South Sound News

246 rabbits removed from Puyallup property during animal cruelty investigation

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PUYALLUP, Wash. — Hundreds of rabbits were seized from a Puyallup home on Thursday after Pierce County Animal Control officers served a search warrant as part of an animal cruelty investigation.

Animal control had received a complaint about the care of the animals and started an investigation, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

A total of 246 rabbits were removed from the home. Of those, 95 were found in two sheds in a home’s backyard and the rest were inside the house in cages.

Staff with the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County helped animal control officers inspect each rabbit before they were taken to the Tacoma shelter to be examined and treated, if needed.

“This is too many animals for one person to care for and the seizure of the animals was essential to making sure they could be cared for properly,” a blog post by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said.

The sheriff’s department said the seizure was the largest number of animals the animal control unit had ever taken in one day. It was also one of the largest intakes of animals at the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County.

“This is a massive undertaking,” Dr. Jennifer Bennett, chief veterinary officer at the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County, said Thursday. “It’s one of the largest intakes our shelter has experienced. We’ve been working around the clock to prepare for all the care these rabbits will need and we need the community’s help.”

The shelter has limited space and resources and is asking community members to provide foster homes for rabbits in need. Anyone who is interested is asked to stop by the shelter on Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to fill out an application and complete the brief onboarding process. No experience with rabbit care is needed.

Emergency donations are also needed for the rabbits’ care. Donations can be made on the shelter’s website at: