Please don’t buy me on impulse.
House Rabbit Resource Network believes that rescue groups and local shelters are the best places to get a pet rabbit. When you adopt a rabbit from a rescue organization, you are giving an “orphaned” animal a second chance at life in a caring, well prepared home.
We do not advocate getting your rabbit from a pet store, breeder, or neighbor with a litter, for the following reasons:
- Pet stores, backyard breeders and irresponsible breeders (neighbors? owners?) perpetuate rabbit overpopulation.
- Such sources account for many of the rabbits later dropped off at shelters, turned loose, or left to live out lonely lives in backyard hutches, often receiving minimal care and no attention.
- Accurate care information or ongoing support from stores and breeders is rare. Due to owner ignorance, many rabbits die or are abandoned once they have passed that “cute baby” stage or when they become an inconvenience to people unfamiliar with their needs.
- A rabbit acquired from such a source is more likely to live a short, sickly life. Many are born with congenital problems from over-bred mothers, which produce weak babies. Many bunnies are prematurely weaned. In addition, these rabbits experience stress from handling and changes in diet and location.
- Most first time rabbit adopters are happier with an adult rabbit that has outgrown unruly adolescent behavior. Socialized adult rabbits are usually available only through an adoption program.
- Every rabbit acquired from a breeder or retailer denies a home to a rabbit that needs one. Or, to put it bluntly, for every rabbit purchased from one of these sources, a rabbit at an animal shelter may lose its life.
- HRRN assists potential adopters with their decision through educational materials.
- HRRN provides support and information after adoptions through group activities, a newsletter, and phone calls.
- HRRN rabbits are socialized with people and often with other rabbits or other animals.
- HRRN rabbits are usually litterbox trained or have been introduced to the concept.
- Foster volunteers will have had the opportunity to observe the rabbit for potential health problems.
- You will know the sex and breed of your rabbit. Pet stores and other sources frequently fail to determine the correct sex, especially for young bunnies. They also commonly market bunnies as being of popular breeds when they are not. Many purchasers of “dwarf” rabbits see their tiny ball of fluff mature into a pet that outweighs their cat.
- Mature rabbits will already have been neutered or spayed.
- HRRN volunteers can tell you about a rabbit’s personality, likes or dislikes, and help facilitate the best possible match of you and your new pet.
- HRRN can recommend veterinarians experienced in treating rabbits.
- Adopting from HRRN will help continue rescue, foster, and educational programs