Thursday, December 17, 2015

Massachusetts: Rabbits seized in Truro animal cruelty case up for adoption

MASSACHUSETTS -- Angora rabbits taken from an owner charged with animal cruelty are now available for adoption at two Cape shelters.

So far, two of the eight rabbits that were removed from allegedly filthy conditions in a Truro basement have been adopted.

Five others are available at MSPCA Cape Cod in Centerville and one is available at Animal Rescue League of Boston’s shelter in Brewster.

“Rabbits make wonderful pets for families," said Rob Halpin, director of public relations for the MSPCA. "It’s a great way to introduce kids to guardianship of companion animals.”

These rabbits, which are all about 2 years old, are social, friendly and easy to care for, he said. They are great with children and often get along well with other family pets, although they should be introduced to other animals slowly, he said.

"People who want to spend time playing with, cuddling with (their pet), a rabbit is a great choice," he said.

When they arrived at the shelters in September, the rabbits had serious skin infections and shelter staff treated them daily for about five weeks, Halpin said. One of the animals needed extensive dental work, he added.

Now the rabbits, which can be adopted for around $55, are healed and healthy, sporting long, beautiful fur, he said.

Their previous owner, Kenneth Abert, 56, of Provincetown, was charged earlier this month with animal cruelty after allegedly keeping the rabbits in stacked cages in a basement on Bayview Drive.

There was no ventilation for the animals, some of their food was moldy and three of the rabbits had no water, according to court documents. The rabbits' fur was matted from them sitting in their own waste, a report from Truro Animal Control Officer Suzanne Trasavage said.

After inspecting the property, Truro police asked Abert to turn the rabbits over to them and sought a criminal complaint.

In 2014 Provincetown officials had issued a shutdown order to Abert because he did not have the necessary permit for a rabbit-breeding operation he had set up on Race Point Road. When that property was inspected, dozens of rabbits were found in stacked cages with feces dripping from the cages on top into those below, according to Carol MacDonald, president of the Provincetown Animal Welfare Committee.

Abert is scheduled to return to Orleans District Court for a pretrial hearing Jan. 5.

(Cape Cod Times - Dec 15, 2015)


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