CHOCTAW, Okla. - “Seeing them like that when they’re suffering, it’s horrible,” said veterinarian Dr. Michelle Leak.
Dr. Leak recalls the condition of rabbits taken from a property in Choctaw.
“We went and unfortunately one of the bunnies had a broken back in its kennel, so it couldn’t move. It was sitting in its own urine and it couldn’t get to the water dish- it was super, super dehydrated,” said Dr. Leak.
Choctaw Animal Control, removed 196 rabbits from what court documents called a "makeshift rabbitry."
The documents say "the cages were stacked three high" and "the rabbits appeared to be defecating on the lower rabbits."
The search warrant affidavit also says, "upon entering inside the makeshift rabbitry, police were met with the smell of urine and fecal matter."
“They were just packed in there and they were all on wire. They didn’t have food or water with them, no hay, and then there were feet of feces and urine underneath the kennels" said Dr. Leak.
News 4 first reported about this animal cruelty case, when more than 20 horses were confiscated from the same owner.
“Basically once we did the warrant on the horses, we started on the rabbits,” said Officer Kenneth Grant with Choctaw Animal Control. "Most of all the rabbits were still living in filth.”
News 4 called Irma Kendrick, the woman supposed to be taking care of them, but she did not answer.
Dr. Leak says these rabbits are now suffering from a multitude of issues.
“A lot of them have respiratory disease from all of the ammonia from the urine. They’ve got sores on their feet from sitting in the wired cages, some of them have ear mites” she said.
The court documents show that Kendrick recently relinquished her rights to the 196 rabbits, horses, donkeys, 96 chickens, and 4 cats that were seized.
Three horses and one donkey did not belong to her so she could not relinquish them.
Dr. Leak says these rabbits are still scarred from their previous living conditions.
“They’re afraid that the food is not gonna come, so we leave food and water out for them all the time... tons and tons of food,” she said.
Wednesday, Dr. Leak and volunteers with Rabbit Rescue OKC started spaying and neutering the rabbits to get them ready for adoption.
Some could be ready for adoption as early as this weekend.
Kendrick is due back in court Thursday at 1:30 and could now face around 300 counts of animal cruelty.