Rehoming Your Rabbit

If you adopted your rabbit from VRRA and can no longer keep them, please contact us at 604-612-7699 or vrra@vrra.org and we will schedule a return appointment with you. Let us know if there is a way we can help you problem-solve to keep your rabbit(s). Our adoption agreement requires rabbits to be returned to VRRA if you cannot keep them.

VRRA does not take other owner-relinquished rabbits. There is an overwhelming number of abandoned rabbits in Metro Vancouver and our few foster homes are always full.

If you have found yourself with a rabbit needing a new home, this PetFinder information page, Finding a Home for Your Rabbit, has excellent tips. Another source of information is this Info Sheet from the House Rabbit Society. You can also contact your local municipal shelter, but be prepared that many will refuse to take a rabbit. Go to this link for a list of shelters and contact information.

If you do not want to take the rabbit to a shelter, your next option is to house the rabbit yourself (or board her) and advertise until you find the right home. Talk with friends, coworkers, and family to see if they want a rabbit or ask if they can help spread the word.. It is possible to find good homes for rabbits, but it takes time, commitment and strategy.

There are two steps to finding homes for rabbits. The first is to prepare the rabbit for adoption. This includes spaying or neutering, litter box training, socializing, and learning bunny’s health status and personality. The second step is to aggressively seek an ideal home by advertising and screening callers for suitability.

Spaying or neutering makes a rabbit calmer and easier to litter box train, and thus improves the chance of being adopted as an indoor companion. It also insures that no more unwanted rabbits will be produced after the rabbit leaves your home.

Litter box training is achieved by fastening a litter box to the side of the cage in the corner the rabbit uses as a bathroom. Once bunny is using the box, try him in a safe, bunny-proofed room with one or more litter boxes. (“Bunny-proofed’ means a place where items that rabbits find tempting to chew, such as house plants and telephone and electrical cords, have been placed out of reach.) In a matter of days a neutered rabbit can be advertised as “house-trained.”

The more attention you give your bunny, the more she will show off for prospective adopters. Petting the rabbit (most prefer the top of the head) will teach her to look for affection from humans. Follow up on any health problems with a trip to the vet, so you can tell the new owner what to expect.

When placing ads, state your rabbit’s strong points: “neutered,” “house-trained,” “affectionate,” friendly.” Asking a minimum $25 fee in the ad excludes callers wanting a free meal for their pet reptiles. People willing to commit to owning a rabbit will gladly pay an adoption fee.

To screen people who answer your ad, imagine what kind of home you want for your rabbit, and then stick to your ideal. Engage the caller in a conversation about their past pets to find out what they’re looking for in a pet. Explain that you are asking questions because you want the new owner and the rabbit to be happy. Present a realistic picture of what rabbits are like. If you feel the home is not suitable, make an excuse. Politely tell the caller that your rabbit doesn’t do well with children, isn’t used to hutch-living, is scared of dogs, or whatever. Also, use the Rabbit Care information on our website to our formulate questions to ask prospective adopters, when screening for new homes for your rabbit.

At VRRA, we look for indoor homes for our rabbits, so that they will enjoy lives that are both safe and social. Another VRRA criteria is that an adult, not a child, be the rabbit’s primary care-giver.

NEVER release your rabbit into the “wild”. It is animal abandonment and is a crime. Abandoning a pet rabbit isn’t only illegal, It’s unethical. It’s ecologically destructive. It’s inhumane. It’s a burden on taxpayers, city services and humane organizations such as VRRA.