Stray Rabbits

You see a bunny (or bunnies) in your neighborhood, workplace, park or other location and it doesn't look like the wild rabbits you normally see. It is very likely a domestic rabbit that was dumped outside for misguided reasons or neglect. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common occurrence these days. Sometimes IHRS volunteers are able to help wrangle stray bunnies and either take them in or transport them to another rescue or shelter. Since the problem is much bigger than our resources, we often find ourselves unable to help.

Catch the Stray

If you are able to capture the bunny to get it out of danger, that's a great first step! The Columbus House Rabbit Society has a good resource for catching strays. If we can help provide tips and/or talk you through it over the phone, contact us we'll try to help. Capturing strays often requires the efforts of several people and can be an exercise in patience.

Stray Caught

Once you have caught the stray, it might be hungry or thirsty. If you are not able to get it to a shelter or rescue right away, consider giving the rabbit some rinsed greens served wet and a bowl of fresh water. Rabbits are often dehydrated, especially in the summer, and these simple measures may help give the rabbit a better chance of surviving the situation. If you have a dog crate, you can temporarily house the rabbit there while you find placement. If you a pet carrier (plastic, not chewable), the rabbit can stay in there in a pinch. Place a towel in the bottom for comfort and to absorb any urine from the rabbit.

Now it's time to contact a rescue or placement for the rabbit. Contacting a rabbit rescue is ideal, however most rabbit rescues remain consistently at or above capacity and cannot intake additional rabbits. Moreover, there are only a handful of rescues in Indiana who intake rabbits. If you've contacted other rescues and they are unable to intake the rabbit, you should contact your local animal control/shelter or the nearest animal control/shelter with a rabbit program.

Unable to Catch the Stray

If you are unable to capture the stray, you should contact your local animal control/shelter or the nearest animal control/shelter with a rabbit program. Reporting strays to local authorities helps to increase awareness of this growing problem. Sometimes local animal control will work with rescues to catch the stray and help secure rescue placement locally or regionally.