ESRREC Adoption Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is the adoption fee and what does it cover?

A: The adoption fee is $75 for a single rabbit and $100 for a bonded pair.  The fee partially defrays ESRREC’s costs for the rabbit such as food, hay, bedding, and medical attention. Most rabbits that we rescue are spayed or neutered while in our care, an expense that is not completely covered by the fee. We rely on donations and fundraisers.

Q: How long does the adoption process take?

A: We do not do “same day” adoptions.  The process generally takes three stages:

  • Initial Meeting: The family meets and interacts with the rabbit at the ESRREC shelter or an adoption event. Families can fill out and submit the application form before or after the meeting.
  • Screening: Be willing to have a home visit (in person or virtual), mainly for advisory purposes.
  • If approved: Pick up the rabbit (must have all supplies ready, and bring a carrier), pay the adoption fee and digitally sign the adoption contract.  We now accept credit cards for the adoption fee.

Typically the preparation of supplies and scheduling of home visit requires about a week. If the adopting family has submitted an application and indicates they definitely want to adopt, we will put a hold on the rabbit(s).

Since the habitat can vary according to the rabbit’s needs, we recommend you hold off any major purchases until after the adoption meeting. An ESRREC volunteer can advise on suitable habitat, as well as the type of carrier.

The contract is signed digitally, but you can preview it here.

Q: I have another rabbit, can I adopt a friend for him/her?

A: Rabbits that are bonded to others tend to live longer and healthier lives, so it is recommended and encouraged.  Bonded rabbits share the same space, including litter boxes, food bowls, water bowls, etc. However, not all rabbits get along and a bonding process is usually necessary even if they are compatible. You can bring the rabbit to the ESRREC shelter for an initial meeting with a potential friend.  If it goes well, we will bond the rabbits at no extra charge.

We have successfully bonded many rabbits, but it requires at least a week.  Even for experienced rabbit owners, bonding is more likely to succeed in a neutral location away from your rabbit’s “territory.” As we wish to ensure the safety of our rabbits, we do the bonding rather than allow adopters to take the rabbit home and bond themselves. However, after the rabbits return home with the adopter, some additional supervision will usually be needed.

We only allow attempts to bond ESRREC rabbits with those that are already spayed or neutered.  No exceptions.

To begin the process, please fill out an adoption application and email it to adopt@esrrec.org. An ESRREC volunteer will follow up to discuss next steps.

Q: I don’t live on the eastern shore.  Can I adopt a rabbit from you?

A:  It is very important that we have the option of conducting a home visit.  If you live further than one hour’s drive from ESRREC, it will depend on the willingness of the volunteer visiting your home.  In several cases we have been able to conduct “virtual home visits” via FaceTime and Zoom.

Q: Do I have to keep the rabbit indoors?

A: Yes, we are an ally of the House Rabbit Society and hence we will not adopt out a rabbit to anyone who intends to keep it in an outdoor hutch.  Please also refer to HRS Advice for Potential Adopters concerning living requirements and advice for keeping a rabbit indoors. Limited and supervised outdoor time is acceptable.

Q: I want to adopt a rabbit from you that is less than 6 months old.

A: We do not adopt out rabbits until they have been spayed or neutered.

Please contact us at adopt@esrrec.org if you have any further questions.