ADOPT A RESCUE RABBIT
RESCUE is not a verb. It is a promise.
Penny & Wild: Smalls of South Florida is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, no-kill small animal rescue that specializes in rabbits and guinea pigs. We are 100% foster home, donation-based, and volunteer-run. By adopting a rescue rabbit or guinea pig from us, you are not only saving one animal’s life, but you are also opening up a space in a foster home for us to save another so THANK YOU!!
All of our rabbits are seen annually by an experienced exotic veterinarian and spayed/neutered prior to adoption. Rabbits are housed indoors in foster homes throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties and we only adopt out to indoor, no-cage forever homes.
Are you thinking about adopting a rabbit? Did you know …
- 3rd most popular & 3rd most abandoned pet in the US.
- 10+ year commitment.
- 3-4hrs of attention and care per day.
- $2,500 or more per year in food, supplies and care.
- 4FT x 4FT (16sq ft) of living space per rabbit. Cannot be kept outdoors, in hutches or in cages.
- $$$ Need to be seen by an Exotic Vet every year, a wellness costs $75-90 in FL.
HOW TO ADOPT
Adoption Fee: $100/rabbit
- Must be over 18 years of age to apply and sign adoption contract.
- If under 18 years: a parent or guardian will need to complete the application and sign the adoption contract.
- If under 21 and/or still living at home: a parent or guardian will need to participate in the adoption process.
- The rabbits primary caregiver will need to be an adult (18+).
- Everyone in the household will need to agree to participate in the adoption process.
- View our Adoptable Rabbits
- Submit an Adoption Application
- Attend a Bunny101 Class via Zoom [every Monday @ 6pm]
- First time-adopters, with or without previous rabbit experience.
- Attend a Bonding101 Class via Zoom [every Wednesday @ 6pm]
- For those who already have a rabbit at home and are interested in bonding.
- One-on-one Adoption Call with an Adoption Coordinator
- Schedule a Meet&Greet to meet the rabbit(s) you are interested in adopting.
- Meet&Greets take place in our North Miami Beach group foster home.
- Order Required Supplies
- Bunny Proof the room / area where the rabbit will be free-roaming 3-4hrs per day
- Submit a picture and/or video of your complete at Home Set-up
- Pay the Adoption Fee
- Schedule a Home Visit – Drop-off
- Join our Facebook Adopters Group
INDOOR ONLY: Domestic rabbits should be housed and kept indoors at all times.
- NO: patios, porches, backyards or walks / outdoor play time.
Min. 4ft x 4ft, 30″ living area per rabbit when enclosed. Larger breeds and bonded pairs will require more space.
- NO: Hutches, cages or dog crates.
Rabbits need soft surfaces like carpets or area rugs to get around on.
- NO: tile, marble, or hardwood floor.
The enclosure should be in a bedroom or a central, high traffic area like the living room.
- NO: laundry-room, garages, patios etc.
Cannot stay in the enclosure all of the time and need 3 – 4hrs of daily supervised free-roam time to explore and exercise in a bunny proofed room.
*Larger breed or bonded pairs will need a larger habitat, litter-box and carrier.
Habitat* (min. size: 4ft x 4ft, 30″ tall)
- Will need a carpet, rug, washable pad or blanket underneath. Cannot be tile, wood, marble, or other hard surfaces.
- NO: Cage; Hutch; Dog crates
Hard Carrier* (min. size: 11in x 17in.)
Litter Box* (min. size: 14in x 18in)
- Oxbow Eco-straw; care-fresh or similar paper bedding; recycled paper pellets (must be unscented, no baking soda)
- NO: soft wood (aspen, cedar, pine, walnut) shavings; clay or clumping cat litter.
Food / Water Bowls (min. size: 3 – 5 cup capacity)
- Food bowls are optional. Pellets and greens can be scatter fed to encourage foraging or hand fed to encourage bonding.
- NO: water bottles.
Chew Toys & Treats
Cardboard or Wooden Hidey House / Tunnel
- Brush: Small Pet Select Hair Buster; Furminator; Rubber grooming glove.
