Pet bunnies released, taking over valley areas - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Pet bunnies released, taking over valley areas

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Bunnies are multiplying after being released as pets. Bunnies are multiplying after being released as pets.

Hundreds of rabbits call the mental health facility near Charleston and the I-215 home.

When FOX5 stopped by the facility Wednesday, there were dozens of bunnies. Workers said once the sun goes down, dozens turn to hundreds of rabbits.

These bunnies aren't wild. Animal activists said these were people's pets they've decided to dump in 'bunny dumpsters.' Adding to the problem is how quickly rabbits can replicate. A rabbit can have bunnies every 30 days. 

"There are whispers; people know where other people are dumping, at certain colleges or parks or golf course," Doug Duke of the Nevada SPCA said.

The mental health facility, according to Duke, is just one of dozens of places overrun by these rabbits.

"This is very common place," Duke said.

When FOX5 stopped by the NSPCA, it had just rescued a bunny that was released into a neighborhood.  

"We are hearing reports of different parks where this is happening," Duke said. "We have volunteers go to different parks but by the time they get there the bunnies can't be found." 

According to the NSPCA there are hundreds, maybe thousands of these released domesticated rabbits.  Duke said around Valentine's day, and Easter there is a huge spike in the purchase of rabbits, following a surge of animals at these 'bunny dumpsters.'

"The problem is people don't think about pets are members of their family, they think they're nuisances," Duke said. "People can be very selfish and cruel." 

The release of these bunnies is affecting not just the environment and ecosystems where they are being released, they are putting small children and dogs and cats in danger too.

"When someone releases a bunny outdoors, it's cruel," Duke said. " But it's also bringing in coyotes looking for an easy meal. So more cats and dogs are in danger as coyotes come further into neighborhoods."

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