February 18, 2021

Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month

Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month

Blog post created by Sam Cryer, Greenhill Humane Society volunteer

At some point, you’ll probably be asked if you’re a cat or dog person. As a volunteer in the small animal room at Greenhill, I usually respond, “I love cats and dogs—but I’m actually more of a small animal person!”

Once I explain that I love small animals so much because I work with rabbits and other “smalls” every week at my local humane society, people are often curious and start asking questions, like:

What do rabbits do, exactly?

Some people think rabbits are boring—probably because they’ve only met under-socialized rabbits who are kept in a backyard hutch. But a bunny who has settled into your home as a companion animal is happy, curious and tons of fun!

Part of my job as a volunteer is to give Greenhill’s shelter rabbits time out of their cage for exercise and exploring. For most bunnies, this is one of the best parts of their day! Rabbits love to explore, and it’s pretty adorable to watch them hop around the room. They rub everything in sight with their fuzzy chins to mark their territory, stand up on their hind legs for a better look around, or even do crazy zoomies and binkies when they get excited.

Aren’t rabbits just for kids?

Lots of people had a rabbit as a kid—and it often ended in disaster. Rabbits actually make better pets for adults. Why? Bunnies are delicate, so they require more coordinated handling than many young kiddos are capable of. They also don’t like being picked up or carried around. And lest you think all that cuteness only makes rabbits good pets for women—think again. I’ve seen tough he-men totally melt when a bunny snuggles up to them. Just like cats and dogs, rabbits have a way of making their way into your heart.

Rabbits are pretty low-maintenance, right?

Um…No. Rabbits are just as much work as a cat or dog—but they’re also every bit as rewarding. Just like a cat or dog, rabbits need regular vet visits, basic care like grooming and nail trimming, a proper diet, daily exercise, play and cuddle time with their human and plenty of space. Adopting a rabbit isn’t a decision you should take lightly—but it’s also something you should definitely think about! Opening your heart and home to a rescued rabbit can change your life—and theirs—for the better.

Do people actually adopt rabbits?

If you had a rabbit as a kid, chances are you got it at a pet store or from a backyard breeder. If you’re thinking about a pet bunny, there are so many reasons to adopt one from a local shelter. Here are just a few:

Rabbits from Greenhill come with a voucher for a free first veterinary exam. Phew! Being a responsible pet parent just got easier.

Rabbits from Greenhill are already spayed or neutered and microchipped. Microchipping increases the likelihood of finding your fuzzy pal again if they ever get lost, while getting them fixed can help with behavior and training. Spay/neuter is an expensive surgery—but it’s already taken care of when you adopt from Greenhill.

Rabbits from Greenhill are used to people. Volunteers spend time with them every day, so when you adopt a bunny you’re getting a rabbit that’s used to being handled, and has already learned to associate people with good things like petting and treats.

Rabbits from Greenhill have also already received basic litterbox training. Yes—rabbits can be litterbox trained! This doesn’t mean there won’t be accidents at home. Rabbits often need to be re-taught this skill after transitioning to a new environment. But most of them catch on fast, especially since they’re already familiar with using a litterbox from their time in the shelter.

By adopting a rabbit, you’re directly helping with the rabbit overpopulation problem in Oregon. Yep, it’s a thing. Irresponsible breeding, combined with inexperienced pet owners “setting bunny free” when they don’t feel able to care for them any more means that shelters are hard-pressed to keep up with the number of bunnies who need loving homes. You can make all the difference for one of them!

The small animal staff and volunteers at Greenhill love these rabbits! We’ll be able to tell you about each rabbit’s personality so you can find the right buddy. And if you run into problems at home, you can always call to get answers and support. We’re here for you!

Already have a bunny? Rabbits are often happiest with a friend. Bunny bonding is no carrot cake walk—but with the support of Greenhill’s staff your chances of being able to give two bunnies a home with each other go up exponentially.

Is Adopting a Rabbit Right for You?

That’s a big question, and one I can’t hope to answer in a blog post. But if you have a heart for animals; a safe indoor space for bunny to live, play and exercise; and a willingness to learn, chances are that adopting a rabbit could be exactly right for you. Who knows? Maybe your new best friend is waiting for you at Greenhill right now:

Marshmallow – I’m cute and I know it! I can be shy and I don’t like to be picked up, but I’m very curious and love to explore. I also get very relaxed when people give me gentle pets on my forehead. 

Max – Everybody tells me how handsome I am—so I guess they must be right! I am a little shy at first but warm up to people once I get to know them. I’m also very quiet—except when I’m shredding newspaper.

Raspberry – I have a big personality and love getting attention! Playtime is my favorite. I like to be moving and exploring, so being held isn’t my thing, but I’m getting much better about being picked up.

Blueberry – I was super shy when I first came to the shelter, but I’m learning that people can be pretty cool—especially when they give me greens. I like to explore and don’t stand still for long during playtime, but I’ll let you pet me if I’m not too busy.

Kylo – I was found as a baby with my five siblings and I’ve been in foster care for a while. The shelter environment is still new to me, but I’m getting used to it. I’m pretty shy, but super sweet.

Boboa – I’m Kylo’s brother and am also new to the shelter. I’m still getting used to things too, but I’m naturally brave and outgoing, so it probably won’t take me long to warm up. I really like being petted.

Solo – I’m probably a younger brother of Kylo and Boboa’s from a different litter. I was found all by myself. Maybe that’s part of what makes me shy, but I would love to find a home with gentle people who will help me settle in and feel comfortable.

Chase – I’m a super cute little dude with a big personality. The first thing you should know about me is that I like to be the boss. The people at the shelter say I should go home with somebody who is bunny-experienced and okay with some sass. Even though I have a bit of an attitude sometimes I’m also lots of fun! I love to explore and nose rubs are my favorite.

Learn more about rabbits as pets and see who is available for adoption at https://www.green-hill.org/adopt_other.