Adopting a Holland Lop rabbit is easy, because many animal shelters and rabbit shelters get rabbits that have been abandoned or found. If you like to adopt a young rabbit, you might have to wait a bit, but shelters generally get very young rabbits as well.
If you have been following my blog, you probably know that I used to have a Yorkie for 17 years. When he passed away a huge void was left and although I would have loved to get another dog, it never really worked out. My daughter owns a Holland Lop and recommended that I look into getting one as well. I have to admit that I am always amazed at how playful her bunny is.
Lionhead Rabbit at a Shelter
The next step was to figure out where to buy the bunny from. I started to look for breeders and actually found one really close by. Breeders charge anywhere from $100 to $200 for a young rabbit, with the price usually dictated by the unusual markings and eye color. However there was a long waiting list and considering that a Holland Lop's so called baby stage is relatively short, I wondered if maybe I could find a young one at a shelter. I signed up on Petfinder and started to get email notices whenever a new Holland Lop was available for adoption. I also found rabbit rescue organizations, like the Bunny Bunch, which is a non profit, no kill rabbit rescue and education organization. Rabbits that are up for adoption usually have an adoption fee associated with them, that is much less than buying from a breeder and it even covers the cost of a medical exam and spray and neutering of the bunny.
The 1st cage set up
I also had to read up about the living requirements for a rabbit. After all a bunny requires space as it grows and needs space where it can live up to 10+ years. This is a long term commitment and should not be an impulse buy. Once I found and ordered a large cage and some supplies it was time to set up the playpen.
Most adoption agencies like to see where the bunny you are adopting will live. I took several photos of the cage set up with my phone, so that I could share the images once I found a candidate.
I found Barley at the Bunny Bunch , a foundation that rescues rabbits. In my mind I wanted a young Holland Lop, preferably under a year old with super cool markings and was scanning the space for that perfect one. The Bunny Bunch has a huge selection of different rabbit breeds that are kept in large playpens. After my first round through the space, I stepped into a side room that had even more bunnies in it. As soon as I entered the room, a young, white Holland Lop immediately hopped towards the front of a cage to greet me. When I stuck my finger in the cage, my finger was licked and of course elicited exclamations of delight on my part. Since a white, 1 year old bunny was not on my radar I went outside again to continue looking. However, the friendliness of Barley had won me over and I was drawn back just to be met with more friendly greetings. Well, the rest is history, I took Barley home that same day and after almost a week have totally fallen in love with this 1+ year old.
The benefits of adopting a Holland Lop from a shelter is that the rabbits are often already litter box trained. Since the rabbit is no longer a baby, you can get a better feel for their personality. Barley was outgoing and very friendly and even after I brought her home let me pick her up and continued to follow me around the studio like a little dog. She loves to snuggle and now even walks on a leash. Although she still does not like the harness - it's a bit stiff! I did not expect a rabbit to be so friendly and to bond to so quickly. Considering how many rabbits are out there looking for someone to love them, I am so glad that I adopted this cutie. I could not be happier and I think Barley is happy with her new home as well.
I will be sharing my habitat set up and share more about how I am clicker training Barley in future posts. As a new bunny owner I love to hear your stories, so please leave your links in the comment sections so that I can visit your blogs.
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