Why should I want to adopt a rabbit instead of buying one at a pet store and what is an "animal rescue group" ?

Why do people give up their rabbits to animal shelters?

What are your adoption procedures?

What is the home visit like?

How long does the adoption process take?

What is the adoption fee for?

I really want a baby rabbit, how often do you get baby rabbits?

Do you provide bondings for rabbits?

Can I visit the sanctuary and play with the rabbits?

What is your adoption area?

 

Why should I want to adopt a rabbit instead of buying one at a pet store and what is an "animal rescue group"?

Rabbits are the third most abandoned companion animals after cats and dogs. Many shelters in our state and neighboring states’ public animal shelters (as well as nationwide) accept hundreds of rabbits (as well as cats and dogs and other animals) every year from people who are giving them up for various reasons.

NEARLY TEN MILLION animals are euthanized in these shelters every year. Animal rescue groups are "no kill" organizations made up of volunteers who donate all of their time and money toward removing animals from these shelters, spaying and neutering them, providing them with medical care, and adopting them out to good quality homes where they will be assured permanent or "forever" care and love with a new family.

When you make the decision to bring a rabbit into your home, you are faced with two options:

1) support the commercial sale of animals in pet stores which is the reason animal shelters are forced to euthanize thousands of rabbits and other companion animals every year, or

2) adopt a homeless rabbit and save a life. As a non-profit, tax-exempt, charitable, all-volunteer organization, Bright Eyes Sanctuary is dedicated to saving the lives of those discarded animals who have lost their home through no fault of their own.

Our hope for our adopters is that their main concern is not the physical appearance of the rabbit but to adopt the right rabbit for their household and that their motivation is to help be a part of the solution to rabbit overpopulation rather than be part of the problem. We find that prospective adopters who are overly choosy about their rabbit or a friend for their rabbit are usually not the best home. Saving a life instead of assigning a personal value to that life is the motivation we are seeking from prospective adopters. Please review our rabbit introduction policies and if you agree with them, we can help you find a bondmate for your rabbit.

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Why do people give up their rabbits to animal shelters?

Like many consumers, novice pet store consumers often act on impulse and are not prepared for the addition of a living, sentient being to their home. The animal is seen mainly as a toy for a child or an ornament to their home, or simply a passing interest. All too often, the possibility of allergies on behalf of any of the human members of the household to the rabbit or its food (hay) are not eliminated ahead of time. When adopting from Bright Eyes Sanctuary, we take measures to ensure this will not be the case for your human family members.

Once the rabbit reaches adulthood, he or she begins acting like an adult rabbit. This means they become hormonal, have destructive behaviors, and are not usually very interested in people as companions. Of all mammals, rabbits are probably the most hormonally driven animals. The owners of the rabbit are usually unaware of the benefits of spaying or neutering their rabbit, or if they are, simply can’t be bothered with the rabbit anymore now that their children have lost interest and the life of the rabbit receives no consideration.

As the first part of our rescue mission, once we rescue a rabbit from euthanasia (preventable death) at an animal shelter, we immediately have them spayed or neutered. This removes nearly all of the disagreeable behaviors of the rabbit. Please read more about the benefits of spaying or neutering your rabbit here.

Once the rabbit is litter box trained and has waited a FULL 30 DAYS from the time of their spay or neuter, they are ready to be placed into a new, permanent home and be welcomed by the entire family or have the opportunity to be introduced to other rabbits seeking a companion of their own kind.

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What are your adoption procedures?

Because Bright Eyes Sanctuary is an all-volunteer organization, we require the patience and understanding of our prospective adopters. We do not expedite or rush adoptions for any reason. Prospective adopters wishing to adopt a rabbit as a gift will not be accommodated. All members of the family must participate in and be aware of the needs of this animal and should prepare for the rabbit’s arrival.

We are volunteers with full-time jobs, families, and many animals to care for. We simply do not have the time for casual adoption inquiries. If you have one or two questions about a specific rabbit you are interested in adopting, we can usually answer those in a timely manner. We hope you familiarize yourself with all the information presented in this website and when you are ready, fill out an online adoption application for the rabbit in whom you are interested.

Having the completed adoption application and all pertinent information related to your prospective adoption handy saves us lots of time when reviewing and considering your interest in the rabbit. Only an adult should fill out the adoption application. Your private information in the application will be viewed only by our board of directors and not shared with any other organization.

After receiving your application, we may have additional questions for you. We will email those questions to you and also at that time set up an appointment for a phone conversation related to your prospective adoption. During that conversation, a home visit will be discussed as well as any other matters, which may need to be addressed regarding the addition of a rabbit to your household.

