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Police seize 222 rabbits at Calvert County rescue

More than 200 rabbits were seized from a Calvert County rescue because of poor living conditions, police said Thursday.

A veterinarian, accompanying the Calvert County Sheriff's Office, determined that 43 rabbits were healthy enough to stay at the Bunny Magic Rabbit Rescue and Wildlife Rehabilitation in the 1300 block of Tongue Cove Lane in Lusby, police said. The veterinarian examined the rabbits and determined that 222 needed further medical care.

A woman who answered the phone at the rescue Thursday said she had no comment.

The rabbits were kept inside a residence and a one-car garage, police said. The rabbits that were seized were transported to the Tri-County Animal Shelter, where the animals will remain, pending court action, according to authorities.

Police said an investigation continues and possible criminal charges are pending. Anyone with information is asked to call 410-535-1600 ext. 2462.

Police were responding to alleged animal cruelty at the facility.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, filed the complaint, according to the organization. PETA reported that their inspectors found "sometimes fatal neglect of animals." Rabbits were kept in crowded, stacked cages with their own waste, according to PETA.

"Well-meaning people often do not see what goes on in these kinds of 'too-good-to-be-true' places, and many of these facilities turn out to be hoarders' lairs," PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch said in a statement. "PETA urges everyone to speak up when they see animal abuse and neglect: If not for a whistleblower, these rabbits would still be lying there, helpless and dying. We thank law enforcement and the state's attorney for taking action."

ywenger@baltsun.com

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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