Useful Information

As with all animals there are many ways to adopt that will not result in paying a breeder.

Check with all rescues in your area even if they don’t specify they taken in rabbits. They may know of one looking for a home.

Speak to your local pet shop. They might know of someone who needs to return a rabbit or has had unwanted litters and needs to find a good home for them. (Do not purchase from the pet shop)

Look on classifieds ads for people who have rabbits they can no longer care for.

 

Buying from Pet Shops

Pet shop rabbits are bought by the stores from rabbit breeders. They breed them for profit so they can have various health problems, one of the most obvious being problems with their teeth. 

 

Where I got my own rabbits.

In the last few year I have taken in 4 rabbits. Each was adopted in a different way.  

 

Mr Rita – Adopted from a dog rescue

 

I was lucky enough to adopt a fantastic rabbit named Mr Rita from MADRA in Galway in 2013. MADRA is a dog rescue but I checked with them to see if they would know where I could get a rabbit. And by some luck they had just taken one in. The downside of adopting from a dog rescue is they were not experience in sexing rabbits and she became a he! 😊. Rita was renamed to Mr Rita!

Mr Rita was around six years old. He was left behind in a garden to fend for himself when his previous owners moved away. Not a great situation for a small creature to be in! Luckily, he was picked up before he was harmed or killed. He was a lionhead breed of rabbit and had a great personality. He especially loved to chase our cat Dexter around. We tried to bond him with another rabbit (Joey below). But due to his age he couldn’t be neutered, and he was far too dominant to live with another rabbit. He lived happily until January of 2017 when he died at the grand age of 10.

 

Joey – Taken for free from a pet shop

Joey was the result of an unwanted litter of rabbits. The owners were told by the pet shop they were getting two male rabbits which turned out to be untrue. These rabbits then had a litter and their two rabbits turned into five! Joey was then returned in a terrible state to the pet shop where they bought the original rabbits. It was lucky for Joey that the pet shop was willing to take him in as a lot will not do this. His hair was completely matted, and he was a very nervous rabbit and clearly not been handled very much. We had him neutered and the matted hair removed. Our rabbit (Mr Rita) was too dominant and we had to rehome he. He found a great home and was bonded with their female rabbit who had recently lost its mate.  

 

Phoebe and Penelope – adopted direct from previous owner

When I was looking to get rabbits in 2020 I had stricter requirements as we now had a child so needed one that was hopefully used to children and living in an indoor environment. I contacted the rescues in our area again and kept an eye on their social media and websites but nothing came up for rabbits. I started to look on online classifieds and Irish rabbit facebook groups. I would usually tell people to avoid the classifieds but I stuck to adverts where people had a rabbit they could no longer care for and avoided the adverts selling young rabbits. Rabbits are happier in a bonded pair so this is what I wanted. I knew with a child in the house, full time work and no experience of bonding rabbits that adopting two rabbits already bonded would be best for us.

This was harder to find as most rabbits for rehoming are sadly on their own. Eventually I found an advertiser to contact. The advert stood out greatly as it contained a lot of pictures of the rabbits in the home environment and free in the garden. They clearly had a good life so far. Most adverts show one picture of a rabbit in a tiny indoor or outdoor cage. The owner had to rehome them as one of their children had become allergic. She asked a lot of questions at first by email and then we had a phone conversation to make sure we were the right home for her rabbits. 

The rabbits are both female. They are both spayed. This is very important even for same sex pairings as rabbits can be very dominant. Penelope, the lionhead, is still dominant but it is far less severe than before the spaying. Rabbits also need to be vaccinated if they are to be put in an outdoor enclosure.