RABBIT OWNERS: PLEASE BE AWARE OF RHDV2 - A FATAL VIRUS TO RABBITS THAT IS GETTING CLOSER TO LOUISIANA
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Click Here For Latest Info On RHDV2 And Its Symptoms
Foster Home Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Did you find a stray domestic rabbit and you’re not sure what to do next? We’re here to help! First we’re going to divide this into two sections depending on what sort of help you need. If you are located in Louisiana we have volunteers spread across the state, but we are primarily between Baton Rouge and Covington.
If you are not in Louisiana we recommend contacting your closest rabbit rescue or House Rabbit Society chapter.
If you have found an orphaned baby wild rabbit/s please reach out to a rehabber, we do not take in wildlife. Click here to see a list of rehabbers in Louisiana: https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/permitted-wildlife-rehabilitators
We are usually full but we do our best to try to assist with advice for catching or local shelters that we know take in rabbits - but we will need to know your location in order to give out advice. Please be aware: Most volunteers also work day jobs and/or we may not have anyone in your specific area to help catch, we try to answer messages quickly and help whenever possible but we are a small team of volunteers.
If you have questions, please contact us via Facebook messenger with a picture of the rabbit, the address it was seen at, and what time you have seen it/usually see it. Emails we do our best to check daily but we tend to get a LOT. You can also try texting but Facebook Messenger is probably the quickest way to reach us. Let us know if you will be able to foster the rabbit or know someone who has agreed to foster the rabbit in the event it is caught or if it needs to go to animal control.
Dog exercise pens around objects are generally the best method for catching a stray rabbit, for example, putting the pen around a bush, tree or car, and then closing it once rabbit has entered so you have a smaller area to catch them. Can throw a blanket over them in a pinch to try to quickly catch. Some people have had luck with nets for rabbits that are not super skittish but don't want to be too closely approached - but if catching a rabbit with a net if its necessary try to keep net on a ground/do not lift in the net by the nets handle, if their toes get caught in the holes could definitely cause limb breakage. Connected dog exercise pen/s are our recommended method, followed by humane traps for cats. Can use carrot or banana to bribe into the trap, but do not let them eat a whole lot of it if possible as it can cause digestive upset.
Rabbits can be kept in a bathroom in a pinch (just make sure you pick up any cleaning supplies they may have access too), or a dog kennel, or exercise pen.
Food: Hay makes up over 80% of a rabbits diet.
We recommend purchasing timothy hay from either a petstore or a grocery store like Walmart - the greener the hay is, the better. Oxbow is the brand we recommend but just as long as they have hay that’s the important part as that is supposed to make up 80% of their diet.
• You will also need to purchase a good rabbit pellet.
Avoid any rabbit pellets that contain seeds, colorful pieces, or nuts (those will potentially upset their digestive tract). We also recommend Oxbow for pellets as well, but Walmart or Target also typically has plain timothy or alfalfa pellets.
• Should I feed veggies?
You can feed veggies in a pinch, but depending on the rabbit a sudden introduction to leafy greens may cause digestive upset. Stick to veggies like Red or Green leaf lettuce, romain, cilantro, and parsley and keep the amount small.
- DO NOT FEED CARROTS.
Carrots are high in sugar, and more of a treat for rabbits than a staple. They need to eat hay more than they need to eat carrots.
• DO NOT FEED DOG OR CAT FOOD. These diets are high in protein and will do more harm than good.
Litterboxes can be purchased fairly cheaply from the dollar store, or Walmart.
• Litter: DO NOT USE CLUMPING LITTER.
This can potentially cause blockages if the rabbits ingest it, and respiratory issues if they inhale it. Use paper towels in the bottom of the box and put hay in top, or purchase a paper pellet like Yesterdays News or Exquisicat from Petco/Petsmart, and again putting hay in the litterbox helps encourage them to eat and use it.
Water bowl or bottle?
A water bowl is recommended since it encourages them to drink more. Depending on how long the rabbit was outside, they will more than likely prefer a water bowl. We recommend a heavy ceramic bowl, but if a bowl is too messy, you can also provide a bottle but do not take away the bowl until you can see the bottle being used.
Watch for poops!
The sooner the rabbit is pooping the better, if you have not seen a poop in over 12 hours they will most likely need a vet trip. LSU’s veterinary clinic has 24hr emergency services and does see rabbits. Rabbits are classified as exotics, so not all veterinary clinics will see them. Click here to see our recommended vet list.
Reach out to us via Facebook Messenger (typically checked daily, usually evenings)
Or via email (we try to check daily, but it may take a few days for a response). We do not check voicemails on a daily basis. When you contact us, send us a picture of the rabbit, the location it was found, and the day it was found. We will then put out a post to see if we can help locate the owner.
Fill out our wait list form.
Our wait list form helps us acquire information on the rabbit (even if you don’t know much) and adds them to our list. Click here to fill it out - But please keep in mind we still may recommend bringing to the shelter if our wait list time is long.
Let us know if you will be able to foster the rabbit, and if so, for how long. We are happy to provide supplies if you are able to foster.
Please have the rabbit scanned for a microchip.
You can bring to most vet clinics (even if they don’t see rabbits) to let them scan for a chip. We have been microchipping our adoptables since 2017. Older adoptables are tattooed in the left ear.
Post to your local lost/found pages that you have found the rabbit,
But please make sure that you DON’T include some information so that way the owners will need to provide that information.
• Please try to verify that it is the owners rabbit either with picture proof, identifying the gender, or exact street it should’ve been found near.
• Please be wary of people wanting to “take in” the rabbit.
There are unfortunately people who look for 'free pets' with ill intents - ask a small adoption fee if rehoming on your own. Please keep in mind:
- The rabbit will need a vet check up to make sure it is healthy (rabbits are very good at hiding illness) and we also recommending spay/neutering to help prevent overpopulation in addition to microchipping (we can provide spay/neuter assistance)
- Health issues that we commonly see with strays: fleas, ear mites, and intestinal parasites.
- Other issues we see often: Respiratory infections, abscesses, injuries, and tumors.
- Most people do not realize that rabbits can live for 8-12 years, and that they will need to see an exotic veterinarian (click here for vet recommendations).
- Rabbit digestive systems are finicky, and the diet is specialized.
Please exercise caution when rehoming the rabbit on your own, ask questions, especially in regards to cage size, and feel free to refer them to our website for more information on care (especially “Welcome to Rabbits”). Rabbits are most commonly thought as “great pets for kids” but this is not usually the case. Always ask an adoption fee (we recommend a minimum of $20 - many snake owners love free food!). Rabbits are often dumped once they’ve become hormonal/aggressive, they got bigger than anticipated, or the family no longer wants to care for them because they became too much work. Most rabbits do not like to be held, and often bite/kick/scratch when they’re not held appropriately (and sometimes even when they are!) which may cause a child to drop the rabbit and injure it.
You can bring to your local animal shelter. Most parish run shelters *do* accept rabbits, if they turn you away please let us know which shelter it was. But if the rabbit is seriously injured please reach out to us first - as it will need to see a rabbit knowledgeable veterinarian sooner than later.
Welcome to Rabbits - A section of our website meant for new bunny adopters, but it works well for anyone who is new to rabbits in general. It includes housing and food recommendations, best places to purchase supplies along with other frequently asked questions. - http://magichappensrescue.com/welcometorabbits
Domestic vs Wild Rabbits - https://smallpetselect.com/pet-bunny-vs-wild-rabbit/
Safe vegetables and fruits for rabbits according to House Rabbit Society - https://rabbit.org/suggested-vegetables-and-fruits-for-a-rabbit-diet/