“ I Can’t Keep My Rabbit Any More ”
What to do when you can’t look after your rabbit any more.
This is what nobody likes to talk about, but I think it’s important. Sometimes, we enter into things for the best of reasons. Right now, if you’re contemplating having to get rid of your rabbit, you’re probably feeling pretty bad, you don’t need a lecture on responsibility, some other website will do that instead. I don’t know you or why you’re getting rid of little Nibbles. The main thing is getting rid of your rabbit the responsible way. I am not discussing the decision making process behind getting rid of a rabbit, just what to do after that decision has been made. I know it can be difficult to think straight when you’re under the extreme stress of having to get rid of your beloved companion, but please read through this article and think it through before you do anything hasty.
Ways NOT to get rid of a rabbit:
“Releasing them” into the wild: This is a terrible idea. Rabbits that are kept as pets are as genetically different from wild rabbits as dogs are to wolves. They can’t survive on their own, and will die from either starvation, predator attack, wild rabbits attacking them or coldness. Drive a bit further and take them to an animal shelter, where they will have a chance at finding a new forever home.
Leaving them at the side of the road: Wild rabbits have no road sense, that’s why so many of them end up as roadkill. Pet rabbits don’t even know what a road is. If you leave them at the side of the road they may even get hit by a car before you pull away. Drive a bit further and take them to an animal shelter, trained staff will look after them and they’ll have a better chance of survival.
Killing them: Please don’t do it! This is not the way to get rid of a rabbit. Whatever they have done, whatever your circumstances, please don’t harm Nibbles. If you care nothing about the rabbit’s welfare, look at it for your own interests – don’t get an animal abuse charge, okay? Officials can and do find out about this very easily, it’s illegal to kill a pet rabbit, they can tell the difference between pet and wild rabbits, and if you get prosecuted you could face a whole host of penalties dependant on where you live. Take Nibbles to a vet or an animal shelter if you really must be rid of them at once and leave him in their care. There is absolutely nothing a rabbit can possibly have done to necessitate being killed, and I’m saying that having been savaged by rabbits more times than I can remember since I first got them. Rabbits are not dogs.
The best ways to get rid of your rabbit:
Advertise as free to a good home: If you have some time (a week or two) before the rabbit must be gone, put an advert on the internet- google “buy rabbits” to see the best places to advertise your unwanted rabbit. To get rid faster, make him “free to a good home.” Give your rabbit to an adult, never a child, and if you’re never having rabbits again, give them the rabbit hutch, toys and feeding things as well, so the rabbit has as much stability as possible.
Take him to an adoption centre: If you don’t have time to rehome him yourself, for whatever reason, take him to an adoption centre. It might be worth phoning around to see which ones take rabbits so he doesn’t end up at a horse rehoming centre or something equally inappropriate. Adoption centre staff get all their animals from people who can’t have them any more, they are usually experienced and non-judgemental, although a few might be preachy due to caring a lot about the animals they rehome. Take it on the chin. Whatever your reasons for doing it, be assured in yourself that you are doing the right thing by getting rid of your pet responsibly.
By doing the right thing, you will save yourself sleepless nights for years to come about what happened to little Nibbles. This is why advertising and meeting the new owners is the best way to get rid of a rabbit – additionally, adoption centre resources are often very stretched so they can’t always take new animals. However, if you can’t rehome him with someone, get him to an adoption centre instead. They are the best two options. Please, please don’t abandon your rabbit or harm him in any way. He is dependant on you to do the right thing.
Keeping your rabbits? Check out this awesome article to find out how I made a rabbit stroller for under $15.