Animal control recovers more than 20 rabbits from Toms River home

Authorities say officials found more than 20 rabbits living in unsafe conditions on the property of a Toms River home.

News 12 Staff

Jan 30, 2023, 12:27 PM

Updated 531 days ago

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More than 20 rabbits were found on a Toms River property living in what officials say were unsafe conditions. Those rabbits are now under the care of the town’s animal shelter.
Police were called to a home in the Cattus Island section of town after a neighbor spotted multiple domesticated rabbits in the woods near a home. Animal officials removed 22 rabbits from the home. They believe there are more still on the loose.
“Sometimes, with small animals, they reproduce very fast and if you don’t know how to sex them and keep them separated, things get out of hand very quickly,” says Toms River Animal Control Officer Dave Matthews.
Officials say they believe that the owner became overwhelmed with the number of rabbits. They surrendered nearly two dozen to the township.
“I want to thank the residents who called in. That's what started the process, and we have good people in Toms River,” says Mayor Mo Hill. “They just followed the chain of command procedures they had in place.”
Crews dressed in hazmat gear removed 15 rabbits from a shed. The others were captured around the property. Some of the rabbits appeared injured.
“The ones that are less injured or don't have any injuries at all, after the seven days then they would go up for adoption,” says Matthews.
Animal shelters are usually not accustomed to taking in so many rabbits at one time. They are looking for donations such as cages with attached water bottles, bedding and two types of food - Timothy Hay and pellets.
“I don't think we will have any problems with donations, no problems with adoptions. The people of Toms River and Ocean County have been great and very supportive of our shelter,” says Maria Maruca, of the Toms River Animal Shelter.
As of now, no charges have been filed against the rabbits’ owner. But the case remains under investigation. It will be at least a week before any of the rabbits will be ready for adoption.


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