150 animals taken from Vancouver home, some adoptions underway - KPTV - FOX 12

150 animals taken from Vancouver home, some adoptions underway

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One of the rabbits at the Humane Society of SW Washington Monday. (KPTV) One of the rabbits at the Humane Society of SW Washington Monday. (KPTV)
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Imagine 150 animals inside a single home.

That’s what Clark County Animal Control officers recently found at a home in Vancouver’s Orchards neighborhood, after a number of complaints from people living nearby.

Animal Control spokesperson Paul Scarpelli told FOX 12 they believe the homeowner, who is not being identified, had good intentions – but things obviously got out of hand.

That person willingly surrendered 107 rabbits, 19 chickens and 21 guinea pigs on March 10.

The Humane Society of SW Washington took all the animals, giving the chickens to partners with farms in the area and the guinea pigs to the Portland Guinea Pig Rescue.

“It’s been a whirlwind, definitely,” said Lisa Feder with the Humane Society. “For the most part, we’ll have one, maybe two rabbits at any given time. I think in general we see about 50 rabbits a year, so this is a tremendous amount to care for at any given time.”

On top of food and supplies, every rabbit had to be spayed or neutered, adding to an already busy surgery schedule at the facility.

While the homeowner is not facing any charges, he could have to pay restitution to cover the costs of caring for the animals, which Scarpelli said is between $10,000 and $15,000 so far.

The scope of the intake was so large, the Humane Society had to set up a temporary shelter at the Clark County Fairgrounds.

Some 4-H families and other rescue groups have taken some of the "Thumpers," but 65 rabbits still need good homes.

The Humane Society of SW Washington is holding a “Rabbit Palooza” adoption special this week, with all of the rabbits available for a $25 suggested donation.

However, with Easter approaching, Feder and the rest of the humane society staff want to warn families not to adopt a rabbit without doing their research. They may be cute and furry, but they’re also a lot of work and may not be ideal for families who have never had a rabbit before.

Portland Guinea Pig Rescue tells FOX 12 most of the females they received are pregnant, so they and their babies won’t be available for adoption for up to six months. One guinea pig even had a C-section to save its life.

They are all being rehabilitated in foster homes for now, but will eventually be adopted out to vetted homes.

Scarpelli said animal control officers had been to the Orchards home before, but there are no existing codes on the books that regulate maximum numbers of allowable rabbits at a home within city limits. City councilors will be working to modify existing code to enact restrictions going forward.

To report animal control issues, nuisances or concerns in Clark County, call 360-397-2488. Scarpelli said they would much rather intervene in cases where animal owners feel overwhelmed before a situation gets out of control.

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