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The advantages of adopting a rabbit, including avoiding the risk of buying a rabbit with dental disease. The adoption process and cost...

It is estimated that over 33,000 rabbits are abandoned every year.  If they are lucky, these rabbits end up in RSPCA/SSPCA rehoming centres or in private animal rescues and are put up for adoption.

Why should I adopt a rabbit instead of buying one?

There are several advantages to adopting a rabbit from a rescue centre:

- you can choose a rabbit knowing the sex and temperament
- if the rabbit is adult, most hereditary health problems can be avoided
- the rabbit will have been vet checked and vaccinated, some centres also neuter or spay as a matter of policy
- the process is hassle free and if it really doesn't work out you can take the rabbit back with no hard feelings

What will it cost?

Rescue centres run by the RSPCA / SSPCA typically charge an admin fee of around £10 to partially cover the cost of vaccinations, while private rescue centres may charge up to £50 if they have neutered or spayed the rabbit.  When you consider that a petshop rabbit costs on average £25 and then you have to have it vaccinated at the very least, adoption is a bargain.

What if I want two rabbits?

Some private rescue centres pair up neutered males and spayed females and then offer them for adoption.  This is a great way to acquire two rabbits as you avoid the hassle of the bonding process and the potential rejection of one rabbit by another.  It's also good for the rabbits as they will have a friend to go to their new home with!

If you already have a rabbit and want to find a companion for it, rescue centres are ideal as they will be able to provide a rabbit that is fairly close in age and can advise on temperament and “good matches".  Some centres allow you to bring your rabbit along for a series of introductions, so he or she can effectively choose a friend for themselves, and some will even undertake the bonding process for you which can take anything from a few days to a few weeks.

How do I find a rabbit to adopt?

The Rabbit Rehome website links up private rescue centres across the UK and you can search for a rabbit to adopt on their website.  They also have a list of rescue centres and you will need to contact the centre by phone or email to arrange a time to visit.

The RSPCA and SSPCA list some of their rabbits on their websites but the easiest thing is to drop into your local rehoming centre anytime during opening hours.  You will need to fill in a form, basically to confirm that you will take care of the rabbit, vaccinate and neuter/spay it, then all being well you will be able to choose a rabbit and take it with you there and then.

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