Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Dead rabbits strung up in Marina Park
Tuesday, May 06, 2008 Comox Valley Echo
The Comox Valley SPCA is warning Valley residents to keep their cats and animals inside at night after five dead rabbits were found hung from trees at Marina Park in Comox. Some of the rabbits were gutted, with their intestines hanging out, while others had plastic bags over their heads as if they were suffocated.
Most of the rabbits were found in a tree and on top of the gazebo Sunday morning and cleaned up by public works staff but at least one rabbit was still in the park Monday morning - just in time for pedestrians and dog walkers discover the rabbits themselves. "It was a pretty awful prank that was obviously in bad taste," said town public works superintendent Glenn Westendorp. The town reported the grisly find to the RCMP.
The Comox Valley SPCA hopes someone who knows about the rabbits or who saw the events take place in the park will come forward. "If they can do that to rabbits they can do it to other animals," said SPCA manager Tricia DeBruyne. "People should be aware and keep their cat or any other kind of animal in at night."
She says pet owners have enough to worry about with traffic and animal attacks, let alone being killed as a prank. "It's a sick, sick thing," she said. "There's nothing out there to justify it - absolutely nothing." No other incidents like it have been found, however, DeBruyne said there have been other cases in years past involving skinned cats, and cats injured by being forced to eat hot objects.
She said people who abuse animals usually have other issues as well and the link between animal abuse and abuse of people has been documented. "There's usually more to it than that," she said. "If they've got it in their minds to do that than who else are they harming?"
It's not clear if they rabbits were domesticated or wild, or how much planning went into Sunday morning's discovery.
To Lynda Jones, whose dog discovered one of the rabbits Monday morning, the find was enough to turn her stomach. "I wish we could find those kids and give them some rough community service," said Jones. She says she's glad she made the discovery before any children saw the rabbit.
May 6, 2008
Two letters to the Comox Valley Echo
Public works superintendent Glenn Westendorp and SPCA manager Tricia DeBruyne both referred to the murder of these vulnerable and innocent creatures as a “prank.” I hardly call a cruel and callous act carried out by cowardly thug/s in which horrendous suffering was involved, a “prank.” Would the death of a gutted person hanging from a tree be considered in the same way? Of course not.
So don’t trivialize this crime – it was an act of murder.
When I was a kid, a prank was a harmless bit of mischief, like knocking on neighbourhood doors and running away. What is referred to as a prank by the town's public works superintendent and by the SPCA manager, is actually a vile and cruel act committed on some defenseless little rabbits by a cowardly punk(s). How society has deteriorated.
Comment: Not only were these rabbits mutilated before being senselessly slaughtered, they suffered the indignity of being strung up in the park trees. Animal cruelty is a very serious crime and should be treated as such. It’s up to all of us to keep pressing for stronger laws and to keep spreading the word that we want equal justice for those who have no voice. If laws don’t keep pace with public sentiment, more people will begin to take action to make certain the punishment fits the crime. Under no circumstances, is there ever any excuse for animal abuse.