Become a Foster Carer

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Would you like to become a foster carer to help us rescue more bunnies?

The Rabbit Sanctuary runs a foster care program covering NSW, Victoria and ACT (plus Queensland for leverets) and is always looking for new foster carers.

Foster carers provide a temporary home to a rescue rabbit, and play a vital part to get them ready for a new forever home. Without them we would not be able to rescue rabbits! They are the true backbone of our rescue operations.

The number of rabbits that need a foster home is growing day by day - unless we get more foster carers many of them will face an uncertain fate. Can you help us save them? Foster caring is a very rewarding experience and we will help you every step of the way. 

Listen to Karolina as she describes her experience as Foster Carer

What does it take to be a good foster carer?

You need to

  • provide a safe, secure and loving indoor (!) home to your foster rabbit
  • provide daily care, time, space and attention your foster rabbit requires
  • learn the basics of rabbit care - we provide all the learning material you need
  • stick to our guidelines and recommendations - they are based on many years of experience and research
  • communicate with us - ask questions if you have any and respond to emails from our team in a timely manner

How can I become a foster carer?

1. Apply

Complete your foster carer application. You will receive a welcome email immediately. Send through photos of where you would accommodate your bunny as per the instructions.

2. Chat

Our team of volunteers will check your application and contact you via text or phone to chat about getting you set up for fostering a rescue rabbit.


3. Learn

Once approved, we ask you to attend an induction session, and to read all training material available on our Foster Carer Portal prior to this session.


4. Begin

When a rabbit requires foster care we will get in touch with you to make arrangements and make sure you will have all the equipment you need.



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Frequently Asked Questions

How long will a foster rabbit be in my care?
A rabbit will stay will you until it is adopted or until you decide to return it - whatever comes first. You can also choose your level of commitment when you fill out your application:
  • "Emergency / Short Term Foster Carer" - select this option if you wish to only look after a rescue rabbit for a few days at a time.
  • "Long Term Foster Carer" - select this option if you consider fostering a rabbit until it's adopted (typically within 3 months). Of course you can return the rescue rabbit at any time - if circumstances change, or you decide that fostering is not for you, just let us know. 
How much space do I need?

You will need space for a play pen (typically 1.2 by 1.2 meters), ideally located in the corner of a room, and space for the foster rabbit to free roam indoors for at least 30 minutes a day.

What equipment and supplies will I need?
​Equipment (one-off):
  • playpen
  • litter tray
  • heavy water bowl and food bowl
  • play tunnel or hidey house
  • pet brush
  • pet nail scissors 

​Supplies:
  • 3 types of hay: 
    • oaten hay,
    • grass hay (timothy, orchard, rye, pasture)
    • lucerne hay (as treat)
  • high quality pellets (recommended brands: Vetafarm, Oxbow, Burgess)
  • litter
What expenses would I be expected to cover?

It's up to you! Many foster carers choose to provide their own equipment and supplies to help The Rabbit Sanctuary. However, if required we can also provide what you need - you can let us know after you filled out your application form.


Pethomes have put together a starter pack which you can purchase here.

What training and support will I receive?

We provide you with basic training to ensure you have the required knowledge and skills. If you want to preview our material please visit our Foster Carer PortalWe are here for you every step of the way & our community of foster carers have a wonderful support network & are happy to help you at any time. 

What would I be expected to do?

On a daily basis:

1) Check the rabbit's health

    • Check that the rabbit is eating, drinking and pooping
    • Check eyes, ears and teeth
    • Check nails, trim as required
    • Monitor behaviour (should be bright and alert)
    • Monitor body condition

2) Complete daily chores
    • ​Provide food and water
    • Remove waste and add litter to litter tray
    • Groom the rabbit to remove fur
    • Clean and refill food and water bowls
    • Clean and tidy living areas

3) Give love, affection and training
    • ​interact with the foster rabbit 
    • pick up the foster rabbit
    • train the bunny to come to you for a treat
    • Let the rabbit free roam indoors (!) for at least 30 minutes a day - except for the first 7-10 days when the foster rabbit should stay in the play pen so it recognises it as its home base. 
    • Let the rabbit free roam outdoors - but only occasionally and under supervision, if outdoor conditions and weather permit and there is no reported calicivirus or myxamatosis outbreak in your area.

Overall:

1) Other activities to help get the rabbit ready for adoption and find a new home:
    • Take the bunny to the vet if needed (or request a volunteer Bunny Runner)
    • Provide paperwork from the vet to The Rabbit Sanctuary
    • Advertise your foster rabbit on our Rabbit for Adoption Facebook page (or contact us to do help you or do it for you)

2) Educate yourself:
    • Attend our online training sessions when offered (coming soon)
    • Read our training material provided on our Foster Carer Portal

3) Communicate with us:
Can I foster a rabbit if I already have pets?

Yes - please list the pets you have on your application form. If you have rabbits they need to be desexed.

What happens if I go on holiday or can't foster anymore?

Let us know and we will find alternative arrangements. The more notice you give us the better.

When I get approved as foster carer, will I get a rabbit right away?

Given the current situation it is very likely that you will get a foster rabbit shortly after your application is approved and you have all the equipment you need.

Here are some of the rabbits that we can only rescue if we find new foster carers:

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Join the community!

We are here for you every step of the way. Our community of foster carers have a wonderful support network and are happy to help you at any time.


It really is a rewarding experience knowing that you have helped the Rabbit Sanctuary rescue more rabbits, and when the time comes, your foster bunny finds a wonderful forever home.