House Rabbit Society of Missouri
Missouri House Rabbit Society of St. Louis has been involved in many animal confiscations over the past few years. These are cases of severe abuse and neglect where animals have been turned over to humane authorities. We have helped care for and adopt out the rabbits involved.
2015 St. Francis County
The Humane Society of Missouri is overwhelmed with a large number of animals surrendered by a breeder in St. Francois County, including 21 rabbits.
We are the only organization that can place these bunnies with people we have educated to be good bunny parents, so we will help. At present, the rabbits are with the Humane Society but we will accept them next week, get them health-checked and take care of any medical needs they have.
2014 Franklin County
In the Fall of 2014, the same woman who was found to have dozens of unhealthy rabbits hoarded on her property did it again. She managed to collect over 200 rabbits who were all in various stages of decline. There was little food or water, they were being sold for meat or pets. All were confiscated by the Humane Society of Missouri. However, a judge ruled in her favor this time since rabbits are considered livestock and livestock has few regulations in Missouri. She could not afford to pay for the vet care and food they received and another judge turned the rabbits over to the shelter. Nothing is preventing her from doing this again.
2014 Caseyville, IL
In January 2014, volunteers were called to a house in Caseyville, IL that was being monitored by local officials for animal neglect. They found 27 freezing live rabbits and four chickens. There were also some dead baby rabbits found on site. They had no access to any food or water. Chew marks were found on the frozen bowls in their cages. The rabbits were brought to the shelter and the chickens went to a volunteer's house in Illinois. The breeder who abandoned the rabbits was given a $500 municipal fine and the rabbits were turned over to our rescue.
2011 Midwest Flood Rescues
Over 20 rabbits were found left to die in an abandoned trailer in a flood plain during heavy rains. The rabbits were brought to our shelter for medical attention and much needed food and water. All rabbits were spayed and neutered and put up for adoption as soon as they were healthy.
2010 Cape Girardeau
Around 40 rabbits were removed from a hoarder's house in Cape Girardeau, MO. Over 30 other animals were also removed from the woman's house including dogs, goats, guinea pigs, chickens and rare birds. The rabbits were housed in cages stacked on top of one another or stored in cardboard boxes. All were living in their own feces. The rabbits were brought to our shelter where they were given medical attention, food and water. Once the rabbits were healthy, they were put up for adoption.
2010 Franklin County
On Thursday, February 25th, the Humane Society of Missouri removed numerous animals, including 133 rabbits of many breeds from a woman who was breeding them on her property near Franklin County. For the most part, the rabbits were housed individually in outdoor cages, completely exposed to the weather. The cages had wire bottoms and were stacked high. Some rabbits had food, but the water bowls were frozen solid. They lived in filth.
One-by-one, the rabbits were carried to a triage room and examined by Dr. Beisswenger and Dr. Matthew Shivelbine, a vet for the Humane Society. The rabbits were wet with urine, their fur stained yellow and they smelled. Most were thin, many had ear mites, some had overgrown teeth, a few had abscesses. The long-haired rabbits were terribly matted.
Eventually, the Humane Society was awarded custody of the rabbits and our rescue helped care for and house the rabbits until they were adopted.
2009 Stone County
In March, our chapter learned that seven-dozen rabbits had been discovered in a filthy tractor-trailer near Branson, Missouri. The scene was horrific—deteriorating cages, carcasses of dead rabbits, terrified live rabbits with their white fur stained yellow from urine, their feet caked with brown feces.
The person responsible was a breeder who had been raising New Zealands to sell as meat. When he abandoned the business, he abandoned the rabbits.
On March 19, the rabbits were removed by the Humane Society of Missouri and taken to its Longmeadow Rescue Ranch in Union, Missouri. Rescue vans brought the rabbits, including about 30 babies, in waves to be examined by a triage unit, set up in a stable. Our members helped with triage, as did Linda Beisswenger, DVM, and her staff at Hope Animal Hospital in Fenton.
With the help of our members and donations from American Pet Diner and PetSmart charities, we rescued 127 rabbits, in total.
2008 Polk County
43 rabbits were rescued from an animal hoarder in Polk County. They were removed the Humane Society of Missouri and cared for at their shelter by members of our rescue, especially, Illinois member Maggie Perez. Dr. Linda and her hospital staff provided care for the rabbits and provided evidence against the hoarder for the courts. They also spayed and neutered 20 of the rabbits on one Sunday to make them eligible for adoption as soon as possible. We gratefully acknowledge the Humane Society for its dedication to giving the animals a second chance. We especially thank the rescuers who collected the animals from the hellish premises of the Polk County hoarder: Adoption Center's Director Cyndi Nason, Supervisors Pam Whitcraft, Corrie Stengle, Holly Witzel and Randi Kephart and we thank the employees who gave up their lunchroom to house the bunnies. Thanks to any member of our rescue who adopted one of these bunnies.