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Police Recover 78 Rabbits From Columbia Residence

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COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ)– An alarming find inside a Columbia townhome: rabbits — dozens of them — 78 to be exact.

Weijia Jiang explains how the animals took over the home.

Police say it was an anonymous tip that led them to these rabbits, and even they were surprised at how many were living inside the same condo.

At the 5800-block of Barnwood Place in Columbia, Kerry Martin was shocked to see three Animal Control trucks crowd his neighbor’s home.

“I thought if there’s a problem with a dog or a cat, I couldn’t understand why they had three [Animal Control trucks],” Martin said.

He was even more alarmed to learn why police were there. They found 78 rabbits in the same house, living in conditions they call “inhumane.”

“There were layers of clutter and debris, the rabbits were roaming freely, there was animal waste through the residence,” said Elizabeth Schroen, Howard County Police.

Veterinarians are giving each animal a check-up at the Howard County Animal Control.

Despite some scratches, the rabbits are in good health.

Police say the 46-year-old homeowner started out with just two bunnies she thought were both females, but they started multiplying again, and again, and again.

“I mean, just awful, like if you come through here, it smelled like animal, like a dead animal if you can picture what that is,” said Daneen Hatcher, next door neighbor.

Hatcher says she thought her neighbor only had two pets.

“Why would she have all of them is what’s on everyone’s mind, why she would have ‘em,” Hatcher said.

It’s a question police are looking into while the landlord cleans up the mess that nearly 80 rabbits left behind.

For now they recuperate together but for a change, apart.

Police have not determined whether the homeowner will face any civil or criminal charges. They stress the rabbits were in good shape.

 The rabbits are all up for adoption at $30 each, which covers the cost of mandatory spay or neuter surgery. The Howard County Animal Control & Adoption Center is located at 8576 Davis Road in Columbia. For more information about adoption, please call 410-313-2780.

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