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Small Animal
Rehoming Advice

Adopting an Assisi Rabbit, Guinea Pig or other small animals

There are just four simple steps to rehoming your new best friend

APPLY

Complete and submit our online application form. You will receive an email confirming we have received your form and we will contact you to ask a few additional questions to help us find what you are looking for.

match

Once we have identified the right animal for you, you will need to acquire the appropriate accommodation. When this has been approved, a booking can be placed on the suitable animal. We will then arrange a day and time for you to visit and meet your booked animal.

checks

Where appropriate, we will carry out the necessary veterinary and landlord checks. We will also ask you to send pictures to our rehoming manager of where you intend to keep your new addition.

REHOME

Once we have carried out final medical checks and provided you with all the advice you need, you’ll be able to take your new friend home with you.
 

Assisi's Rehoming Process

Our rehoming process is carefully tailored to each applicant, so please allow plenty of time. Our staff will always be on hand to discuss your individual requirements and answer any questions you may have during the process.

Adopting a rabbit or guinea pig is a little different to adopting a cat or dog as their requirements are very different.  We will ask you to visit a few times to ensure that you have chosen the right pair of rabbits or guinea pigs for your family, but also to allow your new pets to become familiar with you.  We like to make sure you have all of the information you require before taking your pet home.  We ask that you do not purchase any small pet housing before discussing with us, as we do have guidelines for small animal accommodation sizes.

 

If you already have accommodation, but it does not meet our guidelines, don’t worry!  We will have a chat and adapt the accommodation to meet our requirements, ensuring that you have the most suitable type of housing without breaking the bank.  We will guide you every step of the way. Only once your housing is ready and meets our housing criteria can you take your new pets home.

Other Information

Here at Assisi, we do not re-home a small animal individually to live on their own unless the specific animal has a medical or behavioural issue that means they must. Our rabbits and guinea pigs will be re-homed in pairs, ensuring they have their own same breed company. If you have a small animal that is looking for a friend, we do have single rabbits or guinea pigs on site waiting for their new friend too!

Bonding small animals can be a task in itself. If you have never bonded before, be prepared for some persistence and hard work. We will help you through the bonding process as much as possible; adapting the steps we take here at the sanctuary to fit your own at home. We have a few links that contain bonding information if you would like to get a general idea of how the process goes.

Our accommodation requirements for Rabbits:

The hutch must meet the minimum measurements, which according to the Animal Welfare Act is 6ft x 2ft x 2ft HUTCH + an additional 8ft x 4ft x 4ft RUN (or secure area to exercise in), and the 2 should be joined to allow rabbits to exercise when they want to.

Our accommodation requirements for Guinea Pigs:

To house a Guinea Pig indoors, accommodation must be 140cm at least, in length. This is the minimum requirement set by Assisi Animal Sanctuary with guidance from the Animal Welfare Act NI (2011) and also the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund.

The minimum requirements for a hutch to house guinea pigs is as follows: 4.5ft (L) x 2ft (W) x 2ft (H). Anything smaller will not be deemed suitable. These requirements are set by Assisi Animal Sanctuary with guidance from the Animal Welfare Act NI (2011) and The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund.

Additional Infomation & Care

Rabbit & Guinea Pig Adoption

Guidelines

Rabbit General Information Booklet

Some things you need to know…

Guinea Pig Information Booklet

Guidelines

Making Friends with your Guinea Pig

Guidelines

Caring for the Elderly Rabbit

Guidelines

Confidence Building for Nervous Rabbits

Guidelines

The Importance of Neutering

Guidelines

Fussy Rabbits Explained

Guidelines

Life is better together – Bonding Advice

Guidelines

Aggressive Rabbits Explained

Biting the Hand that feeds

Making your Home Safe

Guidelines

What we expect from you

From every potential owner we expect:

  • A passion for rabbits and guinea pigs.
  • An understanding of the level of care needed for  small animals.
  • Research to have been done into the feeding and care of rabbits and guinea pigs.
  • Willingness to provide the rabbits or guinea pigs with adequate housing, both in size and quality.
  • Willingness to provide the rabbits or guinea pigs with a loving and caring home for the rest of it’s life, for a rabbit this can be for 10 years or more and for a guinea pig 7 years or more.
  • An understanding of a rabbit and guinea pigs behavioural needs and the ability to provide an environment suited to their specific needs.
  • An understanding of the potential future costs of veterinary bills if the animal develops a chronic condition.

 

What we do not expect

From every potential owner we do not expect:

  • You to have your accommodation already bought and set up. We prefer you to have nothing so that we can guide you through what you need to buy or build.
  • You to know what sort of rabbit or guinea pig you want.
  • You to know everything about rabbits or guinea pigs.
  • You to have past experience with rabbits or guinea pigs.
  • You to know how to handle a rabbit or guinea pig.

We are here to guide you through the whole process. We prefer you to come up and chat to us first before you go out to buy a hutch or run. That way we can guide you through what you need to buy or even build, so that you do not end up wasting your money on something that is not suitable.

When placing a booking on rabbits or guinea pigs we like them to go to their new home as soon as possible, ideally within two weeks of placing the booking. We will however hold the booking for up to four weeks as we understand it can take a bit of time to get the accommodation ready and we would prefer you to take your time.

We are always at the end of the phone if you have any questions and we can be contacted by email at any time.