A PET STORE:
Although a pet store may seem like the best option because it's close and the rabbits are cheap, think again. Rabbits at pet stores are often neglected. The employees are not concerned with the proper health and happiness of the rabbit, thus you might get a rabbit that is shy, temperamental or doesn't like to be held.
Pet stores usually can't tell the proper sex of the rabbit, since theirs are usually much too young to be sold. So if you want a buck, you could have a doe, and so on.
They also don't handle their rabbits properly, typically, so your rabbit may be resistant to be held with you and hard to bond with.
Shelters are a great place to look for your *furever* friend. Most rabbits in shelters are abandoned because the owner didn't do proper research before buying one. It's almost never the rabbit's fault. Most rabbits are abandoned soon after Christmas or Easter, when the owner thought it was a good time to get a bunny as a pet for their young child.
Shelters often have their rabbits neutered or spayed before they are available for adoption. This is a very affordable way to get a neutered or spayed rabbit.
Breeders are the best place to get a rabbit. "Of course you'd say that." you may be thinking. "Because you are a breeder." Wrong. I knew a breeder was the best place when I was looking to get my first rabbit, BEFORE I decided to become one.
Most breeders genuinely care about their rabbits. They provide the best for them, health wise, and so their rabbits are healthy and happy. They have done the proper amount of research and know how to handle rabbits properly, as well as how to provide them with the best care they can.
Many rabbits from breeders are tame and social, because they are used to be handled on a regular basis.
Breeders that are not in it for the money are the best around. "Backyard" breeders that are just trying to earn money usually don't care about their rabbits on a personal level and don't devote the best care to them.
No matter where you purchase your rabbit, make sure you do your own research! Don't rescue a rabbit just because it looks frail, sickly, or is kept in a bad environment, unless you are prepared for how much that rabbit might cost in you in the long run, in heartache and vet bills.
The healthiest, happiest rabbits grow up in a healthy, happy home. They trust their person and they know they are loved. They aren't afraid, they are trusting, and a rabbit that trusts and is happy with his breeder will learn to trust and be happy with you.