Adoption Procedure

House Rabbit Resource Network's

Adoption Procedure

Below you will find House Rabbit Resource Network’s Adoption Procedure and Prices.

If you’d like to view all of our adoptable rabbits, please visit:  Adoptable Rabbits

**Due to being run entirely by volunteers, we’re unable to allow walk-ins at the shelter. 

Please fill out an Adoption Application even if you’re just wanting to browse and/or are unsure of actually adopting a rabbit.  There is never any pressure to adopt! 

Our adoption process is relaxed, informative, and completely pressure-free. We want you to be 100% sure before adopting a rabbit, this is best for you and the rabbit. 

How to Adopt a Rabbit

Adoption Prices

HRRN Shelter Buns Shortcake and Blackberry

$125 for a Bonded Pair or Triplet

Most rabbits do best with a friend. HRRN encourages most rabbits to be bonded with a friend when adopted.

adopt a rabbit single

$95 for a Single

Some rabbits do prefer to remain single. Others just haven’t found their right bunny friend while at the shelter and are a great candidate for bonding with a single bunny at home.

Bonding Your Rabbit with a Shelter Bunny $95+$50 Bonding Fee

House Rabbit Resource Network offers bunny bonding for a $50 bonding fee on top of the single rabbit adoption fee. The bonding adoption process is the same, fill out online app, but you’ll bring your current rabbit with you to the meet and greet at the shelter to speed date some shelter bunnies! Read more further down on this page. 

How to Adopt a Rabbit

Adoption Process

We understand the adoption procedure looks like a long, tiring process. But please understand, the rabbits we care for have ALL been abandoned in one way or another; they are quite literally “second-hand” animals. The absolute LEAST we can do for them is ensure their next home will be their last. And a happy and safe home at that.
It is our job to ensure their new family knows how to properly and humanely care for them. Our thorough adoption process is our way of making sure our rabbits are adopted to safe, caring homes.
However, this is also a judgment-free zone. No one is born knowing how to perfectly care for any animal. If you feel concerned that your home may not fit the adoption criteria, don’t fret! We’re here to help. Part of the adoption process is helping you prepare yourself, and your home for bunny.

Adoption Process Steps:

Step 1: Fill out our Online Adoption Application

Step 2: Our Adoption Coordinator will contact you

Once you submit the online adoption application, one of our Adoption Coordinators will call you. This normally takes anywhere from 24 hours to a few days.

During the phone call, your application will be discussed in more detail.

This phone call helps our Adoption Coordinator figure out which rabbit might fit best in your home and family.

During the phone call, our Adoption Coordinator will:

  • Cover the expectations and requirements that must be met for the adoption to be approved. If you don’t meet a particular requirement, they’ll help you figure out how to meet that need.
  • Answer any and all questions you may have about living and caring for a house rabbit. In a typical conversation, this may include questions about diet, exercise, health, behavior, how a rabbit would get along with your other pets, and how to bunny-proof your home. Our goal is to inform you on what it’s really like to live with a rabbit and what you can expect by way of financial, and care obligations before you adopt.
  • Once all questions have been answered for both parties, the process moves forward with our Adoption Coordinator scheduling the shelter meet and greet appointment.

Step 3: The Meet & Greet at the HRRN Shelter in Pflugerville, TX

Potential adopters who meet HRRN adoption criteria will be invited to meet our rabbits at our rabbit-only shelter in Pflugerville, Texas.

Upon meeting the bunnies, your Adoption Coordinator will answer any and all questions you may have about caring for and living with a house rabbit.

For each rabbit you meet, they will provide all information available about that individual rabbit. This may include personality, medical history, age, sex, litter box habits, or special needs (if any).

**Please understand that all the shelter rabbits that come to us rescue animals. We do our best, but we will not always have a complete life history of many of the rabbits. What we do know about them will be fully communicated to the potential adopter as well as full disclosure of any medical history.

If you find your match with a rabbit during the meet and greet, and the Adoption Coordinator agrees that it’s a good match, the adoption process continues. Sometimes it takes a few meet and greets to find the right bunny for you. We want you to know that is perfectly fine. We want you to find your perfect match. There is no pressure to adopt at any point during the adoption process.

Step 4: Getting your home ready for rabbit

Let this be known, we do NOT do same-day adoptions. That means you can expect to not come home with a rabbit the day of the meet and greet. This is because we want to ensure that you’re 100% committed and certain that you want to adopt a rabbit from us. We like to give you a few days to sleep on it, and if after 3 or so days you’re still wanting to adopt, the process continues with the rabbit you picked. Don’t worry about your rabbit being adopted out from under you, they’ll be put on an adoption hold until we get your final decision.

