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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > Starting a bunny shelter - All help and advise welcome!
Last Post by Nadene ♡ at 9/30/2018 5:20 PM (3 Replies)
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User is Offline Yilina
Reunion Island (FR)
244 posts Send Private Message
9/02/2018 11:43 PM
Hi guys,

I've been volunteering at the local shelter for a while now. It's an only dogs and cats no-kill shelter, and I've been loving the experience. Unfortunately, in the area of the world where I live there are no rabbit (or small animals) shelters, all rabbits that are found are put to sleep... :S

I've been talking with the other volunteers about the idea of opening a rabbits "area" in the shelter. It would take a lot of work and convincing, but the government has been giving new funds to the shelter, so it's feasible. Now, I've never seen a rabbit shelter and I have no idea about how a such a thing should be run... should the rabbits be kept in individual cages? Be spayed before they join in? Have a common area? Shared litter/food, etc.?

If any of you has ever visited, volunteered and/or run a rabbits' shelter, I would love ANY advise that you could give us. I haven't been able to find much information about this online and I am very lost. However, what I know is that something needs to be done for these poor bunnies...

Thank you

User is Offline Bunny House
1241 posts Send Private Message
9/03/2018 9:08 AM
That’s a big task to take on!
I don’t want to be a downer but you need to think of a lot of things.

You first need them to have a rabbit savvy vet there to take care of them as when they get sick they get sick fast and go down hill fast. Shelters usually aren’t occupied all the time likemine isn’t so you’ll need volunteers to be there a lot during the day. You’ll always need fresh veggies and hay and of course meds. You should already know that bunnies that aren’t bonded can’t be in a room or housed together. They can have a common area they use for play but need to be cleaned after each play time. You need volunteers to be taught how to handle buns and how to look for signs of illnesses as any dog or cat person can walk by them and say they are okay but they haven’t pooped in 2 days and thinks it okay. They need big cages as if they are cooped up they can get stasis as their tracts don’t move because they don’t move. All buns need to be spayed and neutered and kept apart for a month or 2 for their hormones to go away and then prebonding needs to happen before they can be housed together as they aren’t like dogs that you can put together and they’ll be bffs.

Of course there’s a lot more but hopefully others can chime in

User is Offline DanaNM
Santa Barbara, California
Forum Leader
2623 posts Send Private Message
9/10/2018 2:16 PM
The shelter in my area is amazing. I recommend trying to get in touch with them to see how they operate. I believe they have a grant from the state, and also rely heavily on donations.

Here's their website:. http://www.bunssb.org/about-buns/

I imagine if you email them the coordinators would be open to discussing the shelter logistics over the phone with you.

Each rabbit has it's own hutch/cage, and they have probably about 20 exercise runs. Each bun gets a few hours of exercise in larger runs each day. They rotate so half the bunnies get put out in the morning and half in the afternoon. Volunteers feed the bunnies, clean hutches, etc. The only time the bunnies are in the same run is if they are a bonded pair, then they are always together.

They also rely on fosters for any overflow bunnies, or bunnies needing medical care.

Unspayed/neutered buns are kept separate, and are spayed/neutered as soon as possible. The shelter works closely with a specific vet office, I'm not sure of the financial arrangement that they have worked out.

There's lots to think about, I imagine you would want to have a partner in doing this! But very admirable!

I imagine the no-kill cat and dog shelters could also advise you on how they function financially, because I bet it would be similar.

User is Offline Nadene ♡
FL ☼
4 posts Send Private Message
9/30/2018 5:20 PM
The shelter near me has large room-sized pens. There are usually a few free roaming rabbits in the pens but in those pens there are a few hutches. I imagine the hutches are for rabbits that don't get along with the others or rabbits that have recently been fixed. Its outdoors but it has a roof. They have cement under the dirt so any energetic rabbits can't escape. There are also benches in the pen so potential adopters can sit and watch the rabbits.

I don't know if this is a good setup but my shelter moves rabbits in and out pretty often.

I agree with Bunny House though. Definitely important to have an exotic animals vet if you're going to get your shelter to take in rabbits


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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > Starting a bunny shelter - All help and advise welcome!

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