CYPRESS (CBSLA) — Nearly 300 rabbits seized from a Cypress home will be available for adoption Thursday.

Orange County Animal Care officers Tuesday hauled away 278 rabbits after a neighbor complained about the stench.

“The smell for one is really bad because the property is not clean, and also, the rabbits tend to burrow. So they were having problems with them burrowing into neighboring properties,” said Sondra Berg of OC Animal Care.

Berg said the owner started with only two rabbits several years ago. Now, it is out of control.

“Never spayed or neutered the animals and just allowed them to continue breeding, which with rabbits we all know that every 28 days, they can get pregnant and have another litter. Hence, we’re at 300,” Berg added.

The owner, Rick Searles, won’t face any charges of animal cruelty because the rabbits are healthy and are in good shape and because he agreed to surrender most of his pets to animal-control officers.

“They agreed to allow him to keep 30 for the time being because he’s emotionally attached to them,” Berg added.

“I’m pretty sad right now because all they wanted to do was live, have a place to live, a nice clean place to live. That’s what we gave them,” Searles said.

He said he was grateful he got to keep at least 30. “We were able to pick out our favorite ones. But I still feel sad for the unknown future of the other ones.”

As for the rest, they will be available for adoption Thursday morning at Orange County Animal Care.

Comments (7)
  1. carrie says:

    He is keeping 30 rabbits and will they be spayed and neutered? No criminal charges against the owner but what about fines or financial responsibility? These bunnies will be available for adoption starting tomorrow so will those be spayed or neutered? If not adopted, will they be euthanized? How long will Orange County Animal Care keep them?

  2. margi cheske says:

    Crazy that they left him with 30. Did they make sure they were spayed or neutered? Otherwise they will be back in a few months to get loads more. OC is a high kill shelter so this is a very sad situation. And they DON”T Spay and Neuter bunnies when they adopt, so they just keep making the situation worse.

  3. Debbie D. says:

    It is irresponsible to knowingly allow this man to keep the rabbits without getting them spayed/neutered. He should be able to get low cost spay/neuter. Then he will be able to manage the bunnies he kept. As for all that went to the shelter, all of those rabbits must be spayed/neutered by the shelter before adopting out. OC shelter is not helping and is completely irresponsible if they allow any animal to leave the shelter unaltered. OC is a high kill shelter and many of those rabbits will be killed! This is fact. All people in rabbit rescue are familiar with the OC shelter’s practices of killing rabbits.