If you are ready to get your first pet bunny, your initial assignment is to find a perfect place to buy a rabbit.
Where you buy your rabbit can significantly impact how happy and healthy they will be for the rest of their life. So, try to do as much research as possible, and choose where you get your bunny carefully. If you make a wrong choice, your rabbit might need extra vet treatment, which may be expensive in the long run.
Physical Locations to Buy Rabbits
Physical locations are the most common places to buy pets, including rabbits. They tend to be reliable and offer customer protection and satisfaction.
1. Animal Shelter and Rescue Groups
Your local shelter or rabbit rescue group should be your first stop when you decide to adopt a rabbit. If it doesn’t have a suitable bunny for you at the time, ask to be put on the waiting list.
Almost every region has at least one animal rescue, though not all animal rescues take domestic rabbits. To find a rescue group specializing in rabbits, contact your local animal shelter or search online for “rabbit rescues near me.”
Besides dogs and cats, rabbits are the species most often surrendered to animal rescues. Most rabbits lose their homes due to owner reasons, including the inability to care for the pet, not because the rabbit has health or behavioral issues.
In addition to shelters and rescue groups, many private rabbit adoption agencies are operated by individuals with a deep understanding of rabbits. Most of these agencies depend on volunteers who offer foster care for the homeless rabbits until they can find them a home. Some rabbit rescue groups partner with local animal shelters, helping place bunnies through their foster care network.
When you contact a shelter group, ask questions to learn more about the organization and how they care for their animals. Also, find out how they decide which animals are adoptable and what other adoptions and post-adoption services are available.
Adoption fees vary, but the package might include a certificate for a free vet visit and an affordable spray or neuter surgery cost.
2. Local Pet Rabbit Breeders
In almost every region, there are individuals who breed rabbits as pets. These are often healthy bunnies from rabbit enthusiasts who love their pets.
Reputable breeders are not in the business just for money, where they will sell their rabbits to the first person who shows up with cash in hand. A good breeder is personally involved in each sale. They will never sell through a pet store or any third party that does not allow them to meet the potential family and ensure that they’re a perfect match for the bunny.
Avoid buying a pet rabbit from the so-called backyard breeders. Most are not knowledgeable about genetics and appropriate breeding practices. The result is bunnies with health and temperament issues that you may not discover until years later. You can find a reputable breeder by asking for referrals from a trusted friend or your vet, contacting local breed clubs, or attending rabbit shows.
Don’t buy a rabbit without having a personal visit to where the bunny was born and raised. Take your time to find the right breeder, and you will be happy for the rest of your rabbit’s life.
3. Pet Stores
A pet store is the most common place to find a pet rabbit. The significant advantage of getting a bunny at a pet store is that such stores are easily accessible, and it is easy to find a rabbit there. Most pet stores often have several rabbits to choose from and usually have many breeds to ensure that you get a rabbit of your choice.
To find a good pet store, just open your browser and search for “find a pet store near me.”
4. Animal Swaps
Nearly every region has animal swaps where individuals come to buy and sell animals. The pets are usually kept at local farm supply stores or animal sale houses.
To find an animal swap, start on Facebook, and search events for “animals swap” or “animal auction.” Or you can contact your local farm supply store and inquire whether they know of any animal swap in your area. Most animal swaps are regular events in the non-winter periods.
5. Local 4-H Clubs
If you were raised a 4-H kid, you probably have an idea of the depth and breadth of 4-H projects available for children. A common project in nearly every 4-H Club involves rabbits. The children and their families raise rabbits for production or shows or sell them as pets in these rabbit clubs.
You can look for local clubs on the 4-H Clubs website. However, if you don’t find a local 4-H Club leader there, you can begin looking locally. Almost every region has an Extension Office that links the community with the regional Agricultural Department or Colleges. These Offices often oversee the 4-H Clubs, and if they don’t, they will connect you with the ones who do. Google your regional Extension Office to find your local 4-H Club, and email them asking for the local clubs’ contact details.
You can also find out when your local county fair will happen and attend to find the rabbit show area. There, you will see various breeds of bunnies, and you may even see rabbits for sale at the end of the fair.
Online Stores for Rabbits
If you want to buy a specific breed of rabbit and you can’t find one at an animal shelter or individual group, you might need to look for one online. But be careful when you are shopping online. Without research and caution, you may find yourself funding an imported, unhealthy, and unhappy rabbit.
However, that does not mean you shouldn’t use the internet to help you find a bunny. Some online sites can help you find specific breeds based on your routine and lifestyle.
Craigslist remains the greatest online committed classified market that allows the selling of animals. You can find nearly anything for sale there, including rabbits.
Craigslist usually has a different website for every city and big town. It has listing categories on each website, and rabbits usually fall in the “pet” category. Just Google “Craigslist [YOUR CITY] pets” to find the right website and category for you (replace [YOUR CITY] with the name of your city/town).
2. Rabbit Classified Websites
There are numerous rabbits classified ad sites on the internet, though most of them are so small that they are hard to find and likely not worth seeking out.
Here are four of the most well-known rabbit classified websites:
3. Farm Supply Store Posting Boards
Most farm supply stores have posting boards that support local ag-based people and businesses. If you want a field of grass cut and bailed, need a pasture cleared of pine trees, or just want to buy a new pet rabbit, check these posting boards. You can find them online by searching, “farm supplies near me.”
The best place to buy a pet rabbit depends on your requirements. Rescue bunnies from animal shelters or individual groups are the best places because you are saving a rabbit. However, your local breeder, local 4-H Club, and animal swaps can also be good places to get a pet bunny.
Pet stores are also common places to buy a pet rabbit, though they are not always highly recommended. Rabbits at pet stores are usually stressed and exposed to health problems that you will not commonly find in other rabbits. In addition, you may have to pay a high price for a rabbit at a pet store.
Featured Image Credit: Zanna Pesnina, Shutterstock