- Why adopt? We believe that rescue groups and local shelters are the best places to acquire a companion rabbit. When you adopt a rabbit from a rescue organization like the House Rabbit Resource Network, you are giving a “second-hand” rabbit a chance at life in a caring, loving, and well prepared home. Plus, when you adopt, you save the lives of two rabbits: the one you adopt and the one who takes his or her place. More good reasons to adopt.
- How do I apply to adopt a rabbit? The adoption process starts by completing our Online Adoption Application. If you have seen or visited with a rabbit you like, please specify the name on your application. Otherwise, you do not need to name a rabbit in order to submit your application. You may also call us at 512-444-EARS (3277) for additional information or questions.
- What is the adoption fee? The fee to adopt is $95 for a single rabbit and $125 for a bonded pair. All rabbits are spayed or neutered prior to adoption. You will be required to sign an adoption contract. The adoption fee includes a packet of educational materials. We encourage you to also purchase supplies at the time of adoption.
- Why do you charge a fee? The fee we charge only partially covers our expense of having the rabbit spayed or neutered, and for expenses incurred during the time the rabbit is in our care. HRRN rarely recovers the costs associated with spaying/neutering and caring for a shelter rabbit via our adoption fee.
- How long does the adoption process take? Depending on a number of factors, it can take from 2-3 days to 2-3 weeks. Once your application to adopt has been received, a volunteer will contact you, usually within a few days. If approved and the rabbit in which you are interested is already spayed or neutered, the process can go fairly quickly. If the rabbit has not yet been spayed or neutered, we will make an appointment to do so. Post-surgery, the rabbit is cared for by one of our knowledgeable volunteers to insure there are no complications and the rabbit is eating well prior to going home. If you are a first time rabbit-adopter, we will assist you in selecting a rabbit companion. This will entail a visit to our own facility or the Austin Animal Center to meet adoptable rabbits. If you are seeking to adopt a rabbit as a companion for a rabbit you already have, this may take a few weeks.
- What is the process for finding a companion for another rabbit? The ideal match is to select a bunny of the opposite sex that is of a similar size and age to the adopter’s rabbit. The potential adopter would select a first choice and several alternates. Keep in mind it is ultimately up to the rabbits to choose each other, not us. The two rabbits are supervised by volunteers in a neutral area while the pairing process takes place. We watch for signs of acceptance and monitor interactions between the two rabbits. We can usually tell within the first 30 minutes or less if the rabbits are a good match or not. The process takes place in our facility or possibly, one of our volunteers’ homes. You will be required to leave your rabbit with us during this time. If we feel the first choice does not work out, then an alternate is tried. It is important to understand your rabbit must be spayed or neutered prior to pairing. Despite the fact all of our shelter and foster rabbits are altered prior to adoption, we will not consider adoption to a home with an unaltered rabbit. Please note: we do charge a $50 pairing fee to cover the cost of supplies and for our time while the rabbits are being paired.
- What about cages and other supplies? Many first time adopters want suggestions on cages, accessories, food, etc. This is part of the service we provide when you are approved to adopt a rabbit from HRRN. We encourage you not to purchase any items or supplies, especially a cage, without speaking to us first. Many cages available in pet stores are not large enough to accommodate bunny and all accessories, or pose other problems (such as ease of cleaning). Many are pretty to look at (and expensive) but in the long run prove problematic. We can make suggestions for everything your rabbit will need and where to purchase. Plus, if you purchase from our Bunny Boutique at the time of adoption, you help support our shelter rabbits and rescue efforts! You may order a cage from HRRN at the time your application has been approved so it will be ready when you bring home your new rabbit companion. The cages we build and sell are affordable and extremely functional as opposed to many “designer” cages available in stores or on-line. Plus, we make sure you get the right size for your rabbit/s. In most instances, having a cage built does not add any additional time to the adoption process.
- A final thought: HRRN (as well as other rabbit resource groups) has a wealth of knowledge and experience – at your fingertips! We encourage you to partake of this. If you think you know what is best for rabbit without ever having caring for one, then this may pose a problem. There is a difference between lack of knowledge and an unwillingness to learn or be educated. If someone finds it to be too much work to fill out a 15-20 minute application and go through a 45 minute phone screening to adopt a companion rabbit that will be part of their lives for the next 8-10 years, then they will not have the commitment of time and love needed to give the rabbit the care s/he deserves. The rabbits we care for have ALL been abandoned in one way or another; they are quite literally “second-hand” animals. The absolute LEAST we can do is to ensure their next home will be their last – a happy and safe home at that, and ensuring their new family knows how to properly and humanely care for them. Remember, that which is easy or free is never valued as much as that which one must work for.