Posted on October 22, 2004

Rabbit Multiplication Runs Owner Out Of House

AP, Oct. 20

NEW ORLEANS — He wanted a bit of company, so he bought a pair of bunnies. He ended up with more company than he could handle.

Given the run of the house, the little furballs did what rabbits are known for. In less than a year, the man, whose name the Louisiana SPCA withheld on grounds that he was embarrassed enough already, had 73 rabbits.

They chewed the furniture. They burrowed into chairs, couches and mattresses. They processed food faster than their owner could clean up after them.

Finally, said SPCA Executive Director Laura Maloney, he passed out. Then he moved out and called his doctor for help.

The doctor called the SPCA, which chased rabbits through the house for much of the day Monday. Now — though a few have been adopted — it still has lots and lots, and is asking other area shelters for help.

“The rabbits were clean and healthy, even though the house wasn’t,” said Kathryn Destreza, director of animal services.

Maloney said the man was not cited and does not have the mental disorder called animal hoarding, Maloney said.

Hoarders collect strays and shelter animals in a misguided attempt to love and care for them, and rarely ask for help, she said. “He was a very nice man who recognized he was in a situation where he needed help.”