Pairing Off

In recent weeks and months we’ve seen an increase in the number of pairs being surrendered into the rescue service.

This is excellent in many ways as it is perhaps showing that more people are considering keeping their rabbits in bonded pairs or small groups – essential to meet the rabbits’ basic need of constant companionship.

However, it does create a little bit of a problem for the service.  When a bonded pair enters the service we would not consider splitting the pair for adoption.  Assuming they are happily bonded and there is no behavioural or health reasons for separating the pair, they will remain bonded within the service and we will actively hunt for a new home for them together.

However, the vast majority of our adoption enquiries are from existing rabbit owners looking for a new buddy for their rabbit.  Perhaps they have only recently become aware of the need to keep rabbits in pairs or small groups, or in most cases their rabbit has recently lost their partner and the owner is looking for a new companion for them.

This often means our existing pairs are left looking with nowhere to go, and it is not unknown for pairs to wait in foster care with us for around a year or more before a home can be found.

As with most rabbits that come in to the service, most pairs still require neutering, vaccinations, dental work and often some socialisation before they can be ready for adoption, and this often means that the charity spends in excess of £200 on each pair preparing them for their new home.  Our standard minimum adoption donation for a bonded pair is therefore a very reasonable £75.

We’ve found ourselves in the difficult position now that we have so many pairs and groups in the network (currently totalling 45 rabbits!) that its causing a bit of a stalemate for us: foster spaces being used up with very little movement in the network to allow new rabbits in need to enter the service, or to keep that all important cash flow moving to ensure the service can continue to operate.

We desperately need to get these poor guys their forever homes.  These beautiful bonded pairs are just as deserving of their forever home as the lonely singles in the network.

On a trial basis, initially for the month of July only, we have decided to adjust our minimum donation adoption fees to £50 per adoption, regardless of whether this is for a single rabbit or bonded pair.  We hope this may encourage adopters to consider our pairs when looking for new rabbits and help secure a loving, forever home for them.

We would remind all potential adopters that rabbits can be expensive pets to keep, and careful consideration should be given to the potential ongoing costs of each pet rabbit.  For more detail see Understanding Costs & Minimum Donations.