INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Animal Care Services got a bit more crowded Monday as they brought in more than 50 domesticated rabbits Friday.
IACS says Animal Control Officers responded to the area of 42nd and Post Friday on a call of domesticated rabbits running loose. When they arrived, they found more than 50 rabbits were dumped in the area.
“When they saw the report of how many there were, we reached out to the Indiana House Rabbit Society for some assistance in getting these rabbits picked up from this neighborhood,” said Roxie Randall, manager of community outreach for IACS.
Randall says as they were examining the rabbits, it became clear they were domesticated.
“They’re not the wild rabbits that you might see like walking a trail or something like that, said Randall. “These guys clearly were domesticated.”
At least one rabbit was found to be deceased, several others have injuries ranging from bite wounds, eye infections and nasal discharge. There were also some rabbits that were pregnant.
While IACS is continuing to investigate what led up to the rabbits being dumped in the area, Randall says it is possible that it was a situation that got out of hand.
“It very well could have been a backyard breeding situation or someone that they had a couple of rabbits and it just got out of control and they couldn’t handle it,” said Randall.
To prevent this type of situation, Randall says it is possible to get rabbits and other small rodents and mammals spayed and neutered. Some rescues that the IACS works with performs these, but it is currently not something they have access to.
The IACS is trying to figure out who dumped the rabbits, saying it is unlawful for a person to abandon any animal on public or private property in the city, per Sec. 531-402 of City-County code.
A person who violates this code can face a fine of at least $200. However, Randall says they want to know if the person who dumped the rabbits needs help with anything.
“If they need help with something you know we would like to help them not have to, you know, potentially dump animals and know that well, yes, there are repercussions for your actions,” said Randall. “We do also want to make sure that if they need help, we are also trying to help them.”
The IACS is working with the Indiana House Rabbit Society (IHRS) to provide supplies, and ongoing care for the rabbits at the shelter. Veterinary care is being provided by Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital made possible by donations to Indiana House Rabbit Society.