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