- Cat nail clippers.
Hay (min. 40oz)
- Timothy or Alfalfa depending on age.
- Oxbow Adult Essentials or Oxbow Young Rabbit depending on age.
- spring mix, fresh greens & veggies
Rabbits & Children
MYTH: Rabbits are easy, low maintenance or good, “starter” pets for small children.
TRUTH: Because they are prey animals, rabbits are startled by fast movements and loud noises and DO NOT usually like to be picked up or cuddled. When startled or threatened, a rabbit may bite or scratch. Many rabbits end up with broken bones or paralyzed after being dropped or mishandled by a child.
The Truth About the Easter Bunny
80% of bunnies purchased for Easter are abandoned a few months later. Most will not survive to be 1 year old.
Every year after Easter and Christmas thousands of rabbits are abandoned in shelters or “released in the wild”, where they will not survive. Domestic rabbits do not have the instincts or know how to find food, water and shelter; many are hit by cars, attacked by predators, starve or succumb to an injury or illness within a few days or weeks. But why does this happen so often with rabbits? It is primarily due to the misconception that rabbits are short-lived, cheap, easy, low-maintenance, and/or a good “starter” pets for small children.
While wonderful pets for adults and responsible older teenagers, rabbits are not ideal pets for busy households with small children. As prey animals, rabbits are easily startled by fast movements and loud noises, and do not enjoy being picked up or carried. Children will quickly get bored of a pet that they cannot cuddle or pick up and what was originally meant to be a fun and easy pet becomes a chore and a burden on the parents. An expensive one at that, since most rabbits are sold as young as 8 weeks and will need need to be spay / neutered at around 5-6 months. (Cost: $400-600 per rabbit.) If rabbits are not fixed, when their hormones surge they do not letterbox train, spray urine and become aggressive; 80% of female rabbits will develop reproductive cancers by age 4 if not spayed.
When properly cared for, rabbits can live 10+ years. They can be as intelligent and interactive as cats and dogs, curious and mischievous like a toddler, and have unique personalities but they are often locked in tiny cages and called “boring”. They can absolutely be very affectionate when socialized with people and they can be easily letterbox trained! They require 3-4 hours of attention and care per day and they do best living fully or mostly free-roaming in a “bunny-proofed” room or area where they can binky and flop to their heart’s content. This should be in a bedroom or central high-traffic area such as the living room. You can follow YouTubers “Lennon the Bunny” and “Sincerely, Cinnabun” to find out more about living with a free-roaming rabbit.
4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adopting a Rabbit
Are you getting a bunny for your child? Children will get bored. Yes, teenagers who put together a very convincing PowerPoint on why you should get a rabbit. Most rabbits do not like to be picked up or cuddled and are described as boring or fearful by young children. Are you willing to take over changing the litter-box, feeding and spending time socializing with them which usually takes 3-4hrs per day if your kids no longer do. What are you planning to do with your rabbit if your child goes away to college? Or, if you downsize your house after your kids move out?
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Rabbits are a long term commitment and can live 10+ years. Do you see yourself loving them as much in a decade when the initial excitement fades? Are you willing to provide supportive care at the end of their life when they have arthritis and mobility issues and need accessible, low entry litterboxes or cannot see and hear as well? Are you planning to have children; and if so, will you still be able to spend 3-4hrs per day giving your rabbit the care that it needs and keeping their enclosure clean? Do you travel for work or plan on moving cross-country / out of the country in the next ten years?
Do you travel often? Or would you like to? Would you like to do a road trip across the country? Or backpack through Europe? Take a week long cruise? Or stay with family over a long weekend? Rabbits cannot be left alone for days at a time and need daily care and attention. Finding a rabbit savvy pet sitter can be tricky and boarding with a rescue or a vet can cost $25-40 per day.
Are you willing to spend $300-$1200 on Veterinary Care? Rabbits should be seen by a rabbit savvy exotic vet every year. A physical wellness exam costs $75-90 and blood work $100-$250. In the event of an emergency, x-rays and surgery can cost $1,200+ in a single day. Spay/neuter costs $400-600, and 80% of female rabbits will develop reproductive cancer by age 4 if un-spayed.
