stressful situation could look a little bit better.
Rabbits Behavior as a Reason for Rehoming
If you want to rehome your pet because he has behavioral issues so you think your bunny has a bad personality, consider other options. Is your bunny spayed/neutered? If not, maybe this would help. Of course, the desexing procedure cannot change the rabbit’s personality but can reduce aggressive and destructive behaviour, making rabbit calmer and more affectionate.
If you would like to read more on this topic, I suggest you check our article ”Will My Bunny Change Behaviour After Being Spayed/Neutered.
Have you heard that rabbits are 3rd most abandoned pest in the USA? There are numerous rabbits rescue centers and shelters that are trying to save all that bunnies but simply there is enough space for all them. That is why it is highly recommended to adopt a bunny from the shelter rather than to buy it in the pet store, but this is another topic.
Whatever made you give up on your rabbit, finding a new home for it, is rather stressful thing to do. Will they take good care of him, will he be happy there? Will he miss me? Am I going to miss him?
Sometimes we need to make hard choices and hope for the best. But it is important to be very responsible in this situation and try to find the most suitable home for your little furry friend as I am sure, he/she deserves the best.