On August 26, 2016 the NJSPCA responded to a tip on their animal cruelty hotline. Upon arriving at a property in Hampton, NJ (Hunterdon County), what they found was so horrific they immediately called for help. It was a bunny mill. Over 200 rabbits were found living in tiny wire cages in sheds with no air conditioning and feces piled everywhere. The temperature inside the sheds was well over 100 degrees. The stench was horrific. Dozens more rabbits were crammed in dilapidated hutches outside the sheds. If that wasnt awful enough, on further exploration of the property the officers found over 100 more rabbits and 27 Guinea pigs living in the dark, damp, feces covered fly infested basement of an abandoned house on the property.
The NJSPCA put out the cry for help to local rabbit rescues who immediately jumped into action. Within hours volunteers were on site removing dirty, sick, and injured rabbits from maggot infested boxes to the safety of a carrier bound for a better life. Rescues from NJ, NY, CT, MD, VA, PA, DE, and even KY stepped up to help these poor animals. Vans, trucks, cars, and SUVs rolled in to load up as many carriers as they could fit and bring these animals to safety. Eighteen hours after the SPCA arrived on scene 291 rabbits, 27 Guinea pigs, 2 chickens, and a calf had been removed from the property. Some of the rabbits and Guinea pigs have already given birth since being rescued and we are certain more are pregnant, bringing the total number of rabbits involved in this rescue effort to well over 300.
These animals are now in the care of rescue organizations, but their journey is far from over. Many of these rabbits are sick. So far many have tested positive for coccidia, syphillis and upper respiratory infections. All of these bunnies have to be spayed and neutered. In addition to their medical expenses, the rescues will incur the cost of regular care for these babies- pellets, hay, fresh greens, bedding.
The (discounted) cost of a spay/neuter is around $100 PER RABBIT. That puts the cost of spay/neuter alone at over $30,000.
This does not include the cost of exam fees, antibiotics, and other medications that will be needed.
A 10lb bag of quality pellets will feed 5 rabbits for about a week and costs $20. Not including the essential hay and greens a rabbit diet must contain, that puts the WEEKLY cost of feeding these rabbits right around $1200.
To vet and care for 300 rabbits is going to cost these organizations upwards of $50,000. But that didn't stop them from stepping in to save lives. Please help defer the costs by donating to this fund. No amount is too small and all donations go directly to the rescues involved in this massive life saving effort.
You can get information on fostering or adopting and see more photos and videos on our collaborative favebook page:
"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little." ~Edmund Burke