Most of the people seeking to adopt a rabbit from us have the altruistic intention of saving a life which we appreciate very much. We also need the prospective adopter to help us save time by working with us within our adoption procedures, the first of which is to fill out our online application which is meant to save us time. We donate every minute of our spare time and many thousands of dollars caring for these animals, so a thoughtfully-prepared, complete application filled out by an adult who realizes they should be the main source of knowledge about rabbit care for their pet saves us countless hours of time.

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What is the home visit like?

The home visit is a courtesy provided to the prospective adopter during which a rabbit foster parent donates time out of their busy schedule to drive to your home and help you evaluate all the concerns, such as safety, regarding bringing a rabbit into your family. During this visit you may have the opportunity to meet the rabbit or rabbits in whom you are interested, however, we should mention that a home visit only occurs when we feel very optimistic the adoptive home is a good match for all concerned.

We don’t have the time or resources to conduct home visits for adopters only expressing a casual interest or who do not have everything prepared for welcoming a rabbit into their home or who are casually ‘shopping around’ the various rabbit rescues in the area.

Regardless of where you adopt your rabbit from, this visit will be very helpful to your family and especially beneficial for the rabbit who will eventually join your family.

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How long does the adoption process take?

Once the application review, phone interview and home visit have been completed and meet Bright Eyes Sanctuary’s standards of care, we will arrange for the rabbit’s final homecoming. All told, this entire process may take several weeks. The process often takes longer if you are adopting a friend for your rabbit whom you yet have to alter and wait for their hormones to subside (a FULL 30 DAYS), then arrange a bunny match or ‘speed date.’ Then the two rabbits must be bonded by our expert rabbit bonder. It is not unusual for these types of adoptions to take weeks. If your rabbit is already altered when you apply to adopt, the process usually takes a couple of weeks depending on the availability for all involved to coordinate a private bunny match. In 99 out of 100 cases, we do not allow the adopter to conduct their own bonding. For more information, please review this information about the bonding process.

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What is the adoption fee for?

The adoption fee covers the cost of altering (spaying or neutering) the rabbit. In some cases, this amount varies and you should check the description of a particular rabbit for their adoption fee. Typically, it costs us $100 for a spay and $75 for a neuter and that is with our rescue discount and only covers the cost of the surgery itself. It does not include the many miles driven to the hospital or the supplies and food used by the rabbit for the entire time he or she resides within our care while awaiting adoption. Most often you, as a private individual, would have to pay much more for this surgery.

Although we are a non-profit organization, we cannot operate at a constant loss so we charge these fees so that we are able to remove more rabbits from shelters, once our current ones are adopted, and have them spayed or neutered right away while they await adoption. We also encourage donations to our cause to help us continue our work. Your donations are tax deductible.

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I really want a baby rabbit, how often do you get baby rabbits?

Since rabbits are pregnant for less than a month and it is not possible to tell if they are pregnant until right before giving birth, we sometimes remove a rabbit from a shelter who has babies before they can be spayed. In that case, we raise the babies and will not adopt them out until they have themselves been spayed or neutered (around age four months). We take great pains to avoid these litters however so it is hard to gauge how often we might actually have babies who are four months and older.

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What is a rabbit bonding and why is it necessary?

Please refer to these articles from our library of rabbit information for a detailed explanation.

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Do you provide bondings for rabbits from Bright Eyes Sanctuary?

We provide bondings free of charge for adopters of Bright Eyes Sanctuary rabbits who are being adopted as a companion for the adopter’s current rabbit. The adopter’s current rabbit must have been vet checked recently by a qualified rabbit veterinarian and they must have been altered for at least 30 days before they can be introduced to Bright Eyes Sanctuary rabbits.

Please note that we do not do forced bondings. If our expert rabbit bonder does not feel the two rabbits are a good match, she will not conduct the bonding or the adoption. Our rabbit bonding expert has done hundreds of bondings and is best qualified to help you find a friend for your rabbit. If you are not concerned about finding the rabbit your rabbit wants to be with but rather the rabbit you want most for yourself, we cannot help you. Please review to our rabbit introduction policies for further information, as an adopter, you should agree with these policies.

Some of our best adopters originally purchased a rabbit from a pet store or breeder and then discovered the plight of shelter rabbits. At that time, they altered their rabbit and started seeking a friend for their rabbit from a shelter or rescue rather than support the commercial sale of animals.

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Can I visit the sanctuary and play with the rabbits?

Bright Eyes Sanctuary rabbits are housed in private homes of foster parents. We are not a retail company and are not open to the public. Normally, for approved adopters who wish to meet a rabbit before adopting them, we bring the rabbit to meet you in your home as part of the home visit. If you are seeking a companion for your current rabbit, please review our rabbit introduction policies. You will need to agree with these when seeking a bondmate from us for your rabbit.

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What is your adoption area?

Our adoption area is Maryland, northern Virginia, and DC.

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Bright Eyes Sanctuary
MARYLAND