Guildford and Epsom Branch

A day in the life of a rabbit fosterer

The first thing I do each morning when I’m up is go outside and feed and check the rabbits.

I have three setups in my garden that I use for foster rabbits. I could accommodate three pairs of rabbits in my foster housing, but at the moment all three spaces are occupied by single bunnies.

In the mornings I feed the rabbits their hay and pellets, change their water and clean out the litter trays. I love spending this time with the bunnies in the mornings – it’s nice to see them all hopping around excited about their breakfast.  But it’s also a useful time for me to be able to see that they are all eating properly and look well.  It’s also a great time to interact with them.

I also spend time with the bunnies later in the day.  They have a little portion of veg as a treat and I top up their hay and water again if needed.

Throughout the week I help other branch trustees to deal with enquiries from people who are interested in adopting a bunny.  The Branch Welfare Officer is usually the first point of contact and she passes on details of potential homes to us fosterers. We then get in touch with the enquirers to find out more about the home they’re offering so we can help match them with the right rabbits. We also help them to make changes if necessary.

We invite potential adopters to visit the rabbit(s) they are interested in.   So occasionally I welcome people into my home and introduce them to the bunnies so they can make sure it is the right rabbit for them. I enjoy this part of the role.  I’ve met some lovely people and it’s always nice to have the chance to talk about rabbits!

When a rabbit needs to see the vet I take them along to our local vet who treats most of our branch animals. We have all of our rescue rabbits vaccinated and neutered so vet visits can be quite frequent. I’m now quite used to caring for post-operative bunnies who need that extra bit of care after going under anaesthetic.

Weekends can be quite busy as this is when I do my big clean-out, wiping down the hutches, and sweeping out the runs, as well as collecting new bales of hay and other supplies. I also take the opportunity at the weekend to update the website with details of our rabbits looking for homes and take photos of the rabbits for our Facebook Page. I sometimes help out with home visits at as well. All new adopters are visited in their own homes so that we can see where the rabbit(s) will be living, and make sure that the space is large enough and environment is right, as well as meeting other members of the household.

It’s a busy role but so very rewarding when you see the rabbits going to lovely new homes. We often receive updates from our adopters weeks or months after they have taken their new bunny home. This really makes my day as it reminds me that a bunny that we took in who might have been living in a small hutch all alone and neglected is now a happy bunny with a partner, and is now living in a lovely large space with room to run and show their natural behaviours.

Get in touch if you’re interested in becoming a volunteer rabbit fosterer.