"After cats and dogs, rabbits are the species most often surrendered to animal shelters," advises the Humane Society of the Unite States. "Most rabbits lose their homes because of "people reasons," such as a move or the owner's inability or unwillingness to care for the animal, not because the rabbit has behavioral or health problems."
When you think you're ready to include a rabbit in your family's home, you'll want to know how to provide great care, meet nutritional, medical and exercise needs. You'll probably need to bunny-proof your yard and home and ask your vet for help when introducing your homes current pets with your new bunny.
But, which pet store is the best place to purchase your bunny? You won't purchase your cotton-tailed friend from a mass-breeding facility or pet store that supports or encourages mass breeding.
You'll want to check with local animal shelters, rabbit rescue groups, local veterinarians for rabbits in heed of a good home. After those choices are exhausted, you'll want to visit breeders for help and information in your bunny search and placement. Animal shelters, rescue groups, vets and breeders all have different roles in helping homeless bunnies so always follow through with research and diligent efforts to make the best bunny match with your family's needs, considerations and care requirements.
Remember that many bunnies that lose their homes are surrendered to local animal shelters. Oftentimes, representatives from rescue and adoption agencies will rescue rabbits directly from animal shelters and continue their care until homes are found. Workers and volunteers at rescue and adoption agencies are knowledgeable and highly attuned to rabbit requirements, overall needs and wellness issues. They can be an excellent source of info during your rabbit search.
Always check in with veterinarians in your city and county. Some may have treated rabbits and may know of rabbits needing a good home. When you check with breeders, you'll want to make sure their business is rabbit breeding. Your best choice will not be your child's best friend's neighbor with cute baby bunnies for sale. The United States Humane Society suggests guidelines for visits to a commercial breeder:
- Look for rabbits that appear healthy, happy and living in clean areas that are well maintained and have adequate lighting. This includes the breeder's home environment.
- Ask the breeder about their relationship with the local veterinarian. The breeder should be able - and willing - to provide you with references and records that relate to the care of rabbits in their care.
- Ask the breeder about their breed club involvement on national, local and state levels.
- Always get a written contract that guarantees your new rabbit's health. Read the contract before signing it, ask questions and double-check that you are able to use the veterinarian of your choice for your new pet.
- Pay attention to the questions breeder's asks about you. They should be interviewing you, as you are interviewing them, about the home and care you will provide for your new rabbit.
- Check out the location your new rabbit was born and raised in.
- Ask the breeder about common genetic problems. They should be able to talk with you about any problems.
- Ensure that the breeder will be willing to help you create a great home for the rabbit you select and continue to be a resource for you throughout the rabbit's lifetime.
Think again -are you ready, now, for your new pet rabbit? Are you able and willing to care for it? Good luck with your new fluffy friend. Look forward to your new rabbit providing you with lots of joy!