City and County ignoring ballooning bunny problem - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

City and County ignoring ballooning bunny problem

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Bunnies graze in a popular dumping site (FOX5). Bunnies graze in a popular dumping site (FOX5).

At a mental health facility near CSN, you'll see more bunnies than humans. Workers estimate there are more than 1,000 bunnies hopping around the grounds.

Stacey Taylor, found of Bunnies Matter in Vegas too, says while these rabbits may be cute, they are symptomatic of a much larger problem; one she is trying to fix. 

Taylor says some of these bunnies are pets people drop off, others are the results of those dumped bunnies reproducing. 

"People think because they are rabbits they live in the wild, and these rabbits are domestic, they are pets, they struggle out here," she says. 

Taylor calls the areas where bunnies are left 'bunny dumpsites', and says there are multiple around the valley.  She feeds the animals at each of these sites twice a day.

"If this was dogs or cats we wouldn't even be having this discussion," she says. "But because its rabbits there is no help."

Taylor says she's gone to the city, county and state and says little is being done. She does say that the state is now allowing her on their properties to feed the animals, but says she's receiving no financial help, and says she was told a plan she came up with to help the problem was 'illegal'.

"We proposed catching the animals and neutering them and then releasing them back here ," she said. "Sadly, we were told if we remove the bunnies from the property and bring them back, we would be charged with dumping because it's illegal to dump. Which I find Ironic."

Taylor routinely takes injured animals to get medical attention, then works to adopt them out. A rabbit she rescued last week was found with a bone sticking out and had to have a leg amputated, something she pays for.

While she's trying to monitor and care for the rabbits she is already seeing, she says 40 to 50 new ones are dumped each week. She sees the biggest dumping of bunnies around the holidays, especially Easter, and adds because they are domestic they struggle to get acclimated. She says a lot end up being eaten.

"We were actually just told that there are homeless people in the areas, that feed on them. Homeless people are taking them and using them for food."

In 2015, V Animal Sanctuary was given $40,000 to work on this problem, which Taylor says breaks down to about $40 an animal, far under the necessary budget. 

For people who suggest leaving the animals alone to die, Taylor says the healthier we keep them, the more likely the animals are to be adopted. She also points to the fact allowing animals to starve to death would be cruel. 

FOX5 called the county and they said while they do have animal control, they believed the issue was a city problem because they have not received complaints. We also called the city who said they are unaware of any complaints. 

Another local group works with Bunnies Matter in Vegas too and is doing a Bunny and Boose Yoga, where for $25 you can get a mimosa or beer and do yoga with the bunnies, all the proceeds go back to help the animals. 

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