A rabbit breeder in northern Indiana is facing possible charges of animal cruelty after more than 70 rabbits were taken away from her garage by animal control officers. The event took place in Center Township, Porter County, near Gary, Indiana and was reported by the Chesterton Tribune. Here are highlights from that report.
Animal control seizes 74 rabbits from garage
According to police, Animal Control Officer Patrick Cassin on June 23 investigated a complaint received regarding “several rabbits being kept in unsanitary conditions” inside a garage in the 1400 Block of Redwing Road. Cassin said no one responded at the property and requested police assistance when he thought he smelled dead animals on the property.
Police said they identified a deceased rabbit in plastic bag in a trash can near the end of the garage as the source of the smell. Through a back door of the garage, Police said they observed rabbits that appeared “to be living in their own feces, in cramped, unventilated conditions.”
Officers entered through the partially open front garage door and found more rabbits living in carriers not designed for long term housing, police said. The amount of feces in these carriers caused the rabbits to be pressed against the top as “none had been cleaned for a very long time,” police said, but they did appear to have regular access to food and water.
Because the “poorly ventilated and cramped conditions posed an immediate threat to the lives of these rabbits,” police said they made the decision to have the rabbits removed for their safety.
Some of the rabbits showed evidence of “urine scalding” suffering from skin burns and hair loss as a result of prolonged exposure to urine, police said. The only ventilation source came from a box fan placed at the front garage door and a four-inch gap at the back door, police said.
While removing the animals, police said the resident exited the home and advised she was “behind on cleaning” but she planned to do so later in the day. She advised it was not fair for officers to take the rabbits without giving her the chance to clean up and improve the conditions, but she was cooperative in assisting the transport of the animals, police said.
The resident also advised she bred rabbits for show and at least one of them was a grand champion award winner, police said. The cause of death for the found deceased rabbit was from heat, the resident advised.
Some of the rabbits were taken to a local animal shelter while others were being evaluated by a veterinarian. Further details of this possible case of animal cruelty are available online at http://www.chestertontribune.com/PoliceFireEmergency/animal_control_seizes_74_rabbits.htm
Photo credit: Chobist