Dozens of rabbits rescued from backyard in Toms River, NJ
🐇Toms River humane law enforcement officers found 22 rabbits in a backyard shed
🐇Some of the rabbits had feces in their fur, yellowed feet and were dirty
🐇Unspayed and neutered rabbits are territorial and will fight each other
TOMS RIVER – Police, animal control and a hazardous material team removed a half dozen rabbits from the backyard of a home Sunday afternoon.
Toms River humane law enforcement officers responding to a call about a house on Harrison Road. They found 22 rabbits in a shed, according to police spokeswoman Jillian Messina.
Due to the condition of the shed, the Berkeley Township hazardous material team was called in.
Messina did not disclose if anyone was charged or why there was a larger number of rabbits at the house.
"My understanding is that they were not in the best of shape," Ocean County Public Health coordinator Dan Regyne told New Jersey 101.5. He was not at the house when the rabbits were being removed.
Some of the rabbits ran away while they were being gathered up but most of them have been recovered, according to Regyne. He said the number of rabbits found was much less than reported to police.
The rabbits were brought to the Toms River Animal Shelter where they will be checked over which presented a challenge, according to manager Dave Matthews. The staff had to find supplies rabbits need for their care like food, pads, a special hay called Timothy Hay, feeder chips, tip proof dishes and larger cage.
"We don't avidly stock rabbit food and things like that you know at the facility because we don't get that many all year long," Matthews told New Jersey 101.5. "If you buy an exorbitant amount of rabbit food it's only good for a couple of months and then it expires so we have to go and get it upon getting an animal."
Rabbits in rough shape
The rabbits were being checked over by Matthew to determine their health. They will eventually be available for adoption.
Matthews estimates that 70% of the rabbits that came to the shelter are in "rougher shape" and were dirty because of the cages they were kept in. Some of the rabbits' feet were yellow and had feces in their fur. Some of the injuries came because of the nature of rabbits who are very territorial.
"Rabbits are very dangerous to each other. If they're not spayed or neutered, they just will literally almost fight to the death sometimes," Matthews said. "Males will fight over the fact that they even know there's a female near or they'll just fight each other by ripping each other and kicking."
He said that separated rabbits are very friendly.
The Lakewood Scoop was first to report about the rabbits.
The rescue follows the removal of 180 cats and dogs from horrendous conditions at a Brick Township house on Dec. 3.
Aimee Lonczak and Michele Nycz are likely headed back to prison after breaking the terms of their pre-trial release by showing up at the Ocean County Animal Shelter in Stafford Township demanding the return of seven dogs they said belonged to them.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said that motions have been filed to revoke their pre-trial release and to return to the Ocean County Jail until their trial.