ARL Removes 8 Living & 1 Deceased Pet Rabbits of Unique Breeds from Home

posted on Thursday, January 26, 2017 in News

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa’s (ARL) Animal Care & Control department recently received an anonymous tip to check on the welfare of rabbits at a Des Moines home. When the ARL Animal Control Officer arrived, they found 8 living and 1 deceased pet rabbits in wire hutches on the property.

There was no water or food and there was an overwhelming amount of urine and feces throughout the animal enclosures. All of the living rabbits were impounded and the deceased rabbit was sent for a necropsy, where it was determined the cause of death was starvation. Of the remaining rabbits, 4 were described by ARL Veterinarians as either “very underweight” or “emaciated”. The other 4 were of good weight, but had ear mites and overgrown nails.

“The Animal Rescue League is here to help pet owners who are struggling to provide for their pets, because things like this are completely avoidable.” said Tom Colvin, Executive Director for the ARL. “No animal should have to starve to death and fortunately the remaining rabbits were rescued just in time, or this could have had a much worse outcome.”

The owner has been cited on 5 counts of animal neglect and faces up to 30 days in jail and a $625 fine for each charge.

The 4 rabbits of healthy weight received treatment for their ear mites, their nails were trimmed, and they were spayed/neutered. They include two Flemish giants, 1 silver fox, and 1 mini rex and will be available for adoption at ARL South (inside Southridge mall), beginning Friday at 10:00 a.m.

The remaining very underweight and emaciated 4 rabbits will continue to be monitored and cared for by ARL staff until they reach a healthy weight and can be adopted.

To help support the care of the remaining 4 rabbits, donations can be made online at (RE: Rabbits) or mailed to 5452 NE 22nd Street, Des Moines, IA 50313. The ARL also is seeking high-quality rabbit food, timothy hay, and wooden chew toys (nonpainted).

About Animal Rescue League of Iowa
The Animal Rescue League of Iowa is Iowa’s largest nonprofit animal shelter, caring for many thousands of pets each year. The ARL serves people and pets from across the state through pet adoption, humane education, pet behavior training, spay/neuter, animal cruelty intervention and much more. For more information, visit