Dozens of rabbits taken from NJ home

March 22, 2008 9:52:57 PM PDT
SPCA workers took 57 rabbits from an elderly man's home today, saying the bunnies were living in deplorable conditions. They were exposed to the elements, had little food and water, and practically no bedding.It happened around 10 a.m. in the 4000 block of Ocean Heights Avenue in Egg Harbor, New Jersey.

Connie Kiefer from the SPCA said, "After looking at them, a lot of them must have been in fights. One has a ear missing, an eye missing. It's really bad conditions."

SPCA investigators says the owner of the rabbits, Dan Champion, has been breeding them for years. He tries to sell them, especially around Easter, and that's when his population swells.

"We've been investigating this property for the last 10 years and it's got increasingly worse," said Nancy Biel of the Atlantic County SPCA.

Champion wouldn't go on camera but says the recent weather caused the less than desirable conditions. He claims he was getting ready to clean rabbits, and says he deeply cares for the animals.

"I know he does love them and it's a hobby for him but the filth they were living in yesterday was just horrible," said Kiefer.

Authorities say they're going to need foster homes for the rabbits. If you would like to adopt a bunny call (609) 927-9059.