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Check out our FAQs on Rabbit Foster Care

We don’t operate a traditional rabbit rescue centre, but rather rely on volunteer foster carers to care for the rabbits within the network within their own homes (indoor or outdoor or even both). As a result, we are much more reliant on offers of help than perhaps other rabbit care organisations, and we are continuously looking to expand our network of rabbit foster carers to allow us to offer a rescue & rehoming service.

Most foster carers will only care for one or two rabbit placements at a time, but some have a few and we supply both indoor and outdoor equipment to support from indoor pens, single/double hutches with runs to sheds to accommodate.

Keeping rabbits, as you may be aware yourself, can be very involved – especially if you are taking the best care of them. It’s also very rewarding, and often therapeutic.

One of the things you must be aware of is that most unwanted rabbits have not come from a brilliant background and may not have been looked after well by their previous owners. They may well have behavioural or medical conditions to be addressed initially before they are fully fit for rehoming. They can take a lot of work! However, for a rabbit lover, there is nothing more rewarding than working with an animal and bringing them back to full health, and I’d even argue that training behavioural issues out of a healthy animal is even more rewarding.

Foster Accommodation

In terms of accommodation, it would not be advisable to house any foster rabbits with your own pets. We would look to foster rabbits with you either individually or in bonded pairs, and each pair would need to be housed in their own hutch or pen – obviously should you wish to progress we can discuss to what number of foster rabbits we all think would be reasonable for you to take on, and we would certainly start things slowly. They would also need daily access to an exercise run if their hutch did not allow for enough exercise space. As you’ll no doubt be aware, a hutch is not enough for a rabbit, and to get the best out of them they need lots of space and regular exercise (you may be aware of the phrase “Rabbits Need SHEDS”: Space, Health, Exercise, Diet, Stimulation).

If you don't have the necessary equipment yourself, its not a problem. We often supply hutches and runs, and other smaller equipment on loan for use with rabbits in your care that all meet the recommended welfare standards

 

Feeding & Exercise


As a fosterer we would ask that you would help feed and exercise the rabbits in your care, and where necessary escort them to the vet for any vaccinations or medical attention they need. We would also look for you to train the rabbits to a basic sociable level (which we can assist with too). That is to say basically getting them used to human attention, basic handling, litter training etc, etc.

 

Medical Treatment & Vet Bills


We cover all veterinary costs associated with fostered rabbits, including basic vaccinations and neutering, but also any emergency or regular significant medical attention. All such costs are invoiced directly to the charity, so you will never be asked to pay for a vet bill for an FBRC rabbit (unless you would like to do so to support the charity!).

It is a requirement of our foster carers to have access to transport to facilitate vet visits, especially in emergency situations where getting veterinary attention quickly may be critical to ensuring adequate care for the rabbit(s).

 

Costs

The only costs we expect our foster carers to cover are day-to-day feed & bedding costs (good quality nuggets, hay, litter material and straw), plus any additional items you may wish to purchase (e.g. boredom breakers/toys, treats, etc)  

Dealing With The Public


As a fosterer we would not expect you to become involved with any of the public facing side of things (unless you chose to). We would take full responsibility for assisting any previous owners with their rabbits and if it was decided that the rabbit needed to come into your care it would always be an approved FBRC volunteer that would bring the rabbit to you (it is often David & Feona, our charity directors, who do this). We would do much of the work involved in trying to find and verify any new owners and we would be involved in the introduction of the rabbits to the owners.

 

The Difficult Side Of Things


Caring for unwanted rabbits can be emotional. You may have a rabbit in your care for as little as a few days or it may be a matter of months. You will have built up a relationship with a rabbit that then has to be taken from you to pair them with their new owners. You may be asked (if you’re willing to) to care for a sick animal who, sadly, doesn’t make it despite everyone’s best efforts. And the worst scenario may be having to make a judgment call on a rabbit based on whether it may be financially viable to proceed with expensive treatments or let the animal pass away peacefully to save them from further pain. These are all scenarios you may have to consider whether you could cope with.

Of course, if there are certain circumstances you feel you wouldn’t be able to deal with, we can make efforts to prevent such cases from being forwarded to you for care.

 

Transport

As highlighted previously, we do ask that all foster carers have access to transport. This is especially important for dealing with a sick rabbit that requires the vet. But, our non-public centre is our hub where a lot of activity takes place that a foster carer would need to be able to travel to when required. The Warren is our rescue hub, adoption centre and our preferred places for some standard medical practices such as vaccinations and microchipping. Based on this, the expectation would be, where possible for the foster carer wo work with us and help with the rabbit movements to support this.

Support


At all times FBRC will be available at the end of an email or telephone call to give you whatever support you may need. We have a private Facebook Group set up specifically for FBRC volunteers and each foster carer will be assigned a Foster Lead who will be on hand to support with any question and help that you need.

 

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