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
Magic Happens Rabbit Rescue stays full and keeps a waiting list. However, we do work to find homes even for those who aren't in our foster homes yet (see below for more information). We do not have a public shelter, we are a network of foster homes that keep several rabbits and guinea pigs in our homes year-round. Most of our foster pets are located in and around Baton Rouge, LA, including Baker and Covington.
We can only keep as many as our foster homes can hold, and that number fluctuates depending on home availability as well as if rabbits/guinea pigs are housed together. Even though we have so many up for adoption, we have to keep a waiting list of rabbits and guinea pigs asking for our assistance as the intake requests outnumber the adoptions, just like cat and dog rescues.
We regret telling any pet no for the time being, but we must take proper care and provide appropriate housing, food, and vetting for the ones already in our care. Summer is the hardest time as adoptions are less frequent (vacations, summer camps) and intake requests increase (college students moving, Easter bunnies growing up, gets too hot for outdoor rabbits), but we keep the list going year round.
Please read on for solutions or for information on how to add your rabbit to our wait list.
We understand that things sometimes happen - PLEASE reach out to us whichever channel you originally communicated with us (i.e text (preferred), FB messenger, or email) and let us know the year you adopted them, what their name was with us, and WHY you are needing to surrender/give us a timeline. We ask that you contact us FIRST, and not try to rehome on your own, as we are familiar with their history and sometimes their former foster will take them back in.
It is illegal in Louisiana and much of the US as pet rabbits are domestic animals, not wild animals (they have been bred to have different body types and lost some of their natural instincts). Besides legal issues, you can read more reasons why here.
Please do not release your rabbit into the wild. It is not only illegal, exposing them to predators both natural and domestic, but they now have a high chance of catching an extremely contagious and FATAL virus called Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV). We do NOT have access to a vaccine here in Louisiana at this time (6/15/2021). For more information on this virus and the symptoms click here: https://rabbit.org/rhdv/
Please fill out a wait list form ASAP and send us pictures of the issue/s - we have a question that asks if the pet has medical problems - please note it there and/or in the notes question at the end and we will reach out with possible options.
While it may difficult for you or those in your household, sometimes finding another suitable home for your bunny can be the best option for both your family as well as the bunny's well-being. Feel free to read more about MHRR and some of our feedback on the About MHRR page.
Once you have been notified that we can take in your pet, we'll discuss options on how to bring your pet to us. If you would like to send the cage, please notify us in advance. Previous owners are always welcome to call or email to check up on their bunny.
Magic Happens does NOT charge surrender fees like some rescues. However, you may consider sponsoring its snip (if it is not yet spayed or neutered) by donating the amount needed for its surgery. Visit our Sponsor-A-Snip page for more information.
When your pet is surrendered to MHRR, he or she will be kept in an approved foster home with one of our volunteers. After intake, your rabbit would get health checked by our vet just to make sure everything looks good, spayed/neutered (if not already), and microchipped.
The wait list information helps us get an idea of how your bunny typically is, so we know if there's anything we need to "work on" in foster care (i.e litterbox training) and so we know what they're comfortable with, so for instance if they’re not a big fan of being held we already know not to recommend him to an adopter looking for a snuggle bun.
We like to make sure we get to know each bunnies personality, likes and dislikes so we can better place them with adopters.
We do screen all of our adopters and adopt to indoor homes that will mostly or completely free roam their rabbit - Our welcome to rabbits section of our website is most of our info that we send to our adopters and the level of care that we expect, and recommend.
We are a no-kill rescue; we will keep a rabbit as long as we have to until it finds a new home, whether it is 5 days or 5 years.
If you are surrendering your rabbit due to moving, read this article by the HRS on getting your landlord to say YES to rabbits.
If you are surrendering your rabbit due to allergies, please read our page on Rabbits & Allergies first.
Also browse our community outreach section to see if we can help!
If you have a rabbit you would like to surrender/add to our waiting list, you can fill out our Wait List online form.
Filling out the Wait List online form the best and fastest way to get your rabbit added to our wait list. It is checked daily and saves a place in line for your rabbit
Emails, messages, texts about surrenders we still will direct you to fill the Wait List online form out, it helps us keep the requests straight and all the information in one place. The day or two you wait to add them to the list, we may have gotten more requests by then so we recommend adding them sooner than later, especially in the summer when we have a high number of requests.
Once you have submitted our Wait List online form, we will then contact you to confirm that you've been added on the list, and get photos from you then (or email them when you submit the form to the email address listed in the Wait List Form). Rabbits with photos and detailed bios are more likely to get adopted off our wait list sooner than others.
If your request is urgent, please check it off on the form, let us know why, and if it is time sensitive. Please give us a date/time frame.
Even though we may not have a spot in a foster home open, we do still try to help find an adopting family for our waiting list rabbits. We ask for information & photos if possible for the list in case we get inquiries for particular breeds or personalities, and we also put them in the public's eye on our Facebook page. If photos are sent, we put them in a dedicated Waiting List photo album on our Facebook page. We occasionally find an adopter before a rabbit's turn is up on the list, especially if it is a commonly requested breed or very friendly. If this happens, we require that the adopter submit an adoption application prior to us taking in the rabbit. If approved, the rabbit will be brought to our veterinary clinic for a health check and spay/neuter if not already altered, then the new family will be able to take their new bunny home.
