FOLSOM (CBS 13) – Nearly 300 rabbits were removed from a house in Folsom and are now in the care of Sacramento SPCA.

It was a Folsom Police patrol officer out on an unrelated call who first spotted the rabbits outside the home on Pine Grove Friday afternoon. He saw 100 initially, which was enough for the officer to call to animal control.

The more animal control looked, the more rabbits they found. In total, 286 rabbits were found — a staggering number, even for career animal professionals like Kenn Altine, CEO of Sacramento SPCA.

“You take a big breath and you look for where you have space,” he said. “So right now we’re in what is normally our puppy sick bay.”

The rabbits are multiple breeds, shapes and sizes. Using cat transport boxes, the rabbits were placed in cages where they were  carefully labeled, logged, hydrated, fed and looked over by a veterinarian.

Altine says rabbits can be sensitive and require special care.

“We’re looking for lethargy. We’re looking for any behavior that’s non-rabbit like. We’re looking for aggression if there are two rabbits in the same place. We’re concerned that some of them are pregnant, so we’re paying attention to that,” he said.

As for the Folsom homeowner, several crates and cages are still visible on the property. Folsom city ordinance only allows two rabbits per household.

“So now, going forward, the animal control officer will be working with the family to see why they had that many rabbits on hand and see if there is anything criminal in nature,” said Det. Donald Rowberry with Folsom Police Department.

Investigators will be working to determine if this is case of hoarding, selling, or just pet rabbits breeding out of control.

Altine says the rabbits can’t be adopted out until the police and animal control investigation is complete. He says they don’t need volunteers, but could use ceramic bowls and plastic water bottles with attached straws. He says donating money to the SPCA is best as that way they can get the rabbits exactly what they need.

For more information, see the SPCA Amazon wish list at www.sspca.org

Comments (8)
  1. P,ease watch the. Closely for deadly diseases such as Pasturella.
    We love our rabbit, they are such smart loving animals.

  2. Who knew rabbits could multiply so much?

  3. Julie Harper says:

    rabbits and they are concerned that ONE of them might be pregnant?

  4. Please take a look at the condition of these rabbits – they are all in very good condition. These were a 4-H kids livestock project. They were purebred rabbits and not breeding willy nilly. They were not neglected or abused as per testimony from those involved in the seizure – this was a zoning ordinance infraction that from what I understand just went into effect days before. These are not pets. I have heard mothers were separated from kits and many have died in the care of the shelter. Please follow up on this story and report the facts.

  5. These are SHOW RABBITS stolen from 4 H kids. Funny how the law recently changed so that rabbits can ONLY be sourced from rescues and the just before Easter a ton of HEALTHY well cared for rabbits were stolen from children.
    Why does the story keep changing? First it was neighbors called in a complaint, now a police officer saw them and was concerned? And since when are animals seized THEN there is an investigation?
    They have these rabbits on flat surfaces, newspapers, and several have died… If they were so concerned about the rabbits why would they put them in sub standard enclosures and give them food they are not used to, and why would they not ask what does were pregnant?
    None of you think it’s odd?? Why don’t you ask how many have died in the very short time that they have been in the care of the SPCA??
    This should have been nothing more than a fix it ticket.. But no, the rescues need rabbits to sell for Easter. THAT is the REAL reason these rabbited were stolen under color of law.

  6. Adam Robert says:

    Very sad these animals were stolen from children, and mishandled by those claiming to “save” them. What exactly were the saved from? Instead at least 20 animals died while in the hands of the “saviors”. These ILLEGAL seizures need to stop. Especially if you do NOT have the proper housing or knowledge of what is “seized”. https://imageevent.com/illegalrescues/illegalanimalseizures

  7. Maya B Hack says:

    SPCA is disgusting. These rabbits are dying in their care. Previously healthy, well cared for animals that were a youth’s 4H project. They were not ‘pets breeding out of control’ nor part of a money-making scheme or hoarding. They were a well cared for agriculture project that teaches kids how to ethically and humanely raise livestock. Show rabbits.

  8. SPCA has made a grave mistake here… These were SHOW rabbits of 4-H kids! Horrible news story and needs updated appropriately.

    Here is some additional information! Ever ear of “Investigative” journalism… do some research.

    https://joeforamerica.com/2018/04/theft-of-4-h-rabbits-by-sacramento-spca/

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