Vancouver Island rescuers save 44 rabbits from alleged hoarding

Vancouver Island rescuers save 44 rabbits from alleged hoarding
WatchA Parksville rescue is overwhelmed by rabbits after 44 bunnies were saved from an alleged hoarding situation in Courtenay.

An online ad offering $5 rabbits drew Heather Dirks to a Courtenay property, where she said she found cages crammed with animals. So she ended up helping to save them all.

“Oh it was just horrible. I could not believe that anybody would house bunnies in this kind of condition. It just broke my heart,” said Dirks, a Campbell River resident.

Dirks alerted the BC SPCA at the end of January and turned to Parksville rescue, Flying Fur Animal Rescue to help. According to rescuers, the backyard breeder had 44 rabbits crammed into two cages, with dead rabbits and filthy conditions among them. So Dirks and a Port Alberni resident worked together to get all the rabbits out, and to Flying Fur.

“Oh it was bad. 44 bunnies, some already dead in two hutches and they were just fed potatoes, bread and birdseed which are all horrible things to feed bunnies,” said Flying Fur Animal Rescue Founder Leah Moore.

“There was just no way that I could leave them in the condition that they were left in,” said Dirks.

In addition, nearly all of 44 of the bunnies are pregnant and now giving birth, with fosters taking on helping as much as they can. Flying Fur Animal Rescue wonders how many bunnies they’ll have at the end of all the births, and how much money it will cost to spay and neuter them all.

“And vaccinations that’s about $200 to $300 each for us. With the $100 adoption fee, we really appreciate donations,” said Moore.

The BC SPCA is now investigating a complaint of animal hoarding at the 44 rabbits’ former home. As rescuers try to nurse the sick rabbits and all their many babies back to health.

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Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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