An Orange County animal shelter is overwhelmed after more than 160 rabbits were surrendered by a hoarder Friday.
WAGS Pet Adoption had a similar case from Richard Searles last year, when he surrendered 125 rabbits from his home in Cypress.
Though Cypress is not a part of WAGS' jurisdiction, it is believed that Searles transports his animals within Westminster due to WAGS' guideline of euthanizing animals only in extreme cases.
"This is a tried and true hoarding case," said Cortney Dorney, Director of Operations at WAGS. "There is something wrong with this gentleman that makes him think this is something OK to do."
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Sixty-five rabbits from last year's seizure still remain at the shelter, which makes a grand total of 226 rabbits under WAGS' care.
"We are severely overwhelmed," said Dorney. "We absolutely do not have the space, the time, the staffing, the money to do any sort of rehab for these animals."
Compared to the 125 rabbits seized in 2017, the rabbits coming through WAGS' doors are in much worse medical condition. According to Dorney, most of the rabbits have a wound or some sort of medical condition.
To care for the 65 rabbits remaining from last year, it costs the shelter $60,000 per year. It is estimated the new brood will cost another $100,000 to supply long-term food, hay, medical care and spay or neuter procedures before they can be put up for adoption.
"We need help from the community," said Dorney. "We need monetary donations. We the need the community to help spread the word that we have all of these rabbits, not only for adoption but for other rescue groups or shelters to take some of these animals off our hands."
If you are interested in fostering or adopting rabbits, please call WAGS at (714) 887-6156.