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lizbud
03-03-2007, 11:50 AM
Humane society up to its ears with rabbits rescued from barn

By Stanley Ziemba
Tribune staff reporter
Published March 3, 2007


The South Suburban Humane Society is reeling from a huge rabbit influx and is seeking help from animal lovers to care for a shelter full of bunnies.

The society, with the help of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, last week rescued 182 rabbits from a small, unheated barn near Downstate Watseka where, authorities said, they were living in "deplorable and unsanitary conditions without fresh food or water for days."


It was the first impoundment of a large number of rabbits in Illinois in recent memory, said Agriculture Department spokesman Jeff Squibb. "Usually, it's dogs or cats, not rabbits," he said.

The animals were brought to the society's shelter in Chicago Heights last Saturday. The problem, shelter officials say, is that with so many, they desperately need rabbit food, bedding, carrots, cages, water bottles, etc., to help nurture them back to health.

"We also need volunteers willing to spend time cleaning up the mess that rabbits are known to make," said Kathryn Brown, kennel manager.

Monetary donations are welcome as well to help cover the rabbits' housing and medical costs, Brown said.

Humane society officials said the PetSmart store in Matteson donated food and bedding to get the shelter through the week. In addition, veterinarians have volunteered to treat the animals and the shelter's regular volunteers made sure every rabbit had a clean cage and food and love, they said.

However, the number of rabbits is multiplying, as several females have begun to deliver, Brown noted.

"They're having babies, so the numbers are growing," she said. "The need for assistance is growing."

Once the rabbits are well, the shelter hopes others will take some, Brown said.

The rabbits were impounded Feb. 23 by state order from the Sunset Hills Bunny Farm near Watseka.

The farm owner, Paul Craft of Watseka, who sells rabbits at livestock shows across the state, told investigators financial difficulties and recent heavy snowfalls had made caring for the rabbits difficult.

Craft is appealing the rabbit impoundment, Squibb said. An administrative hearing on the appeal is to be held Tuesday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, he added.

Those wishing to assist the humane society can go to its facility, 1103 West End Ave., Chicago Heights, or call 708-755-7387.

Karen
03-03-2007, 11:54 AM
Awww, those poor bunnies!

kimlovescats
03-03-2007, 12:42 PM
SICKENING! No doubt these bunnies were being bred to be sold for Easter Bunnies! :mad: :(

Marigold2
03-04-2007, 03:51 PM
I agree with you Kim, I have always found that to be horrible. I just can't take in another bunny right now since I am not working. But I will send some money and I will pass this along to all my friends. Thank you for bringing this to the attention of animal lovers Lizbud, I feel this is Pet Talk at it's best.

BCollie_Kelly
03-04-2007, 04:28 PM
Those poor things! :(