This year at Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals, we have had a record number of rabbits in the shelter. We currently have 6 for adoption, and there are at least 9 who have been reported as “stray”—bunnies who have escaped or been purposely released into the wild.
Domestic rabbits are not the same as wild rabbits. Having been raised indoors, and been fed by humans, they cannot survive in the wild. The cold temperatures of winter, our copious raptor population, dogs, feral and domestic cats, and cars are all very real threats to house bunnies who have been released or abandoned. Rabbits who have been released are also in unfamiliar territory, not knowing how to find food, water or shelter.
House rabbits are intelligent, friendly, fun pets. They live to be 8-12 years old, can live indoors and be litter trained, and they need care and attention for the duration of their lives.
Please note that it is illegal in Massachusetts to abandon any pet. NSHA provides an alternative, and we are always happy to take over care when a pet owner no longer can. We accept any animal, any time, and there is no surrender fee (though we are happy to accept donations towards their care). We can also offer spay/neuter assistance.
Rather than release, please re-home. Our staff and volunteers are compassionate and discreet and will walk you through the sometimes difficult decision to surrender a pet. We are here to help.