What is rent-a-rabbit?
Almost every rabbit owner knows the situation or has already thought about it: What can I do as a rabbit owner if a rabbit has died and I want to stop keeping rabbits, but still have a second rabbit at home, which is now alone and lonely? Single keeping is never a possibility to solve this situation because rabbits are absolutely social animals.
Now one has the possibility to mediate the remained rabbit or to offer him a nice place for his retirement, but not everyone would like to give away the remaining rabbit.
This is where the idea of the loan rabbit comes in:
If the rabbit keeping runs out, but the remaining rabbit should not remain alone or should be given away, one can borrow a rabbit as a partner animal and give it back after the death of the own rabbit.
Isn’t rent-a-rabbit macabre?
Rabbits are living creatures and not change trophies, which are handed from holder to holder, therefore the idea of the “rent-a-rabbit” sounds rather questionable at first. However, on closer inspection, it is not so far-fetched and advantageous for humans and animals.
Since rabbits are absolutely social, single keeping would be a cruel end of life, which one would like to spare his rabbit. The loan rabbits usually come from emergency stations and are not unlimited, but only once or twice lent and then finally mediated. In emergency stations and animal shelters flying change prevails with the animals, the group composition does not remain stable but varies constantly. Some animals are brought back a while after the mediation, the reasons for it are different. Rented rabbits often stay for years with the rental keeper and have a nice home with a firm conspecific and good care in this time. If the owner would buy another instead of the loan rabbit, it would have the identical fate as the loan rabbit, because it would have to learn just like the loan rabbit, after the loss of the other rabbit again a new fellow and be mediated.
For rabbits, the most important thing is the other rabbit, the environment and the owner are of secondary importance. This is different than with dogs, which are very related to their reference person. Therefore the conspecific should stand in the ranking list before a change of environment or owner. The inhibition threshold is however clearly higher with a firm rabbit than with a loan rabbit. Therefore loan rabbits enable many lonely rabbits, which would have to live and die otherwise lonely, species-appropriate society.
Serious emergency stations & animal shelters with rental rabbits
The following criteria show you that the loan rabbit station is serious:
- The borrowed rabbits are usually younger, so they can cope better with the move. They should be fit, healthy and relatively robust.
- Rented rabbits are usually only “loaned” once and then move to a final home.
- The rabbits are kept and nourished in a species-appropriate manner in the emergency station/animal shelter.
- Mediation conditions like with other emergency animals (protection contract, protection fee, place control etc.).
Rental Rabbit List
These addresses offer rabbits for rent.
Many other animal shelters and emergency stations from our link list also, simply call and explain that you want to stop with the rabbit keeping in the long term but your rabbit should not remain alone until then. Many contact points will then find a solution with you.
Further entries/references desired!
Many of these places help also the rabbits to socialize and/or to lead together.