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Rehoming Your Companion Rabbit

The Rabbit Haven receives many phone calls daily from people who no longer can have their rabbit and must find a new home for their rabbit.

We will do all we can to help you with great ideas to help you find a home for your rabbit. We will work with you to show you how to create a flyer that will help you find the perfect home for your rabbit. As space allows the Rabbit Haven may add your rabbit to our wait list. (We accept rabbits primarily from cities within a 100 mile radius of Santa Cruz County).

Please understand that we also help our local shelters and need to rescue from the shelters first so rabbits do not have to be euthanized.

Of course if you adopted from the Rabbit Haven we take our rabbits back in and wait list them immediately. Special consideration is also given to those people suffering from medical conditions that require their hospitalization or to those who have become incapacitated and can no longer care for their family members.

The Rabbit Haven maintains a rabbit surrender wait list. To get on this list or to have your rabbit accepted into the Haven program, email us your rabbit current photo, current medical rerecords, the rabbits age, living situation, spay neuter status, personality brief and information about their current diet. If we accept your rabbit into the Haven we do expect that the rabbit will be sent with their own personal items so that they are more comfortable during their transition (leaving the only home they have known). The rabbit needs to be spayed or neutered. Ask us for information regarding this too.

The Rabbit Haven also works local shelters, other rescue groups and humane societies to help you find your rabbit a new home as we are often too full to take in new rabbits. . There are an overwhelming number of abandoned rabbits needing space. In fact thousands are euthanized at shelters every year. The Rabbit Haven works closely with area shelters to prevent euthanasia due to overcrowding, or inability to care for special medical or behavioral issues.

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 then advertise until you find the right home. Advertising is a smart idea (learn how to do this from the Rabbit Haven). You can do it. Your rabbit needs your help. Do NOT just post on Craig's list or your rabbit may truly end up in a horrible place. Be Very careful.

There are two primary 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. Learn how to screen through the Rabbit Haven. We will send you forms.

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. In addition your female rabbit can be protected from uterine cancer which causes disease in over 85% of female rabbit two years and over.

Litter box training is achieved by placing a litter box to the side of the cage in the corner the rabbit uses as a bathroom. Use bunny-safe litter. 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 be appealing to prospective adopters. Petting the rabbit 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.

Always ask a rehoming fee. A minimum $50 fee in the ad excludes callers wanting a free meal for their pet reptiles or themselves. People willing to commit to owning a rabbit will gladly pay an adoption fee. Screen potential families carefully: 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, politely tell the caller that your rabbit doesn't do well with children, isn't used to hutch-living, outdoor housing, is scared of dogs, etc. Again, check with the Rabbit Haven to learn how to screen potential adopters for your house rabbit. At the Rabbit Haven, we look for indoor homes for our rabbits, so that they will enjoy lives that are both safe and social. The rabbit has an enclosed home (cage or x-pen) but is allowed freedom to run and play daily. Ask for our adoption criterion or just take it right off our web site. We look forward to helping you and wish you great success in placing your rabbit. Please email if you have questions.

If you must place your rabbit immediately and we are full, the Rabbit Haven will tell you where your nearest and safest shelters are for rabbits. We will also refer you to any other adoption program we know of in your area.