Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What is Rabbit Adoption?

Getting totally confused about the talk of "rabbits for sale" and "rabbits for adoption"?  "What is the difference between rabbits for sale and rabbits for adoption?" you might ask.  In this blog post we will try to explain.

Rabbits for Sale 

If you see a rabbits for sale sign or ad you can be fairly sure that the rabbit that is up for sale is one that was bred for the pet market as a product to sell to the public.  Sometimes a rabbit ends up being for sale when it fails to meet the rabbit breeder's criteria for showing or breeding purposes.  Some rabbit breeders breed for show and others breed purely to supply baby rabbits to the pet market.

Rabbits are for sale in many pet shops or from breeders that show as members of a rabbit club while some are sold by people who are known as 'backyard breeders'.  These are people who keep rabbits to breed baby bunnies to sell to the public or to pet shops.

Many cute baby rabbits are purchased from pet shops on impulse by the public.  Often these babies end up in the animal welfare system when they outgrow their baby cuteness.  Impulse rabbit buyers are often unaware of the needs and behaviours of a fully grown rabbit.   Often they begin to hate their rabbit when it becomes an adolescent full of hormones.  Often their rabbit begins to attack them and they don't know why so they surrender the rabbit to the RSPCA or a private animal shelter.  Unfortunately there are so many rabbits being surrendered to shelters that we get an imbalance in supply and demand and hundreds of beautiful pet rabbits are put to sleep (euthanised) across Australia on an ongoing basis as more are bred and sold than can be re-homed via the rabbit rescue systems currently in place.

By buying a baby rabbit from a breeder rather than adopting one you are missing out on quite a lot.  For example the baby rabbit will not be vaccinated or microchipped and will be quite costly.

(NB You might also like to read our article on "Why Desex My Rabbit?" which explains the benefits for the pet rabbit owner of desexing.)

Rabbits for Adoption

Rabbits are offered for adoption for various reasons.  As mentioned above, sometimes people buy a baby rabbit then tire of him or her or they find that their circumstances change and it becomes difficult or impossible to keep their pet rabbit.

Rabbits for adoption are ones that have either found their way into the RSPCA or a private animal or rabbit rescue shelters or are being privately offered for adoption by owners that feel they cannot keep them any longer.  For example this link leads to a private family trying to adopt baby bunnies that their rabbits gave birth to.

Rabbits in the animal welfare system are at high risk for a number of reasons, one being that due to the ongoing sale of rabbits in pet shops, sale by backyard breeders and the excess sold by registered rabbit club breeders their is a high chance that the rabbit will be put to sleep by lethal injection.  Please be aware that there are different rules at the various drop off points for abandoned rabbits.  All shelters have a limited capacity to take in and hold rabbits until they are found homes.  Often rabbits are abandoned or surrendered to veterinarians.  Some vets try to find the rabbits a home and even desex, vaccinate and microchip the rabbits before they go.  Sometimes the rabbits are put to sleep.

If you are thinking of surrendering your rabbit you should ask the vet or shelter what their policy is regarding whether they will put the rabbit to sleep or keep him or her until a home is found.  You should also consider getting some advice from the Rabbit Rescue Sanctuary about the options available to you.  There are many options and we can assist you if you email, text or call us on 0416 062 947.  See our contact page for more information.

 The Rabbit Sanctuary is a 'no-kill' shelter.  Rabbits that are surrendered are kept until they are adopted to good homes.  Some have been at the Rabbit Sanctuary for years because they have not been chosen by anyone to be their special pet.

If you have read this far you will be beginning to see that adopting a rabbit instead of buying one would help break the cycle.  If you choose to adopt a rabbit instead of buying one you will be saving a life because you make a space for another rabbit to be rescued and offered for adoption.

If you adopt a rabbit from the Rabbit Sanctuary you get lots of added value.  Here is what you get:
Your newly adopted rabbit will be:
Mite Free
Vet checked for health
Vet checked for teeth
A Rabbit Care Booklet
A Rabbit House Name Tag by Pet Homes (You can click to get one free for your rabbit along with other free products to try!)
A discount voucher for a RabbitHouse by HoundHouse which we recommend as rabbits love them:)
A big glossy copy of The Pet Directory which contains care articles on rabbits and other pets

An angora and a lop rabbit for adoption

There are many rabbits available for adoption at the Rabbit Sanctuary in NSW

A mini lop available for adoption at the Rabbit Sanctuary.
Rabbits can be delivered to you by pet transport in NSW and VIC.