Rabbits make great pets, which is why there are so many places where you can adopt one!
Rabbits are quiet animals that can live up to ten years with good home care. Although they require every day, hands-on attention, they’re low-odor and extremely clean animals, and spayed/neutered bunnies can even be trained to use a litter box. Rabbits might be shy at first, but they’re very social creatures who are just waiting to become the next member of your family.
But many wonder, “Where are rabbits or bunnies for sale near me?”
Rabbits have not been sold in most pet stores since 2009, when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) successfully lobbied for Petco and PetSmart to discontinue the sale of rabbits in their stores. The reason? PETA cited a bunny overpopulation crisis due to pet store over-breeding practices and customers purchasing bunnies spur of the moment (especially at Easter), only to drop them off at shelters when they no longer wanted them. Since then, many other smaller pet stores have followed suit. However, if you want to welcome a bunny into your home, there are a number of shelters and rescue societies to choose from.
The types of bunnies these organizations will have at any given time will vary, but most have plenty to choose from. Here are your options for finding your first or your next bunny:
Where to Buy a Rabbit or Bunny: Dwarf/Teacup/Miniature, Lionhead, Lopeared…
Adopt-a-Pet, formerly known as 1-800-Save-A-Pet, is the “catchall” database for pets currently up for adoption. By giving free advertising space to all pet adoption agencies, including shelters, Adopt-a-Pet is probably the best option if you’re looking for a certain type of rabbit (e.g., Lionhead, Dwarf/Teacup, Chinchilla, Belgian Hare, Angora, American Fuzzy Lop, etc.), or if you need one that’s kid- or pet-friendly. In fact, the Humane Society recommends Adopt-a-Pet for adopting bunnies (for dogs or cats, the Human Society directs people to The Shelter Project). Once you’re on the search page, select “rabbit” from the drop-down menu, enter your zip code, adjust the mile radius of your search, and all the rabbits eligible for adoption will appear.
When you search, you may be prompted to join Adopt-a-Pet’s newsletter, but this is optional. However, if you’re looking for a specific type of rabbit, you can sign up for their emails so you can be notified whenever a new pet is available for adoption.
You can also skip the website and call 1-800-Save-A-Pet. A representative can search for rabbits eligible for adoption near you, as well as answer your questions about the adoption process.
2. American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA)
The ARBA is a great resource for learning about different types of rabbit breeds and what breeds are best for you. If you’re someone who already knows what breed or type of rabbit you’d like, the ARBA page will likely be the most helpful place to begin your search.
Most people have probably used Craigslist at some point, so your first inclination may be to look here for a rabbit. Depending on where you live, finding a rabbit to adopt may take some time, mainly because they aren’t as common in households as dogs or cats.
If your budget is limited, Craigslist is probably the cheapest way to adopt a rabbit. Because their site explicitly states that the adoption fee must be small, owners typically don’t ask for more than $20 or $30, along with the assurance that their pet is going to a good home. Usually, owners will also include rabbit supplies. That may make the adoption “fee” go up, but obtaining your cage, food, toys, and bedding in this way is usually much cheaper than purchasing from a pet store.
4. House Rabbit Society
House Rabbit Society’s mission is to stop and prevent the exploitation of rabbits. Because they see all bunnies as equal — regardless of breed, health, temperament, and so on — HRS is perfect for someone with no adoption restrictions. The Humane Society’s site doesn’t have a place to search for adoptable animals; instead, they recommend reputable adoption agencies like HRS.
There are HRS chapters in 26 states that oversee an extensive network of foster homes. They also have international chapters in Australia, Canada, China (Hong Kong), Italy, Singapore, Switzerland, Greece, and Mexico.
Neither PetSmart nor Petco sells rabbits in-store. (For more information, see PETA’s announcement.)
However, Petco has teamed up with Petfinder to help customers adopt rabbits and other adoptable pets through a variety of organizations.
Petco’s search engine allows you to search for homeless rabbits near you based on gender, size to adulthood, breed/type, and more. Their list includes large rescue organizations and shelters, as well as private rescues and foster families.
Like Adopt-a-Pet, Petfinder is a database that allows you to easily search for the most up-to-date adoption information for a variety of animals, including rabbits. You can search for rabbits near you by breed/type, gender, and age.
To search, simply type in your zip code, select “rabbit” from the drop down menu, select your desired breed/age/gender, and choose “Find Pets.” We searched for adoptable rabbits with the search filter “Anywhere” and came up with 4,427 adoptable rabbits. With so many options, PetFinder is a great place to find and adopt a rabbit!
Raising-Rabbits is an all-in-one website for everything rabbit-related. The founder of the site has owned and operated her own rabbit ranch (Aurora Rex) for over three decades, so her focus is on helping others learn more about how to properly care for rabbits, whether as pets or livestock. This site provides a list of rabbit farms and breeders, organized by state.
If you’ve been searching other databases for a specific type of bunny but haven’t found anything, try the Raising-Rabbits website. There are fewer breeders, but we found that the ones listed are different from the ARBA list and include more than Petfinder’s list of breeds.
8. Rural King
Rural King is a brick-and-mortar store that sells agricultural equipment, products for livestock, and some home goods. While Rural King does not sell rabbits in their stores, you can order them through their website for about $13 and then pick them up at the actual store. However, this service is currently offered in Illinois and Indiana only, and the breed types are limited.
SaveABunny is a nonprofit organization in Northern California that works with shelters across the U.S. to save, protect, and care for rabbits. For people located in the San Francisco Bay Area, SaveABunny is a great place to adopt from because they have many eligible rabbits, each with numerous photos, and some with videos and personalized bios.
Even if you aren’t located in Northern California, SaveABunny’s volunteer staff will help you find a shelter in your area that has rabbits for adoption, and they’ll answer any questions you have about caring for your new pet.
While rabbits aren’t sold in traditional pet product stores like PetSmart or Petco anymore, there are still many options for finding an adoptable bunny or rabbit, including nonprofit adoption organizations, shelters, breeders, and local sellers.