We offer bonding for rabbits and guineas here at the rescue, to ensure we find the perfect match for each pet.
If one or more of your rabbits are being adopted from the rescue, the bonding fee is £7 per night for a pair with an additional £1 per night per extra bun.
If none of your rabbits have been adopted from us, it will be £10 per night for a pair and an additional £1 per night per extra bun.
The garage we use for bonding is not usually heated, but this can be provided for indoor buns, at an additional cost of £5 per week.
Guinea pig bonding is £7 per night.
The minimum stay, provided we are making positive progress is 7 nights.
Why do animals need bonding? Don't they need friends?
Companionship of their own species is extremely important for many pets, especially those that would live in large groups in the wild. Unfortunately, rabbits in particular can be extremely territorial and may get defensive if another bunny suddenly appears in their space.
To avoid fighting and minimise the chances of harm to both animals, this is why rabbits should be carefully introduced on neutral ground and learn to accept each other as partners before they can learn to share their home. This process can be stressful for both the humans and rabbits, but the results are well worth it, which is why we offere a helping hand with these sservices.
How do we bond?
We try and tailor bonding to each rabbit pair/group, but the basics include introducing them in a calm, neutral space. Once we start bonding, we try not to split them up again, as this can ruin the progress already made. This said, sometimes splitting them up overnight is the safest option. After the 7 days with us, most will be ready to go home and continue the bond there. The plan going forward may vary depending on the individual rabbits, and details will be discussed before the animals head home, but be prepared to need a neutral space at home for another week or so, before the rabbits can be introduced to their permanent living quarters. It’s important not to overwhelm a newly married couple with too much space, so we can discuss how best to graduate the space allowed and also to avoid any small hides/tunnels to begin with.
Bonding takes place in our garage, which we have access to via our kitchen, so they can be closely monitored. We also have a ‘bun cam’ which can be seen from my (Jai) phone. Often I will bond back to back, giving me no breaks in between, and while animals are here bonding, my life is very much devoted to the animals, so please do understand that the £7/£10 per night fee, is a 24 hour, week long job for me.
The welfare of the rabbits and guinea pigs is always at the forefront of my mind, and if at any point I feel a rabbit or guinea is becoming too stressed, I will stop. I do my absolute best to ensure all animals are kept calm and do my best to prevent any injuries, but occasionally with bonding, these do happen. For me, and for many rescues, the small risk of injury is totally outweighed by the benefits to mental and physical wellbeing of the animals having a companion and we always recommend keeping rabbits and guinea pigs in at least pairs, of their own kind.
We do ask that all rabbits are spayed/ neutered before bonding. Females need to be 2 weeks post op and males 6 weeks. Up to date vaccines are also vital.
Although it is not essential, we also recommend neutering healthy male Guinea pigs. This is to give them the best chance of finding a companion. We often find when one from a male pair passes away, the remaining male is less inclined to accept another male of his own age, if neutered he can be happily bonded with a female ( or 4!).
All of our rabbits (of both sexes) and male piggies are neutered and vaccinated before leaving the rescue unless our vet advises otherwise (occasionally happens with older animals due to increased surgery risks).
What if a bond fails? (Applicable to those adopting from us only)
If a bond doesn’t work out, we can discuss the option of trying a different companion, and when would be best to do this. The adoption fee can be carried over to another potential friend, but adoption fees are not refundable.
We offer life-long back up and support to anyone adopting from us, and encourage you to get in touch with any worries or concerns before making any changes to the bonding plans we have discussed.
Adopting from rabbit rescue and bonding at home:
We are happy to offer advice on bonding at home and can help set a plan for this. It’s vital that you follow the plan and do not make any changes before discussing your concerns with us. If a bond doesn’t work out at home, we ask that they be booked in for bonding at the rescue to give us chance to assess the issues before making any major decisions.
Not adopting from us but looking for advice ?
Over the years I have done my absolute best to offer anyone and everyone advice over the phone, but with the increasing demand for this, alongside the growth of the rescue and it’s commitments, juggling a young family, and renovating a house, I regret that I will only be able to now offer this for a small fee of £10 to the rescue. This will provide you with an initial telephone consultation and future advice via email or text as and when required.