At some point bun parents find themselves in a position where they are left with one remaining rabbit, whether that be all of their other rabbits have passed away or they have had countless pairs with one passing and being rebonded and now the remaining rabbit is elderly or unwell. Some parents no longer want to continue the cycle of getting new rabbits as they may find themselves drained emotionally, financially or at a different stage in their life. However what about their last remaining bunny? They acknowledge that their bunny still needs rabbit companionship and that they will be grieving and lonely. Human companionship is never enough for a rabbit. This is where our programme comes into play. This programme allows the remaining bunny to have rabbit companionship temporarily while giving the parent support without continuing the cycle.
How does the programme work?
We have now been running this programme for over 3 years and have found the right method that works best for both parents, the rescue and rabbits involved.
An initial home visit is done by one of our trained team members to meet the bun parent and the rabbit, this is to see the home environment and which of our rabbits would be best suited to and to get an idea of the rabbit and their personality. (Our adoption standards still apply regarding space, neutering and vaccinations).
The rabbit would then come to stay with us for approx 2 weeks at the rescue where we would match them up and bond them to 2 suitable BBBB rescue bunnies. Why 2? A trio allows the bun parents rabbit to have additional companionship without the worry that if anything should happen to the BBB bunny that their bunny would again be left alone. Even a young, healthy rabbit can pass away from numerous causes so we can never guarentee that one rabbit will outlive another rabbit. Bonding the bunny with 2 companions give assurance that the bunny will not be left alone first. Trios are a very stable dynamic and provide a lot of support and comfort to elderly or poorly bunnies, we found that this increased the life expectancy of the remaining rabbit, more so than only having one companion.
The bunny parent comes to collect the new trio and signs the end of life foster contract which gives them the reassurance that when their bunny passes, the BBB bunnies will be returned to us.
What if the Parent Wants to Adopt the Bunnies After Their Bunny Passes Away?
This is unusual as most people going for this programme are certain that they do not want or cannot have any more bunnies after their remaining bunny was to pass away. In order to qualify for the programme, you must not be able to have any more rabbits afterwards, this means you cannot adopt our foster buns.
What Kind of Bunnies Would the Bunny be Bonded to?
The BBB bunnies that we would choose would be not only well matched for the bunny in question and get along well but also happy in the home environment using our unique 5 criteria matching model. We will typically not choose older bunnies as this increases risk of the remaining bunny outliving them, usually we choose bunnies aged 3 and under. We will not choose special needs rabbits or those with serious health issues for the same reason unless in specific circumstances the person also had a SN bun. We may choose to bond them with 1 or 2 single BBB bunnies or an existing bonded pair depending on who we have that is best matched.
What Fees Are Involved and What Support do You Recieve?
There are no adoption/fostering fees at all involved. We ask if we are doing the bonding that a donation of £100 is given to help us continue the foster programme.
The BBB bunnies must be insured by the person fostering them. We also ask that care, food etc is provided for them and that they are registered with an exotic vet for annual vaccinations (the BBB bunnies will leave neutered, vaccinated, rearguarded etc but we expect the fosterer to continue this on an annual basis or bring them back to us to have it done) and any emergency health care needed. We will not pay for any vet bills or treatments after they have went to the foster home (as the foster bunnies could potentially be with the parent for many many years) however can always offer support, advice and discounts where possible.
The fosterer will recieve a call line for help and support should they need any advice that they can utilise at any time. They are also free to bring the bunnies to the rescue for nail clipping, health checking etc at any point during the fostering (at no expense).
Once the Parents Rabbit Passes Away, What Next?
We ask the foster carer to give us up to 1 month to find a space for the BBB bunnies back at the rescue where they will find their forever home. If an urgent situation arrises and the rabbits must urgently come back to us for any reason, emergency foster cover will be found for them with one of our team members. Typically we can have the rabbit/s immediately returned to us.
How Do I Get Started? Does My Bunny Qualify For This?
To qualify, you must have the following circumstances:
You must have one remaining bunny who is fully vaccinated, neutered and has access to lots of space and enrichment.
You must have an exotic vet within a 60 mile radius to register with.
You must be 100% in a position not to have any more rabbits. (If while you are fostering, you bring any new rabbits home, this immediately terminates your foster programme).
You must be able to insure the foster rabbit and take them for annual vaccinations.
You must be able to commit 100% to all of the terms of the EoLF foster agreement contract.
You must be able to do 6 monthly checks with us so that we can see how our bun/s are doing.
To register interest for this programme, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org