You may consider buying a rabbit from an animal rescue centre
This can be a good idea, as the rabbits’ health and temperament has already been checked out for you, and they will most likely already have been neutered.
If you are buying from a breeder
1: Ask to see the bunny’s parents, so that you know the size, temperament, and health of the bunny you are buying.
Ask for a Birth Certificate. Make sure the parents shown to you are the ones on the Birth Certificate.
If the hutches are not named, you have no way of being sure.
I have heard of some breeders who simply point out any two of their best looking rabbits as the parents.
2: Ask to see the breeding conditions.
Check for clean ventilated spacious hutches.
A “breeder” who simply brings the rabbit out in a box, and won’t let you look around, could be suspected of having something to hide.
Unclean conditions with a build up of droppings and urine can cause infection.
Better to buy from a breeder who only has a few rabbits for sale, rather than those who have a bulk supply.
The kits would be more likely to have been well handled, resulting in a more friendly pet.
3: Ask to see where the rabbits have their daily exercise.
Exercise is important for a rabbits’ health and happiness.
You wouldn't want to support cruelty, where rabbits are exploited without consideration for their happiness.
Some breeders keep their rabbits like battery hens, in cages without any freedom, (never sitting in the sunshine, or running on grass), locked up all their lives in hutches, just for breeding, to make money or win prizes.
Some even show one exercise area and keep their real conditions shamefully hidden.
4: Check to see that none of the rabbits are sick or have runny noses. Ask to see all their rabbits, not just the one you are buying. Infection spreads fast.
5: Check that the bunny you are buying doesn’t have diarrhea or eye infection or sore ears.
6: A well handles rabbit shouldn’t be cringing or running away.
7: Check that the top teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth.
The lower teeth should not overlap the upper teeth
If you buy a rabbit with malocclusion, it will require teeth clipping all of its life; otherwise it will die of starvation.
This can be very expensive and stressful for the rabbit. Some vets could suggest to remove the front teeth altogether, or to euthanize.
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If buying from a pet shop,
Check for health and temperament of the bunny you are buying.
Make sure you are buying a bunny which is at least 8 weeks old, and obtain some of the food that it has been used to.
If any rabbit in the shop looks sick, it could be possible that they are all infected.
Rabbit Run-Away Orphanage Inc is a not-for-profit organization, staffed and run by volunteers. Our goals include the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of orphaned rabbits. Orphaned bunnies come to Rabbit Run-Away Orphanage as overflows from animal shelters or as dumped and neglected rabbits.
The Australian Animal Protection Society is in Keysborough, a suburb of Melbourne. There is a range of rabbits here and all are desexed and vaccinated. Potential homes are carefully scrutinized to ensure the rabbit's welfare.
The RSPCA has 10 adoption centres across Victoria. Select from the Adoption Centres below to browse the animals waiting to find a second chance at your local RSPCA. Adoptions take approximately half an hour and it’s a great idea to bring the whole family.
This e-book was written by Faye Nagyivan