November 12, 2013
Nearly 200 rabbits, dogs, cats and other animals rescued in Franklin County
What does it say about an industry when someone facing charges for care and treatment violations of over 375 rabbits is the Vice President ( Rick Cartheuser) of the Indiana State Rabbit Breeders Association?
Despite previous warnings, living conditions did not improve for these the rabbits. Part of the agreed judgment states that he will not be able to own more than 15 within the county, he will also be responsible for paying the bonding cost as well as the spay-neuter for the 15 rabbits so they won’t breed and he won’t be able to increase. He will also be subject to periodic inspections by Animal Care and Control.
A rabbit breeder in Aptos near Santa Cruz, California will serve time in jail after having been convicted of animal abuse. Mario Albert De La Garza was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years probation after a jury found him guilty of not taking proper care of more than 100 rabbits. The 2011 bust revealed 114 rabbits in horrific conditions, many missing ears and limbs as a result of a misguided attempt to breed rabbits missing these parts. Today, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 60 months of probation. He is prohibited from having, buying or selling rabbits (or any animal). He is subject to search and seizure of any animals found in his care.
Rescue workers could be seen removing a small number of dead rabbits from the property, although Techmeyer estimated the number of deceased animals to be “in the single digits.” Veterinarians were also on hand and described the animals as “aggressively thirsty,” reaching desperately for water as it was poured for them.
Debe Bell Guilty – 35 counts of Animal Cruelty
Animal Control officers found deplorable conditions in a shed where 193 rabbits were housed. The shed was hot, 84 degrees, with little light and inadequate ventilation. The cages housing the rabbits were urine-soaked, caked in feces, and had little or no food. With few exceptions, they had no water. The animals were dehydrated. Many were severely matted, some with urine and feces matted and caked into their fur. The arrest affidavit went on to describe rabbits with severe eye discharge, nasal discharge and even a dead rabbit and another with a neurological disease. When Animal Control Officers and medical personnel placed clean bowls of water in front of the rabbits, the sick animals “lunged” at the bowls of water.