Cops probe abandonment of rabbits in Easton
By Joel C. Thompson
Posted: 02/05/2009 05:46:06 PM EST
EASTON -- It's a hare-raising riddle.
Over the last several weeks, about three dozen rabbits have been mysteriously left outside a house in the northern section of town.
In the most recent incident, a box holding 21 shivering rabbits and five guinea pigs was left outside the house Monday. The incident -- the third in as many weeks -- has prompted police to investigate, while an animal rescue group scurries to find new homes for the abandoned animals.
Brandee McBride-LaCava, vice president of Hop A Long Hollow, a rabbit rescue group based in Stratford and Norwalk, has been working with the homeowner to place the animals in shelters or with people who want to adopt them.
McBride-LaCava said her group and the Connecticut Humane Society have taken in some of the abandoned bunnies, while others have already been adopted by new owners.
"Rabbit abandonment happens all the time. Rabbits are the third most common pet behind dogs and cats" to be rejected by owners, she said. "People prohibited from having dogs and cats in their apartments or condos may keep rabbits as pets."
She said it is more unusual for guinea pigs to be abandoned because they are much less common as pets.
Police Chief John F. Solomon and Animal Control Officer Kelly Fitch said they have begun investigating who may have abandoned the rabbits and guinea pigs.
"We have a very active investigation to determine who is responsible," Solomon said. "It is an uncommon matter."
Twice over the past three weeks, Fitch said, 31 rabbits have been dropped at the same house. "The rabbits were of assorted ages and colors from bunnies to adults, including some dwarfs," she said.
McBride-LaCava, however, said she knows about three incidents, including one the homeowner apparently did not report to police.
The homeowner, contacted by telephone, asked not to be identified, fearing that more animals might be abandoned at her property. She declined further comment.
The animal control officer said she is aware of other instances over the past three years of rabbits being abandoned in Easton -- one was a lone rabbit and another involved three domestic rabbits found wandering along the Aspetuck Valley walking trail.
McBride-LaCava said her organization, established five years ago, has placed more than 150 rabbits and small animals in new homes over the past two years. Before the animals are given a second chance in a new home, they sometimes need medical attention and are spayed or neutered, she said.
Anyone interested in adopting one of the abandoned rabbits should call Hop A Long Hollow at 767-1150 or 247-4661.
Hop A Long Hollow is a GREAT group and they're always willing to help out when called. http://www.hopalonghollow.org/