Author Topic: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?  (Read 990 times)

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Offline AweSam

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Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« on: September 20, 2017, 06:07:01 PM »
Hello everyone! I'm reaching out today about moving from Los Angeles to London with a house rabbit (his name is Hodor). He's been a part of our family here for about 3.5 years after we adopted him and we think that makes him about 4.5 years old overall. The biggest heartbreak for me for having to move is his fate. I've read that the UK requires an absolutely absurd 4 month quarantine for rabbits and I'm terrified that that length of time plus the flight would be too stressful for him and he could die from it.

On the other hand, I desperately do not want to surrender him or rehome him, as he's already gone thru that once. I've spoiled him rotten and he's never had a cage/crate/fence or anything - he just roams the house very similarly to how a house cat would. I don't want to have him give up that quality of life.

So I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. My husband and I have gone back-and-forth a thousand times on whether we should bring him or rehome him, but we can't decide.

If anyone has been in this situation and either moved with or rehomed their rabbit, I would love to hear from you! Or, if you have any thoughts, I am all ears.

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Offline KFdancer

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Re: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 07:16:26 PM »
Have you contacted a pet shipper to confirm or refute the quarantine?

Offline larrabee

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Re: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 08:18:04 PM »
Have you contacted a pet shipper to confirm or refute the quarantine?

That's correct unfortunately.
 
https://www.gov.uk/bringing-food-animals-plants-into-uk
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.

Offline larrabee

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Re: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 08:24:46 PM »
Hello everyone! I'm reaching out today about moving from Los Angeles to London with a house rabbit (his name is Hodor). He's been a part of our family here for about 3.5 years after we adopted him and we think that makes him about 4.5 years old overall. The biggest heartbreak for me for having to move is his fate. I've read that the UK requires an absolutely absurd 4 month quarantine for rabbits and I'm terrified that that length of time plus the flight would be too stressful for him and he could die from it.

On the other hand, I desperately do not want to surrender him or rehome him, as he's already gone thru that once. I've spoiled him rotten and he's never had a cage/crate/fence or anything - he just roams the house very similarly to how a house cat would. I don't want to have him give up that quality of life.

So I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. My husband and I have gone back-and-forth a thousand times on whether we should bring him or rehome him, but we can't decide.

If anyone has been in this situation and either moved with or rehomed their rabbit, I would love to hear from you! Or, if you have any thoughts, I am all ears.

If I were in your shoes and the vet gave the ok to fly, I would bring him.

March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.

Offline KFdancer

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Re: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2017, 09:26:58 PM »
If I were in your shoes and the vet gave the ok to fly, I would bring him.

I would too.

Bringing my cats with me was the best money I spent during my move!

Online Blossom

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Re: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 10:32:02 PM »
It wasn't home until my cats arrived.

Offline AweSam

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Re: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2017, 10:59:10 PM »
Thank you for all the responses! If Hodor was a cat (sadly, my husband became deathly allergic to cats after a study abroad year in the US) I would bring him without second thought. My main concern is the amount of stress it would cause a rabbit to fly for that long and then be in quarantine for 4 months (3% of his life if he lives to the ripe age of 10).

SPOUSE VISA TIMELINE (Priority)

Met: August 2009 (Pennsylvania, USA)
Engaged: November 2012
~US Immigration Process~
Married: October 25th, 2013 (Los Angeles, USA)


Application Submitted Online: October 18th, 2017
Biometrics + Docs Sent: October 23rd, 2017
Documents delivered per UPS: October 25th, 2017
Received in Sheffield email: October 25th, 2017
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Travel to UK: December 28th, 2017

Online Blossom

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Re: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2017, 12:14:36 AM »
I don't know much about rabbits.  I know Quarantine can be hard - would you be able to visit Hodor in quarantine?

My eldest cat is 15/16 years old and I gave some serious thought about her making the trip to the UK.  And we have another cat which has a serious condition and was given a year to live about 11 years ago.  Last year  we were told he had developed a mass on his chest which is pressing on his heart and lungs.  I thought neither cat would make it.  They are both very happy to be in their new home.

We knew there was no way they could be rehomed (we were told to have them put to sleep).  So we just had to take that leap and hope it would work out.

You are not in that position.  You are trying your hardest to do your best for Hodor.

I think the important questions are -
how attached is the rabbit to you both? 
How attached are you to Hodor?
What does the vet advise?

Whatever decision you make, don't agonise, just do it.



Offline Oreo

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Re: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2017, 06:35:54 PM »
Beware the gentle rabbit, we’ll rip your heart out.

Offline Equestronaut

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Re: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2017, 02:50:13 AM »
Hey AweSam, I'm sorry for the predicament you find yourself in! I actually fully understand, because I have two pet rabbits myself. My one rabbit is 11, so I know we could not put her through either the flight or quarantine. My other rabbit would likely be fine, but I have come to the conclusion it would just be too stressful on her. It's heartbreaking since I love them dearly, but my mum is able to take them in and give them just as good a home as they have with me.

It sounds like your situation is unique, though, in that your rabbit has free reign of your house all day long. I don't think it would be impossible for you to find someone willing to give Hodor that same life, but it would certainly be difficult. I would recommend talking to a rabbit-savvy vet about the options. Some of the facilities used for quarantine look quite nice; have you looked through the list of authorized premises? The list is available on uk.gov: newbielink:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rabies-quarantine-authorised-premises-and-carriers/rabies-quarantine-authorised-premises-and-carriers [nonactive]

Since some of the facilities do look quite nice (especially 4Paws in Lancashire!) my main concern would be the trip itself. Again, I think the best next step would be talking to a vet. Maybe you can give Hodor some medicine to help him relax during the flight and make sure there are no layovers to ensure the shortest travel time.