This is also the time for you to get your home ready for rabbit. We’ll explain to you how to rabbit-proof your home and their designated area. We’ll also give you information on all the supplies you’ll need like a litterbox, water bottle, food, hay, etc.

You’re invited to shop our Bunny Boutique for all your rabbit supplies. All proceeds from the Bunny Boutique go directly to the shelter and our rabbits.

On this Habitat Types and Ideas page, several of our adopters and volunteers have shared photos of their rabbit’s habitat setups. Feel free to browse these for inspiration and ideas!

Once your home is ready for rabbit, we may ask to do a home visit to ensure everything looks good and has been set up properly. We find this to be a helpful (free) service as it allows an experienced bunny-proofer to review your home and habitat set-up to help catch potential bunny “danger zones” like exposed cords or spots under furniture. For places further out, we will do a virtual walkthrough via video if that works for you.

Through this whole process, we encourage you to ask any and all questions you may have about bunny proofing, litter training, diet, toys, etc.

There are no stupid questions!

Step 5: Bringing Rabbit Home


Once the home and habitat have the thumbs up, arrangements will be made for your rabbit companion to come home with you. On the day of pick up from the shelter, the Adoption Contract will be signed and the Adoption Fee paid.

The contract outlines HRRN’s expectations regarding the level of care expected. It also states that if for any reason you can no longer care for the rabbit, you will return him/her to HRRN. See above on this page for up-to-date adoption prices. (Please read Why Do you Charge a Fee? in FAQ’s)

How to Adopt a Rabbit

Other Notes

HRRN does not rush an adoption for any reason.

We will never pressure you in any way to adopt a rabbit. Our goal is for all parties involved to feel completely confident in the adoption. We want to ensure that each adopter understands the responsibilities and commitments that come with caring for a rabbit.

The reason we take the adoption process slow is to prevent impulse buying. Many times, people buy a rabbit on a whim, not realizing or expecting the level of care a rabbit needs. This impulsiveness is one of the main reasons there are so many abandoned and neglected rabbits throughout America. The responsibility of caring for these rabbits then falls to rescues such as House Rabbit Resource Network.

It's okay to change your mind

During the adoption process, you may find yourself changing your mind about adopting a rabbit. This is perfectly okay!

We understand that despite best intentions, sometimes the more you know about caring for a rabbit, the less appealing it becomes. You may also realize that even though you still want to adopt, you’re just not in the right place in your life at that moment. That’s okay too! We’ve had several people decide to hold off on adopting for a year or two, and then do so.

We respect whatever decision you make. Also know that we take all adopted rabbits back, no matter what the reason. If you do return the rabbit, please understand the adoption fee is non-refundable.

After adopting, you still have support

After the adoption, HRRN volunteers are always available to answer your questions.

We have an HRRN Adopter Resource Group on Facebook for our adopters and volunteers only. This group is meant for you to ask questions, share your bunny’s stories and any updates, as well as help fellow adopters with their questions.

We also have an Adoptions Album on Facebook where all our successful adoptions for that month are placed. Once you adopt from HRRN, you’ll also be added (unless you decline–which is fine) to our shelter e-newsletter which goes out monthly with updates on the shelter, adoptions, HRRN events, health articles, volunteer features, etc.

How to Adopt a Rabbit

Before You Adopt

Don't purchase any food or supplies for your new rabbit before talking to us!

As you’re getting ready to finalize the adoption process and bring your new rabbit home, you’ll need to prepare their home and have food ready for them.

While we know it’s enticing, we urge you not to spend money on any items or supplies—especially a cage—before speaking to us.

The reason is, many items marketed for rabbits and sold in pet stores are actually downright bad for them. Most of the cages sold in pet stores are nowhere near large enough to accommodate an adult rabbit. Or, they pose operational problems.

Rabbit food sold in pet stores is another problem. Many stores sell pellets with candy-type ingredients or have unsound nutritional ratios. If they have timothy hay, the bags are extremely small, overpriced, and are usually old and dusty. Toys and treats sold in stores look pretty to our human eyes, but many products are unhealthy for your rabbit.

So we ask that before you start getting your home ready for rabbit, please talk to us first. This even goes for if you do not adopt from us. We’re still here to help! We can suggest good, sound products that will give your rabbit what they need.

Our Bunny Boutique was created for that exact reason, to offer affordable products that are also good for your rabbit. So if you’re in the Austin, Texas area, stop by and browse our rabbit-approved products.

If you’re in the Austin, Texas area, HRRN offers custom-built cages designed by our veteran bunny-caretakers. At the Bunny Boutique, we offer a popular package called the Rabbit Starter Kit (shown in photo). The kit includes the HRRN cage of your choice along with everything else you need for your rabbit in one package. The Start Kit provides enough food and supplies for a month.

