Are you sure you need to rehome your rabbit? Is it because you're moving? Allergies? Bunny's destructive behaviours? There may be solutions to your problem that would allow you and your bun(s) to live in peace. Please explore them, because there are many rabbits out there looking for homes already.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to rehome a rabbit. With rescue groups and animal shelters, there can be long waiting lists, so you should contact as many as possible as soon as possible. And there are risks when it comes to rehoming on your own. Either way, you want to make sure your rabbit is going to a good place, and this can take time and effort.
For a list of local animal shelters & rescue groups, please visit our Animal Shelters & Rescue Groups page.
Rescue groups are networks of foster homes who take in needy rabbits on a temporary basis. Rescue groups often work closely with local shelters who contact them when assistance is needed with a mass rescue (e.g. in hoarding cases, or when rabbits have been abandoned outdoors and have reproduced), or when a rabbit they've been caring for has "run out of time" (many shelters will only keep an animal for a certain length of time before killing it or, when possible, handing it over to a rescue group).
Rescue groups don't always take in animals from the public because their services are so in demand from local animal shelters and agencies. That said, rescue groups are the first place to look for help if you need to rehome your rabbit because, if there is an opening, a foster home will be able to provide a much better environment than an animal shelter. Also, shelters with no-kill policies tend to have long waiting lists as well.
Be careful about rehoming your bun(s) yourself. The staff at shelters and foster groups are trained and experienced in screening potential adopters, and educating people about rabbit care and behaviour. If you don't do a good job of rehoming your rabbits, they'll suffer the consequences. If you have any doubts, trust your gut.
Be wary of rehoming to strangers — we generally recommend against it. That said, you may post an ad about your rabbit(s) on the Toronto Rabbits Facebook page.
If you do rehome on your own, be smart about it, and go above and beyond to give your rabbits the best chance possible. Below are some suggestions for how to do that.
- Carefully interview prospective new owners
- Ideally, stick to people you already know and trust
- Meet beforehand — in person, ideally, but if that's not possible then by Skype or over the phone; email is just too impersonal
- Prepare a list of screening questions to find out how responsible and serious this person is (like the "Screening Potential Homes" questions on this page on the HRC website)
- Prepare a handout with the basic info your bunny's new owner will need:
- A good primer on rabbit care and behaviour
- Your contact information
- Three lists:
- Good websites where they can learn more about rabbit care and behaviour (like the House Rabbit Society, Bunnyhugga, Rabbit Health Central (H.A.R.E.), and others indexed in the Rabbit Web Library)
- Forums where they can ask questions (like Rabbits Online, EtherBun, and others indexed in the Rabbit Web Library Forums Collection)
- Rabbit supply stores and rabbit-savvy vets near where they live (check out the TRC local listings and/or Local Listings Map!)
- Bring the rabbits to the vet's for a complete check-up
- Ask for a detailed receipt, with all the procedures and tests listed
- Take notes about the rabbit's weight and any other findings; or, ask for a copy of the vet's notes!
- Give all these to the new owner
- Give the new owner full bags of supplies so they have lots of time to re-stock
- Maintain a relationship!
- Urge the new owner to contact you if they have any questions
- Check in every now and then to find out how things are going
a.k.a. abandoning or dumping your rabbit. Do not do this. Read "Releasing Your Rabbit," an article by New Moon Rabbit Rescue (preserved on Wayback Machine), and "Feral Rabbit Populations," a post on my old blog, FrankBlog.