Rabbits are often purchased as pets, especially around the spring holidays. They look so cute and cuddly, but potential caretakers rarely know how to care for the specific needs of their new companions. As a result, many rabbits are relegated to outdoor cages, turned loose in the wild, or given to animal shelters.
Most pet stores obtain bunnies who are about 4 weeks old because they look cute and require little space. However, these very young rabbits are not ready to be weaned from their parents.
Bunnies are social creatures with individual personalities, just like a cat or a dog. They require attention, specific foods, stimulating environments, and veterinarians who know how to treat them. Rabbits can live up to 8 years, but can become withdrawn if not given plenty of love and affection. They cannot tolerate extreme temperatures and prefer to live indoors during cold weather.
Domestic rabbits cannot survive in the wild. They don’t know how to forage and don’t have a family group to rely on like wild rabbits do. They don’t know where to find water or what foods are safe to eat. A single rabbit cannot build a shelter; a burrow takes several rabbits to complete. Moreover, domestic or house rabbits will usually stay near where they have been abandoned and so are easy prey for cats, dogs, raccoons and other predators. A house rabbit can live 8 or more years in a protected home environment while the average wild bunny lives only 6 months to a year.
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Al arrived at Safe Haven in 2015. This handsome black rabbit was abandoned in a park on the Queens-Long Island border. Since house rabbits cannot live in the wild, he was quite lucky he was rescued by a veterinary technician who was walking in the park. He was rescued along with a sweet white bunny we named Barney who passed away in 2021 – we are grateful he was able to enjoy several years of peace and love on the farm with Al. Al has a comfortable room at the sanctuary where he is safe and warm in the winter time and enjoys lots of treats and toys. In the warm months, he has fun in his own outdoor play area!
These two adorable bunnies are brother and sister. The siblings came from a small one-bedroom apartment in Mount Vernon. The couple adopted a bunny guaranteed to be a female but soon discovered “she” was a “he” when the bunnies mated and had a litter of 4! Cinco (left) and Candela (right) survived, but sadly the other two did not. The apartment was too crowded and lacked sufficient space for the bunnies to play. They remained in their cage most of the day. The couple knew this was not the ideal situation and wanted to find a lifelong home where the bunnies could enjoy life. Candela and Cinco arrived at our sanctuary in August of 2021. They have their own spacious outdoor play area and love spending their days exploring. In the winter, they have the warmth and safety of their indoor quarters and lots of toys to keep them busy and happy.
This adorable lop-eared bunny was found living in a small, filthy cage in a thrift store. He was left there to be sold! Two compassionate people who were “thrifting” were determined to help find a happy home for him. Safe Haven to the rescue! Cosmo arrived in September of 2021. At the sanctuary, he found his forever home where he will be loved and cared for the rest of his days.
Cosmo adores snuggles… when you visit with him he hops right into your lap!