In what it's calling one of the biggest rescues of its kind, the MSPCA this month took in over 25 rabbits from one home.
After being recovered from a Hampshire County home earlier this month, the animals have since been moved to the MSPCA’s Jamaica Plain adoption center. Now, with its shelter space for the cuddly critters overburdened, the organization is seeking owners for its stock of bunnies.
In mid-January, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals plans to hold a fee-free adoption weekend to help find its rabbits new homes. On Jan. 16 and 17, the state’s adoption hubs will waive its usual fees of $75 in Boston and $55 on the Cape.
“We have so many rabbits that the room set aside for them is completely overwhelmed and we now have to house them in our two cat colony rooms, which means space for our cats is limited,” Boston adoption center manager Alyssa Krieger said in a statement.
The bunnies are between 6 months and 2 years old. There are 47 rabbits being housed in Boston, the MPSCA said.
“In times like these the MSPCA can usually redistribute animals to its two other adoption centers in Methuen and Centerville on Cape Cod to make space,” MSPCA spokesman Rob Halpin said in an email. “But that’s not the case this time.”
There are 35 rabbits at the organization’s Methuen location – 25 percent above average. Nine live at the adoption center in Centerville, which is much smaller and has seen animals grouped closer together than usual following the rescue of five bunnies from a Cape Cod basement, according to the MSPCA.
“We’re also housing our rabbits in the cat colony rooms — spaces that are not at all designed for rabbits,” said Mike Keiley, director of the Methuen adoption center. “We’re doing the best we can to ensure all animals are safe and comfortable, and hopefully adopters will step forward to open their homes to these pets.”
Halpin said the rescue in Hampshire County came after an owner voluntarily surrendered a collection of bunnies after the animals, which were not spayed or neutered, continued to breed until the population's size was out of control.
"Before you know it, they were overwhelmed with rabbits and they couldn’t care for them. It’s not an uncommon situation," Halpin said in an email. "Some were a bit on the thin side but overall they are healthy and their futures are bright. So, no criminal charges or anything of the sort: our focus is on getting them all spayed and neutered and then into new homes."