So. San Francisco/Peninsula Rabbit Foster Home

(Formerly House Rabbit Society-San Francisco/Peninsula Chapter)



1.       Primary Caregiver.  When a rabbit is adopted from The Burrow Inn, the primary caregiver must be a responsible adult.  The rabbit should be treated as an integral part of the family, i.e., no group ownership (such as a classroom pet).  We do NOT adopt rabbits as pets for children.  The rabbit must be wanted by the entire family.
2.       Indoor Housing.  Adopters of The Burrow Inn rabbits must understand that our rabbits are to live as household companions.  This means that they must have their primary living space indoors, and must spend every night indoors.  During the daytime, adopters can allow their rabbit outdoor daytime exercise.  If this is the case, the rabbit must be provided with an area with secure fencing, and adequate supervision.  Fosterers may require additional safety precautions appropriate to their locale.
3.       Social requirements.  If the rabbit is going to be alone (i.e. without the company of people, a cat or other household pets) for the majority of the time, then we recommend that the adopter adopt a second rabbit as a companion to the first.
4.       Neutering.  Sexually immature rabbits of mixed sexes can be adopted together as long as the adopter agrees to separate them when the males are 3 1/2 months old and to neuter them as soon as the testicles have descended (usually around 4 months).  Except for medical reasons, females are to be spayed within 30 days of reaching 6 months old.  These same requirements exist even when an adopter has only adopted a single immature rabbit.  Even when the rabbit will live alone, spaying and neutering after sexual maturity is still required.
5.       Returns.  If there are such problems with the adopted rabbit that the adopter needs to return the rabbit, we ask that you give the adopter some advance notice.  Some common sense and courtesy is expected.  Once an animal is adopted from us, the space vacated and is usually filled within a week.  A return requires two preparations:  a space must be opened by a new adoption, and another rabbit must be "bumped" from the rescue list at the animal shelter.  Nevertheless, all rabbits adopted from this shelter must be returned to this shelter in case of insurmountable problems.
6.       Exchanges.  We do not exchange animals.  Exceptions may be made when:
a)  The shelter and adopter are working together on making a match between an adoptee and a pre-residing rabbit AND in the adopter’s judgment, a different match would be less stressful to the animals.
7.       Adoption fees.  The Burrow Inn’s adoption fees are donations that cannot be refunded. Because we work in conjunction with HRS, they are a federally recognized tax-exempt, non-profit organization.  Donations made to us are no more refundable than they are to any other public charity.




The rabbit you are adopting was kept in a foster home where they were socialized.  By “socialized” we mean a process of learning: learning to use a litter box; learning to accept being handled by people; and learning to affection towards people. However, your rabbit has had to share space and affection with many other rabbits.  Understanding this fact will help you adjust with your rabbit’s behavior during the first few weeks that you have them at home.

As your rabbit realizes their new status in life—that they are the center of attention, and no longer needs to share—they may express exuberance, and sometimes, aggression.  The poor homeless rabbit that meekly lies in your lap may now struggle in your arms when holding them, or even nip at you.  They may also demand for treats and petting and may hide under furniture and run away from or squirm when trying to hold him to bring them back to their cage.  Also, your rabbit MAY show temper when confined.  Some rabbits in a new environment may even become “temporarily” un-housetrained (marking their territory).

A rabbit that has any trouble adjusting to a new environment should be treated with patience and be instilled with a consistent daily habit as much as possible.  Be flexible about your rabbit’s preferences, but don’t be afraid to establish a routine.  Imposing a routine on your rabbit will not alienate them; on the contrary, it will help them feel even more comfortable in their new surroundings.  If being handled and confined on an occasional basis is going to be a part of their life, gently persist with this habit daily to instill this in your rabbit’s normal routine.  Don’t interpret territorial acts (thumping, grunting, lunging, nipping) as hostility.  Realize that your rabbit’s horizons (and ego) have suddenly been expanded.  In their delight in being “king or queen” of your household, they may test their relationship with you.  Never punish or challenge an aggressive rabbit; instead respect their space; but if necessary, confine them for a period of time each day.  Affection combined with a regular and predictable routine will help them settle down.  When will the mellow side of your house rabbit re-appear?  The average transition period report to us is “a few weeks in length”.



Burrow Inn c/o House Rabbit Society, P. O. Box 31912, San Francisco Ca. 94131
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