CLINTON TOWNSHIP -- One day after we told you about a donkey that was shot and killed last week in Lycoming County, word today that less than a half mile away, dozens of rabbits were found in bad condition. Some were dead, and now authorities are talking about filing animal cruelty charges.
"It was terrible. It was sickening," Natasha Atkinson said.
That is how Natasha Atkinson of Hepburn Township describes the living conditions of 50 rabbits in a barn near Montgomery. Atkinson says she was looking to buy piglets earlier this week, and ended up here, at Brouse Road Greenhouse.
"She told me they had no piglets but they had rabbits available," Atkinson said.
Atkinson says she walked into the barn and was shocked when she saw the rabbits.
"They were in like three inches of feces and urine. They had no food. There was trash laying everywhere. They were eating each other. They were starving to death," Atkinson said.
40 of the rabbits are now at the Lycoming County SPCA in Williamsport. Humane Officer Larry Woltz says ten other rabbits died. Woltz says when the SPCA took the rabbits from the property near Montgomery, they had no water or food and were not kept in pens. Some of the rabbits are missing parts of their ears and some are pregnant. Woltz describes what he saw.
"Beating up on each other. Male rabbits can't be put together in the same facility because they're very aggressive," Woltz said.
I asked the lady what they were doing with all these rabbits and she told me they raise them to eat them," Atkinson said.
Now the Lycoming County SPCA is faced with the problem of housing 40 rabbits. The SPCA needs to find happy and safe homes for each and every one of these bunnies.
"I mean, they're house pets, like you would keep a dog or a cat," Woltz said.
Woltz says he plans to file animal cruelty charges against the rabbit breeders. He also says a veterinarian will come to the Lycoming County SPCA next week to check out the rabbits. Once the rabbits have been checked out, they'll be put up for adoption. If you are interested, contact the Lycoming County SPCA at 570-322-4646.