Santa Barbara County Animal Services received a call of several loose rabbits on Figueroa Mountain Road on August 2. The reports were that 20-30 rabbits were seen, seemingly in distress, along the roadway. Animal Control Officers, Good Samaritans, and volunteers were able to rescue a total of 14 rabbits from the location. Six were found deceased at the dump site.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services wants to remind pet owners that animal abandonment is against the law and unnecessary. Animal Services and partners throughout Santa Barbara County, like Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter (B.U.N.S.), offer resources to rabbit owners who no longer feel that they can provide adequate care. There are many other groups that provide resources to owners of other companion animals making abandonment of any animal even more egregious.
Rabbits are extremely susceptible to the elements. On August 2nd, the temperatures in this area rose to over 100 degrees which could have been the cause of death for several of the abandoned rabbits. In addition, the area they were left is home to predators of all types so the actual number of abandoned rabbits may never be known.
If you suspect animal abuse, including abandonment, is taking place in Santa Barbara County, you are urged to contact Santa Barbara County Animal Services or call 9-1-1. Animal abuse is a crime and as a community, we cannot tolerate it.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services is asking anyone with information about these rabbits or the person responsible for dumping them to contact La PAWS at 805-737-7755. Animal Services would like to thank the volunteers of B.U.N.S. that have gone to search for additional rabbits and also provided safe refuge for those that have already been rescued. B.U.N.S. is also offering a $500 reward to the person with information that leads to the prosecution of the person responsible for abandoning these innocent rabbits.