Best of luck, keep us posted with how everything goes!
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 03:49:38 PM by Equestronaut »

Offline Equestronaut

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Re: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2017, 03:35:36 AM »
Some airlines even allow rabbits to accompany you in the cabin. Here is a helpful article that lists which airlines are rabbit-friendly: newbielink:http://wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Traveling_with_a_rabbit [nonactive]

It doesn't mention international travel, though, so you will probably want to call the airlines directly and ask if it is allowed for international flights. And if you get Hodor registered as an emotional support animal (very easily done, no training required) then that might open up even more options for airline travel with him.

Online Blossom

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Re: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2017, 09:06:37 AM »
I have visited 4Paws in Lancashire.  The first time I visited was before they changed the rules for bringing animals into the UK.  They were up and running as a fully fledged quarantine facility.  The second time I visited was in March this year and it is a much smaller operation now.

4Paws is in a quiet area. They love animals - all animals.  The owners are very knowledgeable about bringing animals into the UK.  They also know the agents and couriers who deal with Manchester Airport. 

Hope this helps.

Offline AweSam

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Re: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2017, 06:00:12 PM »
Some airlines even allow rabbits to accompany you in the cabin. Here is a helpful article that lists which airlines are rabbit-friendly: http://wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Traveling_with_a_rabbit

Thank you for your response! I'm sorry that you have a similar predicament.

I finally have a solution decided. I just couldn't stomach the thought of quarantine in the end. My parents live in upstate New York and have agreed to take him in and we'll set him up in my sister's childhood bedroom, which my mom has cleaned out and begun rabbit proofing. He'll have access to the full room, plus a corridor to run and play in, which will be enough.

I'll be flying with him in-cabin in December when I go to my parents for Christmas. I decided to fly direct from LA to Newark and have my sister drive us the 4 hours from there to my parents as I think a flight transfer, layover, etc., for a regional connection would stress him more than anything (he rides in the car regularly for his nail trimmings and all that). I have a friend who has flown a few times with her bunnies and she's been helpful with how to handle it. I'm also going to talk to a vet about any medicine I can give him or anything, too.

While I'm still very very sad about leaving him at all, I'm happy that I'll be able to see him when I visit my parents (typically once a year at least - it will probably be twice in 2018). We're also bringing our Dropcam to set up in the bunny room so that we can see him from across the ocean (we use it here and it's the best thing in the world for peace of mind when we're away or out).
SPOUSE VISA TIMELINE (Priority)

Met: August 2009 (Pennsylvania, USA)
Engaged: November 2012
~US Immigration Process~
Married: October 25th, 2013 (Los Angeles, USA)


Application Submitted Online: October 18th, 2017
Biometrics + Docs Sent: October 23rd, 2017
Documents delivered per UPS: October 25th, 2017
Received in Sheffield email: October 25th, 2017
Decision email: November 20th, 2017 (18 BD)
Passport received: November 22nd, 2017 (APPROVED)
Travel to UK: December 28th, 2017

Offline larrabee

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Re: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2017, 06:03:25 PM »
Thank you for your response! I'm sorry that you have a similar predicament.

I finally have a solution decided. I just couldn't stomach the thought of quarantine in the end. My parents live in upstate New York and have agreed to take him in and we'll set him up in my sister's childhood bedroom, which my mom has cleaned out and begun rabbit proofing. He'll have access to the full room, plus a corridor to run and play in, which will be enough.

I'll be flying with him in-cabin in December when I go to my parents for Christmas. I decided to fly direct from LA to Newark and have my sister drive us the 4 hours from there to my parents as I think a flight transfer, layover, etc., for a regional connection would stress him more than anything (he rides in the car regularly for his nail trimmings and all that). I have a friend who has flown a few times with her bunnies and she's been helpful with how to handle it. I'm also going to talk to a vet about any medicine I can give him or anything, too.

While I'm still very very sad about leaving him at all, I'm happy that I'll be able to see him when I visit my parents (typically once a year at least - it will probably be twice in 2018). We're also bringing our Dropcam to set up in the bunny room so that we can see him from across the ocean (we use it here and it's the best thing in the world for peace of mind when we're away or out).

That sounds like a great plan. Glad you have peace of mind now.  :)
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.

Offline AweSam

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Re: Moving with a House Rabbit or not?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2018, 10:05:39 PM »
Hi Everyone! I've made it to the UK and my beloved rabbit, Hodor, has been successfully rehomed from California to my parents' in upstate New York. The flight with him was fine and he has settled in well. My parents have a lot of space for him and plenty of carpeted rooms for him to pick up speed while he runs around. Definitely think it was the best choice to have him go there instead of dealing with the hassle and long quarantine that the UK requires. Still miss him, but at least I can get updates from my parents regularly!

Now to sort out getting a puppy over here... ;)
SPOUSE VISA TIMELINE (Priority)

Met: August 2009 (Pennsylvania, USA)
Engaged: November 2012
~US Immigration Process~
Married: October 25th, 2013 (Los Angeles, USA)


Application Submitted Online: October 18th, 2017
Biometrics + Docs Sent: October 23rd, 2017
Documents delivered per UPS: October 25th, 2017
Received in Sheffield email: October 25th, 2017
Decision email: November 20th, 2017 (18 BD)
Passport received: November 22nd, 2017 (APPROVED)
Travel to UK: December 28th, 2017