Scattered dead bunnies suspicious, Las Vegas animal rights group - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Scattered dead bunnies suspicious, Las Vegas animal rights group says

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Dead bunnies were found scattered across the lawn of a valley mental health facility on Sunday, and animal rights groups were calling foul play. (FOX5) Dead bunnies were found scattered across the lawn of a valley mental health facility on Sunday, and animal rights groups were calling foul play. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Dead bunnies were found scattered across the lawn of a valley mental health facility on Sunday, and animal rights groups were calling foul play.

On Friday, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services said an excessive population of feral rabbits have been running rampant on the grounds of the State of Nevada’s West Charleston campus. The state warned people to stay away from the rabbits and not to feed them because they may carry diseases.

Two days after the notice was sent out, over 20 bunnies were found dead.

“It’s disturbing,” Jeff Dixon, of the Humane Society of the United States said. “That’s no way to die for anybody.”

The rabbits' bodies were removed by animal rescuers and taken in for testing to figure out why they died. The results were still pending Monday but rescuers like Tina Drouin said they think it was foul play.

“There were no marks on them,” Drouin said. “They had absolutely no abrasions on them from coyotes or hawks. It looks like they had been poisoned and fallen over and died.”

One volunteer also said she found bags of lettuce covered in anti-freeze left out for the rabbits. Drouin said the timing of the bunnies death’s seemed strange.

“It feels suspicious to me,” Drouin said. “After the state released something saying these rabbits had diseases, a mass quantity were killed. I don’t think it happened randomly.”

Friday the state sent out a warning that said the bunnies pose a potential health risk and carry diseases including Tularemia and Salmonellosis, but animal rescuers said they believe there was never a threat.

“They did not say in the press releases that there was any positive results for any of the diseases they described,” Dixon said.

“Some of these diseases that the state is saying these rabbits are carrying, don’t even exist in this state,” Drouin said. “Normally if they do exist, they’re in wild rabbits.”

Drouin said the rabbits on the West Charleston campus are not wild, but domestic animals. She said you can tell by their coloring, size and ears, and that many of the bunnies were abandoned by their owners, and have multiplied quickly because that is what rabbits do.

She added that her organization, Las Vegas Bunny Rescue has been working to create an animal sanctuary for the bunnies and hopes the collaborative efforts between all the rescue organization will keep them safe until then.

“It’s just not right,” Drouin said. “These animals should not suffer in that way.”

The City of Las Vegas released a statement on Tuesday since the office was closed on Presidents Day which stated: 

The city’s Animal Control unit was out at the location (6171 W. Charleston Blvd.) on Sunday, but did not find any dead animals. Animal Control will be out again to the site today for another check. There was a false narrative on social media that the city has exterminating the rabbits, or planned to. This is not the case, as Animal Control does not exterminate animals. It is now being reported that recue groups are taking in some of the rabbits at this location on West Charleston.

Anyone interested in adopting one of the rescued bunnies, can contact Bunnies Matter in Vegas Too.

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