Rabbit rescue: 200 bunnies found at Gwinnett home

Rabbit rescue: 200 bunnies found at Gwinnett home

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Georgia House Rabbit Society volunteer Edie Sayeg said her heart breaks for the rabbits found in overcrowded pens in Gwinnett County. (BEN GRAY / BGRAY@AJC.COM)

Gwinnett County Animal Control is looking for a home for 200 rabbits that are being recovered from a petting zoo operation on a Grayson property.

Authorities responded to the 1000 block of Bennett Road on Friday after receiving a complaint about “excessive rabbits” at the location. During the visit, animal control found numerous overcrowded pens, with approximately 200 rabbits in total.

Some of the rabbits, which Gwinnett County Police Department Cpl. Deon Washington said all appeared to be alive and visibly healthy, will begin to be evacuated from the property Thursday, a process that will take three to four weeks due to the number of animals.

Washington said the owner called animal control last week for help to limit the number of rabbits on the property and that some of the animals will be up for adoption at the Gwinnett animal shelter.

Jacob Lisy, a volunteer with the Georgia House Rabbit Society, said he was alerted to the situation when he got a phone call from a friend who said she got a free rabbit from the location that didn’t look well.

“Being a volunteer for the House Rabbit Society, I thought I’d come take a look,” he said. “Obviously, the rabbit was very sick, very lethargic.”

Lisy said his friend found the rabbit in a cage with a sign reading “free rabbits” on it. After observing the animal, Lisy said it had a condition called “head tilt” that is caused by extreme stress. He said the animal probably had been there for three days — and that it wasn’t the first one.

“A couple of neighbors had told us there has been multiple rabbits out here and this one would not have made it if we hadn’t came and got it that day,” Lisy said.

Edie Sayeg, another volunteer with the GHRS, said she saw the animals in filthy living quarters.

“I have seen multiple rabbits in multiple cages that are not acceptable. There are 10 to 12 rabbits in small cages,” she said.

Lisy said the organization doesn’t have enough space for all of the animals and is trying to think of how to take care of all of them.

Animal control will not cite the owner since no county ordinances were violated, Washington said. However, the Georgia Department of Agriculture will issue stipulations controlling the amount of rabbits the owner is allowed to have.

“I’m no lawyer. I’m here to help the rabbits,” Sayeg said. “My heart breaks for those rabbits.”

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