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Rabbit Rescue

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Rabbits are cute and fuzzy and adorable, and easy to buy on
impulse, and house rabbits are somewhat of a fad right now.
But rabbits are animals, and animals have quirks,
vulnerabilities, behavior issues, and challenges, so the
rabbit rescue shelters are nearly all full as well. Added to
the shelter load are the thousands of pet rabbits that are
simply abandoned, homeless and wandering hungry and in
danger in cities and towns around the world.

There are many reasons that you may feel that it is
necessary to find a new home for your pet rabbit. Some may
be valid, and if your reasons are, please take the time and
effort to find your rabbit a new and knowledgeable owner.
But first, read this article and maybe some of our
suggestions may help you to solve your problem and be able
to keep your bunny after all.

Common reasons told to Rabbit Rescue Centers when giving up
a Pet Rabbit

1. "Our bunny used to be sweet, but now it has gone bad."

When rabbits get to puberty at between six and nine months
old, they sometimes begin to act like teenagers. Have your
rabbit spayed or neutered and within three to six months the
behavior problems will likely be gone.

Problems related to puberty include:
* Loss of litter box habits
* Aggressive behavior toward you and/or other rabbits
(especially in female rabbits that are going into heat).
* Spraying urine on cage or other walls (especially in male rabbits.)
* Mounting animate and inanimate objects.
* Excessive gnawing (chewing) and/or digging (Note that
rabbits instinctively gnaw and should have safe
things to gnaw. We are talking about excessive gnawing.

2. "We work, and the rabbit is lonely."

If you really are concerned about this, you must love your
rabbit. If you give your rabbit the right food, medical
care, exercise and housing, you are giving it better care
than most rabbits get. Consider adopting a rabbit pal for
your bunny. Two rabbits are more fun and not much more work
or expense than one. They will keep each other (and you)

3. "We got the rabbit for our children, but they don't care
for it."

If your child asked for the rabbit he or she no doubt
promised to care for it. Maybe this is a good time for a
lesson on commitment and responsibility. These major life
lessons must be learned at home, and caring for a helpless
creature is a great opportunity to learn them. If the
responsibility is too large for your child, try having them
do the daily rabbit care along with you. You might discover
that they simply couldn't remember everything that must be
done and felt overwhelmed.

If our suggestions simply don't work for you, at least don't
put the rabbit out as a stray. Domestic rabbits have been
bred and living with people for many hundreds of years and
they don't have the instincts and knowledge to fend for
themselves. If you put your rabbit out, even in a "nice
field or woods," it will either starve to death, be eaten by
a predator, or die of a disease spread by wild rabbits. It
would be more merciful to have your veterinarian put it to

Try these suggestions in this order:

1. First ask everyone you know and trust if they or someone
they know would like a nice rabbit pet. Make sure that they
know what having a rabbit entails and that they plan to keep
it for all its life. (Don't ask a pet store or zoo, your
rabbit will wind up being food for a snake or some other

2. If that fails, put an ad in the paper or on
craigslist.org. Make up flyers with your bunny's picture and
best traits and put them up in your local vet's office if
allowed, or on bulletin boards at your local stores. Don't
offer the rabbit for free; charge a reasonable amount to
keep the "snake food" people away.

When people call, ask about their current pets, if they know
about rabbit care, etc. Try to find the best home possible
for your rabbit. You will feel much better about the whole

3. If all else fails, look for a local rabbit rescue
shelter. If you don't have a rabbit rescue nearby, take it
to the animal shelter. Even if they must euthanize it, it
will be much more humane than dying alone and afraid on the

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