Thinking of Giving Up Your Rabbit?
Our Intake Policies
Every day we get calls and emails from people who feel that they cannot, or don’t want to keep their rabbit any longer. We would love to help every needy rabbit out there but the reality is that we just don’t have the space and resources to help them all.
The GHRS is committed to taking in abandoned rabbits and those who have run out of time at the local animal shelters so that we can save them from euthanasia. We will consider cases of extreme difficulty if we have the space. If you feel that your situation qualifies under one of these stipulations, you can fill out our intake request form and we will take your case into consideration.
Because we are a “No Kill” shelter, any rabbit that we accept into our care will remain with us for the remainder of its life, regardless of the cost. Some of these wonderful rabbits have minor health issues, or are passed over because of size or appearance or shyness. That means that much of our foster space is taken by Sanctuary rabbits. Though these sanctuary rabbits are still offered up for adoption and we never give up hope of placing them, chances are that they will live out their days under our care. Though we gladly take on this commitment, the reality of it means that we have fewer spaces available for new intakes.
Maybe You Don’t Have To Give Your Bunny Up
Do you feel like your rabbit has behavior issues that make him difficult to live with? Chewing cords? Digging carpet? Not using the litter box? Aggression? Bad bunny smells? Most of these “negative” behaviors are just misunderstandings between you and your rabbit. If your rabbit isn’t spayed or neutered, chances are that is adding to the difficulties!
Please read our articles on behavior in our Care Health and Diet section, or go to www.rabbit.org for even more information. You can also call our Rabbit Center at 678-653-7175 and talk to one of our counselors. They have lots of bunny experience and can help you with information and suggestions to help you understand what is happening and how to work out your differences so that you can live happily together.
Are You Allergic To Your Rabbit?
If you have discovered that you are allergic to the rabbit or the hay, don’t give up yet! Please read these tried and true solutions for living well together.
Considering Forfeiting Them To A Shelter?
Shelters and animal control have very little space for a rabbit and when one is brought in, it means that another will have to be euthanised. When you surrender your rabbit to a shelter, you have no control over the quality of home he or she goes to. Many shelter workers are not familiar with the specific needs of rabbits and cannot adequately screen potential adopters. Please check references for shelters. Go and observe the conditions your rabbit will be housed in. Is it a place you would be comfortable leaving a beloved pet, or a death sentence? Your rabbit may be placed in a room with meowing cats, barking dogs and lots of people coming by. They will not behave normally and will be frightened and shy, and their playful friendly personality will be hidden, potentially hindering any chance they have for adoption.
If your rabbit boxes or nips because he/she is unaltered, they may be labeled as “aggressive” and “unadoptable”. Shelters (especially animal control) don’t have the resources to spay or neuter rabbits before adoption. They will probably euthanise rabbits with behavior problems, even though the behaviors are normal for most rabbits in that situation.
If your rabbit is ill or elderly, he or she may be euthanized at intake instead of put out for adoption. Most shelters don’t have the funds or expertise needed to treat rabbits for even the simplest of health problems. Most potential adopters are looking for healthy, young rabbits.
If you are surrendering a bonded pair, it’s much harder to place two rabbits together than separately. Many shelters house bonded pairs together, but adopt them out separately to different homes. This is extremely stressful to rabbit pairs. Are you willing for your rabbits to not only lose their home, but be separated from their constant companion?
When You Are Out Of Options
The best chance your rabbit has to be placed in a good home is for you to screen potential adopters yourself. Please refer to the following article for suggestions on how to accomplish this.
You can make flyers with a photo and description of your rabbit and place them with local veterinarians, at pet stores, community bulletin boards, work places, church bulletins, etc. Some rabbit groups will allow you to post on their message boards.
You can place an add in the local newspaper.
BE SURE TO ASK FOR AN ADOPTION FEE. This fee is not for your own profit but to prevent your rabbit from becoming food for snakes and the like. Awful as it may sound, this is the fate for many smaller animals given away at no cost. You also want your rabbit to go to a home that will consider them important enough to pay for and asking for a reasonable adoption fee will likely discourage those who really cannot afford the extra responsibility and associated costs.
Remember to advertise any food, housing, books, and supplies that will be provided with the rabbit. Do your best to get a good picture that can be emailed, and be sure to mention the things about your bunny that you love the most.
If all else fails, PLEASE DO NOT LET YOUR RABBIT LOOSE OUTSIDE! They will become food for hawks, dogs, cats, raccoons or coyotes. They will be hit by a car, become sick and injured, die from starvation and lack of water, become sick from fleas, ticks and flies laying eggs on them, and suffer attacks from wild rabbit colonies. They could also be caught and abused by humans. Sadly, some people are very cruel. It would be better to take your rabbit to a shelter and at least give it a second chance. If it is not adopted, than euthanasia will be a much kinder death than a slow and painful death outdoors.