They may be the mascot of Easter in April, but July is the real month of the rabbit. Why? Because July is Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month! Rabbits make amazing pets, and there’s no better time to go out and adopt one than right now.
Is it even possible to adopt a rabbit?
Rabbits can absolutely be adopted. It’s understandable to not know this though, after all, when we consider adopting pets, we usually think of dogs or cats, not rabbits. Rabbits, though, are one of the most popular pets in America and are the second most owned specialty/exotic pet in the U.S. behind fish. Unfortunately, with high ownership rates comes high abandonment rates. Many people believe rabbits are low maintenance and live just a few years when in reality, a well-cared-for rabbit can live around 10 years. This unexpected length of commitment is the primary reason for rabbit abandonment. It’s hard to know just how many rabbits are abandoned and waiting to be rescued and adopted as they tend to be lumped into the “other” category at shelters. But what we do know is that there are tons of adorable fluffballs waiting to be adopted this Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month.
So why get a rabbit?
Unsure if a rabbit is right for you? Here are just a few of the many benefits of rescue bunnies:
Adopted rabbits are full of personality.
Rabbits have incredibly distinct and wonderful personalities, making them perfect pets for just about any pet owner. They can be charming, affectionate, energetic, playful, shy, relaxed, and so much more. When going to adopt a rescued rabbit, make sure to spend plenty of time feeling out if their vibe matches what you’re looking for, just as you would with a dog or a cat.
They can form close bonds with owners.
If you’re looking for a pet that will love you with the same unconditional love you give them, look no further. A comfortable rabbit can recognize their owners by voice and sight and may come on command. More affectionate bunnies may even hop on your lap or lay next to you for hours on end. Of course, many rescued animals may come with fears that will need to be carefully worked through to help that big personality shine through.
They don’t need a ton of living space.
You don’t want to keep them in a gerbil cage, but rabbits don’t really need much space to thrive. A large-sized enclosure filled with food and enrichment items, as well as plenty of time out of their cage to romp around the rabbit-proof home, works well for them. If they have enough room to stretch their legs, hide, and do their business, they will do well. Just make sure you give them enough time out of their cage to exercise – rabbits need a lot of it! This makes rabbits perfect for city/apartment dwellers, and for rural homeowners with lots of indoor space. Just remember, although they don’t need a ton of space, they still need a healthy amount of it.
They’ll fit your schedule.
Rabbits are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dusk and dawn. Rabbits will be wide awake when you’re up and getting ready for work, asleep while you’re away, and wide awake again by the time you get home. You can get them prepared for the rest of the day as you get yourself prepared in the morning, and let them get some exercise, play, and cuddle time when you get home from work that day. Many things, like cage cleaning, for example, can be a tad time-consuming though, so set aside time to meet some of the high maintenance needs of rabbits.
most you’ll ever get is an angry or excited rabbit thumping on the floor. This makes them perfect for pet owners who lead quiet lifestyles or live in apartments with… fun neighbors. This is also perfect for those of us who really need their beauty sleep because although they are active at night, it’s almost always peaceful enough to sleep through.
While there are many benefits of adopting a rescue rabbit, many more than listed here, there are things potential adopters should be aware of before hopping on it. Although they can, and usually do, make amazing pets, things like relatively high maintenance, costly vet trips, need for exercise space, and much more are all things prospective owners should consider. Learning about the common myths about rabbits is important as well.
Where can I adopt a rescue rabbit?
Rabbits are one of the most abundant adoptable pets, with thousands being listed on petfinder.com alone. Here are a few places where you can find and adopt rescued rabbits – enjoy your new best friend!
House Rabbit Society: https://rabbit.org/adoption-resources/
And your local shelter!