Thursday, October 6, 2005
That's Just Wrong: Bunny Problem
For many of us, our pet is a part of the family, but for one local couple, too many pets can be a problem. They worry if they don't put their rabbits to sleep, their landlord will put them on the street. Now, they say That's Just Wrong.
We've all heard of Roger and Bugs, but what about Ruby?
One look at the little guy and you know why Shane and Ingrid Griffey fell in love. In fact, Ruby nibbled at their heart so much, they had to get a second one - Ginger.
Ingrid Griffey has a Bunny problem: "When we bought her, she was already pregnant and we didn't know she was pregnant at the time that we bought her."
But it didn't take long to find out. In a matter of months, the couple's "leap" of faith lead to five bouncing baby bunnies.
Shane Griffey has a Bunny problem: "We figured if we could keep some of them together and they worked well together and stayed together we wouldn't have to worry about anything."
Maybe they worked too well together because as we all know, when you have this many rabbits... Well, they tend to reproduce like rabbits. 23 more to be exact.
Shane: "We've been trying to get rid of them by making these flyers."
In fact, the Griffey's couldn't get rid of them soon enough. When their landlord got wind of the hare raising experience, he had a very clear message.
Shane: "You have seven days to get out or you're going to have to do something about the rabbits."
Now, Shane's been trying to get rid of the rabbits, but if he's going to meet his landlord's deadline, he may finally be forced to put some of them to sleep, something he says is just wrong.
Shane: "I'm trying to get rid of them. I'm trying to find them homes. That's all I want to do."
Shane is not alone, unwanted rabbits are a huge problem in South Florida.
But unlike dogs and cats, most animal shelters won't take rabbits because there are just too many.
Diane Watchinski of the Wildlife Care Center: "We would have thousands and thousands of rabbits here and there aren't enough homes for them."
Diane Watchinski of the Wildlife Care Center says they have over 100 rabbits right now at her facility.
Diane: "The very root of the problem is that at Easter, all the kids see the advertising on TV, they all want a baby Easter bunny."
But what usually happens is after Easter, the children lose interest and the rabbits lose a home or in some cases, like the Griffey's, it's hard to tell the gender of the bunnies and once they're in a pen together, the breading begins.
Diane: "None of them from the pet shops are neutered or spayed, so sometimes they end up with a lot of baby bunnies."
Fortunately for Shane and Ingrid, their bunny bonanza is finally over. When 7 news contacted their landlord, he agreed to give them more time. Today, the couple has found a new home for all the rabbits, but little Ruby and they insist he's more than a pet. He's a permanent member of the family.
Shane: "He's like one of the kids. Really attached to us."
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