Houston Confiscation

Texas rabbits
We recently took in 27 rabbits from a massive confiscation in Texas. This has been a team effort and we are only just beginning.

The situation:
The SPCA of Texas (in Houston) and the County Sheriff’s Office removed 452 rabbits from a property in Kaufman County, Texas. The rabbits were found inside of crates inside a large, barn-type structure covered with tarp and other materials. In some places, more than four crates were stacked on top of one another. The crates were filthy, and the rabbits had little access to appropriate food or water. Many crates contained multiple rabbits, including numerous litters of juvenile rabbits. Two deceased rabbits were found on the property.

The rabbits had immediate, obvious medical issues, including long nails, hair loss, missing ears, missing eyes, wounds, matted fur and injured limbs and many later were discovered to have coccidia, mites and syphilis.

The SPCA of Texas had previously seized rabbits from this property in July 2013. They received information suggesting a welfare check was warranted and visited March 4. The investigator talked with the owners about bringing the animals’ conditions into compliance with Texas Health & Safety Code. On March 6, the conditions had not improved and the owner agreed to surrender the animals to the SPCA of Texas who sought help from rabbit rescue groups and shelters across the country. The House Rabbit Society emergency rescue committee coordinated with many groups, including the Bunderground Railroad to transport these rabbits to safe foster homes.

The rabbits stayed overnight with the Georgia House Rabbit Society en route. Claude, who was originally destined for the Alexandria Animal Welfare League, was ill when he arrived.  Judi Lainer, one of our fosterers who works at Blue Ridge Animal Hospital, stepped in to provide him with a next day vet appointment and a week of care until he was feeling better. Most of the rabbits had ear mites and several, including Claude, had syphilis. Luckily, both diseases were easily treated.

Where we are now:

Texas litter

Our chapter now has 27 of these rabbits -16 babies and 11 adults. Crystal, a lovely gray and white lop, has had several seizures so she will need a special home. Gunther, a grand chocolate Flemish Giant, and Onyx, a black mini-rex boy, have found their forever homes already! Our fosterers are helping the adult rabbits learn to trust people and maybe even have a little fun.

We took in three litters, and interestingly, one of our litters is clearly a blended family (not all genetically related). April is a Giant Chinchilla baby who is being treated for a jaw abscess and is scheduled for surgery this week. Also in this group is Champion, a lovely blonde boy who is missing a front leg.  He doesn’t let that stop him from frolicking with his siblings. Because they are living with other rabbits, we are adopting the babies to homes where they can live with other rabbits.

All of these rabbits are good candidates if you have been considering adopting a friend for your rabbit. They are growing very fast and already we have been able to neuter most of the boys and spay several of the older girls. Our foster volunteers are looking forward to the improvement in litterbox habits that accompany this.

House Rabbit Society in 2007 established an Emergency Rescue Grant program Our chapter is applying for a grant of $1000. However, our spay/neuter costs alone will be >$1800; and we have already treated several rabbits for illnesses related to the unsanitary conditions they experienced.

Can you help with a donation to help cover this medical care?