Top 10 Mistakes Rabbit Owners Make
Do you have a rabbit and want to get them a friend? We do Speed-dating and Pre-bonding services for groups of 2-4* rabbits. *We also bond larger groups on a case by case basis.
- Speed-date: on a typical “speed-date” we will introduce 4 – 5 rabbits, one at a time, to see who your rabbit gets along the best. The speed-date will take place in a Penny & Wild group home under the supervision of an experienced Bonding Coordinator and usually takes 1 hour. When picking which rabbits will be introduces we will consider the applicants preferences as well as our Bonding Criteria for age, size, gender and nature (see below). After a successful introduction, you will then have the option of taking the rabbits home to bond yourself or leaving the rabbits for “pre-bonding” with the Bonding Coordinator.
- Pre-bonding: rabbits that are not bonded will not be able to live together in a single enclosure right away. Even if they do well during the speed-date they will need to start of as neighbors; living side by side in 2 “mirror enclosures” (4ft x 4ft, 30″ tall X-pens). Bonding at home yourself can take 2 weeks – 2 months, or more. We offer “pre-bonding” starting at $40/day and rabbits will be ready to go home within 3-7 days and live together in a bonding pen. This makes the bonding process much shorter and easier.
If you would like to schedule a Speed-date or Pre-Bonding please fill out an Adoption Application and a Coordinator will be in touch to discuss our Adoption & Bonding Policies and recommend potential matches based on your answers.
Requirements: Rabbits must be spay / neutered and have been cleared by a vet within the last year.
- AGE: Rabbits should be within 1-2 years of each others age. As rabbits can go into stasis if a bond mate dies we try to match ages to not risk the health of a young rabbit being bonded to an older rabbit.
- SIZE: Rabbits should be within 1-2 lbs of each other. We do not bond rabbits who are drastically different in size due to the risk of severe injury to the smaller rabbit in the event of a fight.
- M/F: these pairs are the most natural and easy to bond.
- F/F: if a female does not get along with males we will try introducing a female friend.
- M/M: with the exception of brothers who were born/raised together in the rescue and are truly bonded we do not bond males to males due to the frequency of un-bonding and severe injuries.
- SUBMISSIVE / DOMINANT NATURE:
- D/D: two dominant rabbits will not be bondable and can severely injure or even kill one another.
- S/S: likely to be a rare “love at first sight” bond. One rabbit will still be dominant but there will be minimal chasing / mounting, if any, or rabbits may alternate mounting.
- S/D: This is the most common bond, it will take time and dedicated effort. Bonding can take 2 weeks to 2 months, or more.
Out of State Adoption
Out-of-state adoptions are handled on a case-by-case basis. Please look at the considerations below and/or submit an Adoption Application if you would like to be considered.
- AGE: must be 6 months of age or older; no seniors over 7 years old.
- SPECIAL NEEDS: cannot be blind or have a medical condition.
- SEASON: no long haired rabbits between May – August, unless shaved down.
- HEALTH CERTIFICATE: $105/rabbit. All animals moving across state lines require a health certificate by law. This cost would be in addition to the adoption fee.
- TRANSPORT: adopters must transport the rabbit themselves or cover the cost of a 2-way flight and the pet fee for a Penny & Wild coordinator to transport the rabbit to them. This cost would be in addition to the adoption fee.
There is no such thing as a “hypoallergenic” rabbit. All rabbits shed and have dander.
That being said, the Rex breed is known for being “low-shedding.” This is because they only have one layer of fur as opposed to two; the undercoat and overcoat that other rabbits have. Other breeds that have a single layer of fur are Plush Lops and Velveteen Lops. On the other hand, the New Zealand, Lionhead, Angora, and American Fuzzy Lop breeds are considered “high-shedding.”
Regardless of breed, rabbits will shed twice a year in spring and fall. During “shed season”, rabbits will molt their entire coat and grow a new one.
Watch this video to see a rabbit groomed: YOUTUBE