Yesterday we reported on a couple who were arrested in Dunwoody, Georgia on animal cruelty charges when 77 rabbits were taken away. Today we are pleased to add details supplied by the Georgia House Rabbit Society, who have been overwhelmed by questions about the case. Here is their official statement:
The Georgia House Rabbit Society recently came to the aid of 11 rabbits that were pulled from a hoarding situation in Dunwoody, Georgia. Though we we able to take in the 11 that were made available to us by the Dekalb County shelter, we have since learned that many more were pulled from the Dunwoody property before our involvement. 77 rabbits in total were found and taken, a fact we learned of only this week. It is our understanding that the majority of rabbits were relocated to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, an RV campground in Bremen Georgia. Those of us at the Georgia House Rabbit Society share the concerns of our supporters and those in the community who have reached out to us. Please rest assured that we are currently working to gather more information about the conditions of these rabbits and are prepared to offer our resources in order to secure their safety.
Though the GHRS has a strict application process for all of our adopters, we cannot speak for the procedures Jellystone has used in placing the rabbits who were surrendered to their park. To those who have already acquired one of these bunnies through Jellystone, we would like to offer our expertise to insure the rabbits receive proper care.
Johna Mennone, Communication Director for the GHRS says, “Our concern is that the rabbits pulled from this hoarding situation get the best care possible and that their needs are met, including urgent medical care that we believe some of them require. As always, our volunteers will be available to answer questions about rabbit diet, health, behavior and housing for those in need of assistance. We can also direct people to a low cost spay/neuter program to help ensure that these bunnies don’t continue to reproduce causing the next wave of unwanted, uncared for rabbits who will end up back into the rescue system.” The GHRS already has concerns that many of the rabbits pulled from the Dunwoody home are already, yet unsuspectingly, pregnant.
The 11 rabbits rescued by the GHRS have all received the urgent medical attention they required for injuries ranging from serious respiratory infections, hair loss, open wounds, to one case of a missing foot. 9 of the rabbits in our care have already received the spay or neutering we require before adoption. Once in good health, the remaining rabbits will be scheduled for their spay/neuter surgery. The GHRS is a no kill shelter, so each rabbit will remain under the organization’s care until a suitable forever home is found.
Edie Sayeg, Co Chapter Manager of the GHRS, says “We have been receiving an unprecedented amount of calls from our supporters and members of the community. All are concerned about the conditions of the 64 rabbits released to the park. We would like the public to know that we are doing what we can to make sure these rabbits are cared for and safe.”
As the area’s only dedicated rabbit shelter and rescue, the Georgia House Rabbit Society receives calls on a daily basis to take in rabbits who are no longer wanted by their owners. Part of the problem is a lack of education prior to purchase. Rabbits are a long term commitment as they can live 10 years or longer, a fact that most don’t realize before taking on the responsibility. Another surprise to many is that rabbits require indoor housing and suffer terribly when housed outdoors, usually succumbing to any number of the dangers they are exposed to, including temperature changes, insects, parasites, wildlife and even fear itself.
The GHRS will continue to contact the parties involved to resolve the concerns related to this case and will advocate on behalf of the rabbits still located at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park until their safety is secured.
Hoppington Post is concerned that some of the seized rabbits may not have gone to as capable an organization as the Georgia House Rabbit Society. Nevertheless, we are pleased that the GHRS is continuing to follow up on the situation, and we are confident they will do their best to assist in getting the rescued rabbits the care and attention they require.
Logo courtesy of Georgia House Rabbit Society