Homes sought for rabbits after bunny raid in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- San Francisco Animal Care and Control is asking for the public's help to help find homes for several rabbits, just days after a raid at the home of a man who was selling the furry friends.

Animal control officials said they received a tip about a man allegedly selling bunnies out of his Sunset District home. The man had placed an ad on Craigslist offering them for meat or pets.

The animals confiscated from the man, who was selling them out of his garage, are now being cared for by SaveABunny in Mill Valley and in foster homes.

Marcy Berman, executive director of the non-profit agency, says a volunteer with her group saw the ad.

Selling chickens or rabbits as pets or novelties is a health code violation in San Francisco so Berman said she contacted the seller and pretended to be interested in buying one. She said she learned he had dozens of rabbits.

"I just wanted a sense of his operation," she said. "My sense was I needed to contact Animal Care and Control as soon as possible."

Berman says the number of rabbits that have been rescued has increased dramatically during the past four years. She said there is a push to make them part of specialty cuisine.

"Instead of doing one rabbit rescue per year, we're doing four large- scale ones and several smaller scale ones so it's a big deal," she said.

Animal control officials say the owner of the rabbits willingly surrendered the animals when they went to his home.

Police have declined to release details of this case, but they say it is usually a misdemeanor count for each animal that is confiscated with a fine for each count.

"It is an ongoing investigation so we will be checking back in with the individual to make sure the individual is in compliance with everything we asked," says animal control Officer Juan-Carlos Martinez said, adding that the owner will no longer be allowed to have rabbits.

Officials said the majority of the confiscated rabbits are young. And Berman said bunnies are typically sold for meat when they are 3-to-4 months old. She said the rabbits bred for meat are the same as those people have for pets.

"The fact that they're slaughtering these animals that are the ones that we all love, adopt and sleep in bed with (well) that is enough of an alarm," Berman said.

Officials say the rescued rabbits still need good homes. The adult rabbits can be adopted now but those wanting to adopt the bunnies will have to wait 2-3 weeks. The animals will be spayed and neutered.

>>>>>To adopt one or for more information: Click here

By KTVU reporter Amber Lee.