The ARL received an anonymous tip to check on the welfare of pet rabbits in an unidentified Des Moines home.
When an animal control officer arrived, nine rabbits were found in wire hutches on the property. There was no food or water for the rabbits and there was an "overwhelming amount of urine and feces," in the cages, according to the release.
The dead rabbit was sent for a necropsy that determined it starved to death, according to the release.
“The Animal Rescue League is here to help pet owners who are struggling to provide for their pets, because things like this are completely avoidable,” said Tom Colvin, executive director for the ARL, via the release. “No animal should have to starve to death, and fortunately the remaining rabbits were rescued just in time, or this could have had a much worse outcome.”
The unidentified owner has been cited on five counts of animal neglect and faces up to 30 days in jail and a $625 fine for each charge.
The four rabbits of healthy weight received treatment for their ear mites, their nails were trimmed and they were spayed or neutered. The rabbits are two Flemish giants, one silver fox, and one mini rex.
Beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, they will be available for adoption at ARL South inside Southridge Mall.
The remaining four rabbits will continue to be monitored and cared for by ARL staff until they reach a healthy weight and can be adopted, according to the release.
How to help
To help support the care of the remaining rabbits, donations can be made online at ARLIowa.org/donate (RE: Rabbits) or mailed to 5452 NE 22nd Street, Des Moines, IA 50313.
The ARL is also asking for high-quality rabbit food, timothy hay and non-painted wooden chew toys
(Des Moines Register - Jan 26, 2017)