In August we reported on the seizure of 222 rabbits from Bunny Magic Rabbit Rescue and Wildlife Rehabilitation in Lusby, Maryland. The action came as a result of a complaint by PETA. Now, the owner of Bunny Magic, Carole Van Wie, has been fined and had her rabbit rescue and wildlife rehabilitation licenses revoked. Was this punishment too harsh? At least one of her neighbors things so. Evonne Vey was quoted in today’s online Southern Maryland Newspaper as describing how devoted Ms. Van Wie was to helping rabbits and other injured wildlife.
I know for a fact that Mrs. Van Wie was the person who would go out in the middle of the night or on weekends responding to calls to help injured birds, ducks, fowl, orphaned baby deer and cottontails, etc. She paid for their veterinary care and medical supplies from her own pocket. She would drive four to five hours round trip to take them to Dr. Keith Gold, an exotics vet in Abingdon, near Baltimore, and then nurse them back to health.
Does it make sense to take away Mrs. Van Wie’s wildlife license and her rabbit rescue license, when she was the only rabbit rescue in the Southern Maryland region? I have seen hundreds of letters of support for Carole, with stories of how she would make an extraordinary effort to help someone with their pet rabbit or an orphaned cottontail. But because she became overwhelmed with it all, she is being severely punished and, incredibly, might not even get her own pet rabbits back.
St. Mary’s County recently had a situation that involved the hoarding of cats by a well-intentioned person. Instead of harshly punishing this person and confiscating all of her cats, animal control reached out to Second Chance Animal Rescue and some other rescue groups from around the area. Consequently, the number of cats was greatly reduced and a situation where the Tri-County Animal Shelter would have been inundated with 120 cats was averted. Three cheers go out to St. Mary’s County for its progressive actions.
Who will also suffer because of Mrs.Van Wie’s punishment and Calvert County’s regressive actions? It will be the domestic rabbits and the wildlife — and it will also be the people of Calvert County.
You can read the complete article at http://www.somdnews.com/article/20121003/OPINION/710039658/-1/officials-were-too-harsh-with-rabbit-rescue-owner&template=southernMaryland
Several comments have been posted on Facebook stating the opinion that PETA over-reacted in “blowing the whistle” on Bunny Magic, although Calvert County officials obviously felt Mrs. Van Wie was in the wrong.
To see our original article about the seizure at the rabbit rescue, please follow this link.
Photo courtesy of House Rabbit Society