Saturday, August 10, 2013

Announcement: New Adoption Procedure

There is now a new adoption procedure in place at Pigs n Buns Small Pet Rescue. Sadly, it is due to a disturbing number of returns - and a couple of our bunnies have been returned with improper and potentially deadly treats, litter, and a small cage that is definitely NOT on our "recommended housing" list.

Fernando was adopted out and, as with all of our adoptions, we gave his new home all the information they would need. This includes details about all of the dangerous things typically marketed for a rabbit as well as other slip-ups we see new bunny families make. We provide literature including a new bunny family packet, go over housing and diet in great detail, and we are always here to answer bunny care questions.  All of our efforts did nothing.

Fernando was recently returned to us. He came back with his supplies, including clumping cat litter. This can be deadly as it can cause potential blockages if ingested by the rabbit. He also had yogurt drops and other unhealthy treats. One of the saddest things, knowing Fernando’s past history of being forced to live in a Rubbermaid bin, was that he was in a tiny plastic bottom cage commonly marketed for guinea pigs (though it is too small for even a single rat).  Another pair of bunnies was returned with molasses hay - another definite "no"!  One of the pair is extremely overweight.   For one of the bunnies in the pair, this is the third time she has been returned.  It's been through no fault of her own - she's a wonderful bunny - she just needs a committed FOREVER home.

Small cage, clumping cat litter, and yogurt treats.

The former cage is now his litter box.
With these recent revelations, it has become abundantly clear that we can no longer trust that even though we educate people and speak with them at great length about proper care, provide them with informational sheets, ask them what kind of housing and food they will provide, sending links to great websites, and ask them to express any questions, it is not enough. As such, our new adoption procedure is outlined below: 
  •  You must purchase and set up all supplies (housing, accessories, hay, litter, pellets) before adoption.  No more "I'll buy what I need when I adopt the bunny/guinea pigs." We will guide you on what to buy and even go shopping with you so you make the right purchases. You will not be allowed to bring home a rabbit or guinea pig without providing a video of the entire enclosure and surrounding area. If you cannot provide a video, we will arrange a home visit instead.   Please see the below videos to get an idea of what we are looking for (and yes, you may see a bunny/guinea pig or two already there - I've already been approved for adoption ;))
This is an example of what we are looking for in rabbit adoption application videos.
This is an example of what we are looking for in guinea pig application videos.
  • You must read through all materials provided to you. This may take a couple of weeks, but is necessary so that you can become informed. We will be in communication with you and answer your questions until you have a good grasp of the care required. 
  •  You must attend a rabbit or guinea pig 101 class. This will be held at our monthly Pet Food Warehouse events. In this class we will also go through the store with you to show you what kind of products to buy in the future. This class will reinforce what we have been discussing via email and in our links and educational materials. This will also give you some hands-on experience where we can teach you how to properly hold a rabbit, groom them, etc. 
  •  You must do a one week and one month follow-up with us. This can be either by email, phone or in person. This will ensure that everything is going smoothly and that if any problems have arisen we can take care of them quickly before they become an issue.
Get your notebooks out!  It's time to learn about bunny care!  We will also have Guinea Pig 101.

Some small exceptions may apply such as people that have adopted in the past and are pre-approved or those who already have a good grasp of the care required. Occasionally, we will also hold the adoptions and Bunny/Piggy 101 classes at our Dover location during larger events.

Our rescue is not looking to make things harder on people - that is not what these new guidelines are about. Rather, it is about assuring that our animals will be getting proper care. If someone is willing to go through the process, that tells us that they are committed to the care of their new pet.  After all these animals have been through, we owe them that.

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions about the new procedures, please contact us. 

We want to see all of our future adoptive families receive an A+ for bunny/guinea pig care!


  1. Just found out about your shelter but I think the new steps you are implementing are fantastic. I hope other shelters nationwide will follow your example (and here's hoping pet stores too... ugh). Good job!

  2. My sweet bunny was rescued from a local pet store when someone was eyeballing the babies to feed a pet snake. He's the love of my life and I appreciate every moment I have with him. He's going on 7, but the vet says he's in excellent health so I know I'll have at least a couple more years with my bunny companion. Since I can't ever imagine life without a bunny, I will definitely be coming to Pigs n Buns when it's time for another.

  3. Are you accepting Guinea Pigs for adoption? I have two beautiful females. I am moving and have no room to keep them and I don't want to put them outside. Please help?