We do try to prioritize for urgent or time-sensitive cases, and pets in animal control facilities where euthanasia is a possibility are top priority. Rabbits and Guinea Pigs being returned from adoption are also top priority. Otherwise we try to take in pets in the order of date the requests were received. The wait for a spot in a foster home sometimes depends on the size and number of pets being surrendered, as some foster homes cannot house pairs, etc. While we are blessed to have spare cages in storage for emergencies and such, we already have as many as we can fit space-wise inside our foster homes so donating a cage or habitat will not lessen the wait time.
If you are in the New Orleans area, you may also check with Jefferson Feed, Louisiana SPCA, or BunnAgain Rabbit Rescue in Paradis. Other rescues that accept rabbits include Holley's Hopping Habitat Rabbit Rescue & Education Center in Haughton, LA, though most foster-based rescues stay full like us as well. PLEASE do not set a rabbit "free" as it is not only illegal to dump domestic pets but they have a poor chance of survival alone. As a last resort, please surrender them to your local animal control facility, as we work with the majority of them across southern LA and they will usually hold until we have room for intakes.
First things first: Add your rabbit to our wait list and send us pictures. We do our best to take in rabbits on our wait list, but we are foster home based and have a limited number of spaces. Breeds like lops, mini rexes, and dwarf breeds are usually some of our more requested bunnies so they may get taken in sooner if we have a good adoption application and there is always a chance we have an adopter who has been waiting for a specific breed/type. In general, it takes anywhere between 2-3 months, but we try to take in urgents sooner, but even then that is still likely to be a few weeks to a month depending on multiple factors. Adding your rabbit to the wait list helps "save" them a spot in line, but if you are able to rehome them before we have a spot open, please let us know so we can take them off the list.
If you choose to try to re-home your rabbit yourself, PLEASE be sure to ask an adoption fee to help ward off those with ill intentions. Places to try: Social media, family&friends, online ads (i.e Craigslist), or places like NextDoor.
Please exercise caution if you chose to rehome 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”). Cage size, ideally even smaller rabbits should not be housed in anything smaller than 2x4 feet.
Please be wary of people wanting to “take in” the rabbit. We highly recommend that you have interested parties go through us to make sure that it is a good home for the rabbit and not an impulse decision, or someone just wanting a “free pet.”
Always ask an adoption fee (we recommend a minimum of $20 - many snake owners love free food!).
Even if someone has “experience with rabbits” still ask questions about diet, habitat size, where will the rabbit primarily be kept (indoors or out?), and when their rabbits last visited the vet, and which one.
If they “already have a rabbit so they’ll just take yours in too” things to note besides the above diet, habitat, and vet questions, more questions to ask:
• Will they be housing your rabbit and their rabbit together? If so, is their rabbit spayed/neutered? Do they plan on fixing your rabbit beforehand?
• Rabbits are HIGHLY territorial, and will fight and can potentially fatally injure the other. They often need to go through a process called Bonding (more info on that here: MagicHappensRescue.com/BondingBunnies)
• If your rabbit, and their rabbit do NOT get along, what will they do with your rabbit?
Rabbits are most commonly thought as “great pets for kids” but this is not always the case. Please refer anyone interested in your rabbit primarily for their child to this section of our website, Rabbits and Kids. 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.
Most people do not realize that rabbits can live for 8-12 years, and that they will need to see an exotic veterinarian, which can be expensive (click here for vet recommendations).
If your rabbit is rehomed to someone, encourage them to bring to the vet and/or spay neuter. It wouldn’t hurt for the rabbit to have a vet check up to make sure it is healthy since rabbits are very good at hiding illness. We recommend spaying/neutering for a variety of health reasons and a few behavior ones as well. (We do spay/neuter all of our adoptables to help prevent overpopulation in addition to microchipping.)
If your outdoor rabbit is being rehomed, we especially recommend new owners bring to the vet for a check up. Health issues that we commonly see with strays/rabbits housed outside: fleas, ear mites, intestinal parasites, respiratory infections, abscesses, injuries, and tumors.
Rabbit digestive systems are finicky, and their diet is specialized. Things like carrots should not be fed on a daily basis. Hay should make up majority of their diet.
If the home you’re communicating with is going to house or continue to house your rabbit outdoors, please be aware:
• Rabbits do not tolerate the heat well (imagine going outside in a fur coat you can’t take off) they can’t “sweat” to cool down like people can.
• There is a fatal virus that affects rabbits that is easily spread called RHDV2 that is as close as Texas (7/27/2020). It is spreadable through mosquitos, wildlife, and even people can contribute to the spread. More information on that by clicking here: https://rabbit.org/RHDV
We can ONLY take in Guinea Pigs with Medical Issues. We CANNOT take in owner surrender guinea pigs at this time due to few adoptions and a wait list about 80 pigs long. Please seek other ways to rehome your pigs, ask questions about habitat, and send our Guinea Pig care guide: MagicHappensRescue.com/GuineaPigCare
We are now equipped to take in Hamsters on a regular basis, and we are getting more adoption inquiries. We have taken in the occasional gerbil and hedgehog as well if we have fosters experienced with that species. Please contact us via text if you need to surrender a Hamster, Gerbil or Hedgehog. You can text (NOT CALL) us here: 225-341-2866. You can also message us via Facebook here (you do NOT need an account to do so): m.me/magichappensrescue
Please fill out the forms above if you need to surrender a rabbit or guinea pig, those forms are checked on a daily basis and give us the information we need.
We are NOT equipped to take in: Rats or Ferrets.