When you shop at the Bunny Boutique, all proceeds go to support our shelter rabbits and rescue efforts!

To learn more about rabbit care, look through our Rabbit Care Information & Resources on this site. We have it divided into sections:

We’ve tried to include pretty much everything you need to know about living with a house rabbit.

Bunny Boutique New Adopter Starter Kit

Photo of the Starter Kit offered at HRRN’s Bunny Boutique.

The Starter Kit includes:

All of these products and more are available for purchase at the Bunny Boutique. 

FAQ's

Most Frequently Asked Questions About Adopting a Rabbit

The adoption process starts by completing our Online Adoption Application. If you have seen or visited with a rabbit you like, please specify the name on your application. Otherwise, you do not need to name a rabbit in order to submit your application. 

The Adoption Procedure section on this page covers the steps by step adoption process.

Because we’re a private, volunteer-run shelter we do not have the capability to have walk-in visitors.

Even if you’re unsure of adopting a rabbit, we ask that you fill out our adoption application to schedule a shelter viewing appointment. 

Depending on a number of factors, it can take from 2-3 days to 2-3 weeks.

To read the step by step process, please view our Adoption Process Section above. 

The fee to adopt a rabbit is $95 for a single rabbit and $125 for a bonded pair/triplets.

The adoption fee only partially covers the expenses accrued while the rabbit was in our care. Before a rabbit is ever available for adoption, HRRN ensures the rabbit is spayed or neutered, given a health exam, dewormed, microchipped, and vaccinated. Not to mention the basic living costs incurred throughout the time the rabbit is in our care (this can be years).

HRRN rarely recovers the costs associated with getting a rabbit ready for adoption. But the adoption fee does help towards all those incurred costs.

We ask that you please speak with us before making any purchases for your new rabbit. Please read more in the section Before You Adopt”.

House rabbits are not easy pets. They’re not children’s pets. Rabbits need an educated caretaker who understands everything that goes into caring for a rabbit.
 
Ensuring that all our adopters have a good and thorough foundation in rabbit care gives our rabbits the best possible chance at a happy, loving forever home. Rabbits are a 10 to 15-year commitment. At HRRN, we believe if someone finds it too difficult to fill out a 15-20 minute application and then go through a 45-minute phone conversation to adopt a rabbit that will be a part of their lives for the next 10-15 years, then they will not have the commitment of time and love needed to give that rabbit the care they deserve.
 
The rabbits we care for at the shelter have ALL been abandoned in one way or another; they are quite literally “second-hand” animals. The absolute LEAST we can do for them is to ensure their next home will be their last and a happy and safe home at that. It is our job to ensure their new family knows how to properly and humanely care for them. Remember, that which is easy or free is never valued as much as that which one must work for. HRRN (as well as other rabbit resource groups) have a wealth of knowledge and experience – available at your fingertips! We are here to offer our help and knowledge to you every step of the way for how ever many years you need it.

House Rabbit Resource Network believes that rescue groups and local shelters are the best places to get a pet rabbit. When you adopt a rabbit from a rescue organization like HRRN, you are giving an “orphaned” rabbit  a second chance at life in a caring, well-prepared home.

When you adopt, your rabbit will already be spayed/neutered, fully vetted, dewormed, microchipped, and vaccinated. Pet stores and backyard breeders do not offer those same services. 

Plus, when you adopt, you save the lives of two rabbits: the one you adopt and the one who takes his or her place. 

 

Pet stores, feed stores, and backyard breeders (whether they be your family, friends, neighbors, or some stranger on Craigslist), continue the vicious cycle of rabbit overpopulation and homelessness. These people and places account for most of the rabbits dropped off at shelters, abandoned in the wild, or caged outside in small, lonely backyard hutches, often receiving minimal care and no attention.

A rabbit acquired from such a source is more likely to live a short, sickly life. Many are born with congenital problems from over-bred mothers, which produce weak babies. Many bunnies are prematurely weaned. These rabbits experience extreme stress from handling and changes in diet and location.

Proper care information or ongoing support from pet stores or breeders is rare, if nonexistent.

Due to the new caretaker’s lack of knowledge on rabbit care, many rabbits die young or are simply abandoned once they pass that “cute baby” stage. Against popular belief, rabbits are supposed to live 10 to 15-years, not 2 or 5-years.

We’ve found that most first-time rabbit adopters are happier with an adult rabbit. That’s because they’ve already outgrown that unruly adolescent behavior. Socialized adult rabbits are usually available only through an adoption program.

Every rabbit acquired from a breeder or retailer denies a home to a rabbit that needs one. Or, to put it bluntly, for every rabbit purchased from one of these sources, a rabbit at an animal shelter may lose its life.

Can’t Find the Answer To Your Question? Contact Us.