Rabbits can be bought from a petshop or breeder or adopted from a rescue centre - the pitfalls of buying baby rabbits and advantages of adopting...
You can either buy a rabbit from a petshop or breeder or adopt from a rescue centre.
Most petshops sell baby rabbits and this is the most common place to get a rabbit from, however, there are several things to consider. Baby rabbits are far more prone to illness when recently seperated from their mother and you can't be certain of the sex of the rabbit. These days petshop rabbits tend to be cross breeds or Dwarf or Lop eared; unfortunately these have a higher risk of teeth problems which will not become apparent until the rabbit is older. The average cost of a petshop rabbit is £25 to £30.
If there is a particular breed of rabbit that you want, for example a Netherland Dwarf, you can go direct to an established breeder. They will be able to guarantee the sex of the rabbit and give advice on diet and care. We advise you not to go to a casual breeder, advertising in shop windows or the local paper - they will not guarantee the sex or health of the rabbit. You can contact the British Rabbit Council or the American Rabbit Breeders Association for a list of registered breeders in your area. The cost of buying from a breeder is variable but likely to be higher than from a petshop or a rescue centre.
The advantage of adoption is that you can choose a rabbit knowing the sex, temperament and any health problems - by adopting an adult rabbit you are potentially saving yourself a great deal of money and stress by avoiding the most common rabbit health problem, dental disease.
You can adopt a rabbit from your local RSPCA / SSPCA rehoming centre or from a private rabbit rescue shelter. The rescue centre will have vaccinated the rabbit and some centres will also have neutered or spayed the rabbit as a matter of policy. 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.
The process is hassle free and if it really doesn't work out you can take the rabbit back with no hard feelings.
The House Rabbit Society in the USA has a list of rescue centres across the country with rabbits available for adoption.