Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Officials removing 200 rabbits from pet business

July 29, 2015 Wsbtv Atlanta

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — The state has ordered a Gwinnett County business to stop selling animals after authorities discovered more than 200 rabbits at the site. An animal rescue group says some of the rabbits are sick.

The state Department of Agriculture issued a stop order on the facility on Bennett Road Wednesday afternoon, saying the pet petting business was not property licensed.

State and county authorities went to Pet Parties Plus on Wednesday after an animal rescuer says he found a rabbit in a cage in very bad shape. At the business, authorities say they found more than 200 rabbits. “It was in this kennel right here. It was laying in this corner right here. It wasn't really moving,” said animal rescue volunteer Jacob Lisy.

Since the sign on the cage said free rabbit, Lisy took the ill animal. He and other volunteers with the animal rescue Georgia House Rabbit Society then began looking into the business. “This one was very, very ill, and they just put it out,” he said.

Wednesday afternoon, authorities went to the business and say they found more than 200 rabbits and other animals on the property, including a bunny that an onsite vet said is sick. “In my opinion, it’s the way they are being kept,” said Dr. Steward Colby. “Rabbits don't do well in the heat.”

Gwinnett County police insist no local laws are being broken and the animals are OK, but there are just too many of them. Investigators say the owner admits she can't handle all the creatures and is looking for help. Authorities plan to remove the rabbits ten to twenty at a time over the next few weeks.

“The Georgia Department of Agriculture nor the Gwinnett County Animal Control has the resources to move all the rabbits from this location at one time,” said Gwinnett County police Cpl. Deon Washington.

A state Department of Agriculture spokesman told Channel 2’s Tony Thomas that the company didn't have a pet dealer’s license and the selling of rabbits and other activities are being halted. “It's very, very upsetting to me to see this,” Lisy said. Authorities say they plan to take the first dozen or so of the animals Thursday. Thomas was not allowed on the property and the business owner has not returned calls or emails for comment. 

A statement from a state official with the Animal Protection Program said, "The company in question does not currently have a State pet dealer’s license. We are issuing a stop order on the facility concerning the selling of any rabbits or the conducting of any other activity that requires a license through the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The inspector is currently investigating this case and no further information can be provided until the case is closed."

Comment: If you’d like to donate or otherwise help, please visit the Georgia House Rabbit Society. One volunteer says: “Most of these bunnies are very malnourished, scared, injured and sick. A lot of the females were pregnant, or just had new litters." http://houserabbitga.com/donation/

Read more: 1,000 animals rescued from horrific backyard breeding operation, Houston; over 200 outside Dallas; 92 rabbits & hamsters near Calgary, member of ARBA; Spokane animals seized, exploited as multi-purpose objects; Ohio cruelty

Free pet rabbits offered on Craigslist; cracking down on breeder ads online; Kijiji's position, free pets often end up in wrong hands, CHS seizes dead animals