ESRREC Adoption Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Burris Open House
Photo courtesy of Kent County News

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

A: The adoption fee is $50 for a single rabbit and $75 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 so we rely on donations and fundraisers.

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. Another option is foster-to-adopt (same $50 fee, no refunds if you return the rabbit to us).

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

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.
  • Screening: Fill out and submit the application form and be willing to have a home visit, if deemed necessary for advisory purposes
  • If approved: Pick up the rabbit (must have all supplies ready, and bring carrier), pay the adoption fee and sign the adoption contract.

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.

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: If you are willing to adopt a young rabbit under the condition that you will spay/neuter yourself, we will add a refundable $100 surcharge to your adoption fee.  The surcharge will be refunded when you present evidence of the spay or neuter.

Please contact us at if you have any further questions.