Rabbits can be very rewarding but are not cheap pets, they require a substantial investment to get their accommodation set up and they will require preventative veterinary treatment throughout their lives. If you have what it takes to be a good rabbit owner, please read on...
When we are very busy we are unable to advertise individual rabbits, however, we normally have in the region of 100 rabbits here for rehoming. Please get in touch and book an appointment to come along to the rescue and see our bunnies!
We ensure that all of our rabbits our neutered and vaccinated before being rehomed and you will also be given a vaccination card with your rabbit. We only rehome our rabbits to live in (at least) pairs, the best pairing is neutered male with spayed female. Some of the available rabbits are already bonded and can only be rehomed in their current pair.
We have to ask for a minimum donation of £80 for each rabbit, (£140 for a pair) which goes towards the cost of neutering and vaccinations. All of our rabbits are vaccinated against Myxomatosis and both strains of Viral Haemorrhaging Disease (RVHD and RVHD2). (See an Explanation of our costs - it's a bargain! »)
If you haven't already, please contact us to let us know that you are interested in adopting from us. We will then arrange a time for you to visit us, meet the rabbits and have a chat. If you would like to adopt a rabbit or a pair of rabbits it would be helpful if you could include some information in your email. If you are looking to adopt a rabbit to bond with a rabbit you already own then please tell us when your rabbit was neuetered and vaccinated or if it is still to be carried out then a date when this is due.
If you already have your rabbit accommodation then please could you send us a description, including dimensions, and if possible a photo. If you haven't purchased your accommodation yet then it is worth waiting until you have visited the rescue because we can show you lots of alternatives to the traditional, and rather old fashioned rabbit hutch. We use the Rabbit Welfare Association guidelines as a minimum size, which are 6ft x 10ft of floorspace with a height of 3ft. If your accommodation is smaller then we will help with suggestions on how you can upgrade it.
We would also like to know about your rabbit experience but don't worry if you are new to rabbits, we can provide you with lots of information.
The animals in our rescue have already been let down for one reason or another so we will do our best to ensure they are going to the best of forever homes.
Before adopting from us we will carry out a home check. This is not to be seen as an exam but for us to ensure that everything is just right for you to be able to give the animal the best experience possible.
Although not a 'black and white' rescue we have decided a home check is usually the only answer to iron out any misunderstandings. Often people have told us that their hutch is "huge, yes, at least 6 or 7ft." When seen it may be 3ft. And, their answer to this is that "it is big enough for two, we have had two in it before." All that we can say is that they will not be having two Windwhistle rabbits in it and we fear for the rabbits they will no doubt acquire from somewhere else.
The initial home check procedure consists of a number of questions. In dealing with the hundreds of rabbits who have been through the rescue, as well as our own pets, we have learnt a great deal, often through mistakes, and some of them fatal. We consider rabbits to be as important as other pets, and much more complex than many. We hope to help prevent owners from making the same mistakes we have!
Many of the rabbits who come here have survived dreadful neglect and trauma. Some have been badly misunderstood, which also falls into the category of neglect. More and more often now rabbits arriving here take a few months to nurse and coax to recovery and trust. Some never make it. We also take in much loved pets whose owners have not wanted to rehome them, but have had no choice. Our aim is for them to land fully on their paws in a loving home, not to end up in the mire from which many came!
We ask people to understand that we feel very responsible for the rabbits in our care, and ask them to wonder how they would feel if they had to hand their beloved pet to us for rehoming. Would you really want us to hand it over to someone without being ever so careful as to where it was going?
Our home check co-ordinater is now Rachael, who will be happy to co-ordinate a vist. Do not be alarmed if you do not hear from her for a few days. If you hear very quickly, it is bad news for the rescue, it means we are not rehoming many and she is only dealing with one or two enquiries!
She conducts the initial checks by email, covering the size of accommodation, food, vet you use, vaccinations, knowledge of illnesses etc. We do not think they are difficult questions. They may require you to get your measuring tape out, but that is probably the most movement required of you! She puts a huge amount of effort and time into carrying this out, but it is all for a reason, the safety and happiness of our animals, so must be worth it.
Rachael will then ask our nearest home checker to come and visit you. We have home checkers all over the country, they are people we know and trust, and again, they probably work full time, have plenty of pets and sometimes even a human family (!) and are also having to fit this into their busy schedules.