“When our officers entered, the rooms smelled strongly of urine and feces,” says Eileen Drever, senior officer for protection and stakeholder relations for the BC SPCA.
She and a team of animal protection officers rescued 32 neglected rabbits from a downtown Vancouver residence on August 11.
The rabbits were being kept in substandard and unsanitary conditions, according to the BC SPCA, which describes in a media release that the room where the animals were kept was hot and unventilated except for a window that had been left a few inches ajar.
“The floor, windowsill and bed were soiled and there were cockroaches and other insects crawling around on all the surfaces,” says Drever.
The rabbits were being bred for profit and many of them ranging from adults to newborns had urine-soaked fur. Officers found an empty overturned water bowl and hay that was too saturated with urine and feces for consumption.
“The room was filthy and the levels of ammonia were high,” says Drever.
The rabbits have been taken into custody and are currently being cared for in BC SPCA facilities in the Lower Mainland but this most recent seizure adds to an already large population of bunnies in shelters. Drever estimates there are 140 rabbits in BC SPCA care right now "nearly twice the number we had at this time last year,” she says, adding: “We would love to find homes for these sweet animals and encourage anyone interested in adopting a rabbit to view their profiles.”
Potential adopters are also encouraged to look into resources on the care and enrichment needs of rabbits on the BC SPCA site. If you are not able to adopt, Driver suggests that the BC SPCA is in urgent need of foster homes for the bunnies.