Malnourished rabbits rescued from home

June 30, 2011 5:40:27 PM PDT
Twenty-one rabbits were rescued earlier this week from inhumane conditions at a home in Oakland were they were allegedly being kept as a source of food, police said.

The rabbits were found at the home near Lake Merritt on Tuesday when a humane advocate from the East Bay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals joined Oakland Animal Services and police to follow up on a complaint concerning the animals.

They searched the home's backyard and found several rabbits in two small, wire cages, as well as others hidden under a plastic tub on the side of the house, according to police.

No food or water was visible for any of the animals, whose owner was raising them for food and had only been feeding them white rice, police said.

Living conditions for the rabbits were deemed inhumane, and they were taken away to the East Bay SPCA center for examination by veterinary staff.

Three of the animals will require special care at the SPCA, including a baby rabbit with deformed back legs that likely resulted from poor nutrition, according to police.

The other 18 rabbits have been transported to Oakland Animal Services, increasing the city shelter's rabbit population from 32 to 50. The city is working with SaveABunny, a Mill Valley-based rabbit rescue organization, to find new homes for the animals.

Anyone interested in adopting a bunny is asked to contact the shelter at (510) 535-5602.

Separately, Oakland city officials are hosting two community workshops in the near future to get feedback on regulations being drafted for urban agriculture, including the raising and slaughtering of animals for food.

The first of the two meetings is scheduled for July 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 5714 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

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