SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, PA — The folks at Griffin Pond Animal Shelter near Clarks Summit are accustomed to jumping in to help animals, especially in a hoarding situation. But they have never had a case that dealt with such a large number of rabbits.
"We didn't expect 200, so this was a big undertaking," said Lackawanna County Humane Officer Marci Zeiler.
Crates on top of crates are filled with rabbits inside Griffin Pond Animal Shelter near Clarks Summit. Zeiler says she received a call regarding rabbits at a home in Covington Township. The estimate was 40 rabbits needed rescuing, but that number quickly grew, overwhelming the staff at the shelter.
"We're at capacity as it is, so we don't really have space. So, they're all set up in crates up in our community room. We ran out of crates," Zeiler said.
Zeiler says all the rabbits taken from the home near Moscow are in bad shape. Some need more medical attention than others.
"Most of them are pretty thin, if not emaciated. A lot of them have eye issues. Some of them have also ulcerated eyes. Some of them have eye infections. There was very strong ammonia. So, we're dealing with some upper respiratory issues."
Employees and volunteers at Griffin Pond have worked tirelessly over the past 24 hours to feed the animals and figure out how they're going to care for the nearly 200 rabbits and one guinea pig.
"All of these need vet care. They're all going to need spay and neuter. So, it's going to be a gigantic financial undertaking for the shelter."
Zeiler says the biggest hurdle, in this case, is they've never had to take on this many rabbits at one time, and they've reached out to other rescues to help. The biggest concern, besides the cost of care, is making sure the number of rabbits doesn't increase.
"We're working on just sexing everybody so that we're not continuing the issue. So we can get females with females, males with males."
Zeiler says charges will be filed once the investigation is complete.
Shelter officials are asking for rabbit cages or large wire dog cages along with any rabbit supplies and donations.
If you have donations to drop off in person, you can bring them into the lobby between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.
If you have experience with rabbits, you can apply to become a foster here.
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