30+ rabbits, many dead, found strewn about Calverton; 2 charged
Two people have been charged in an animal cruelty case where dozens of rabbits were discovered abandoned in Calverton, many of them already dead.
At least 30 domestic rabbits were found. Fourteen had already died by the time rescuers arrived.
Roy Gross, with the Suffolk SPCA, says William Melton and Kathi Willi, both of Ridge, were arrested for ditching the animals and charged with animal abandonment.
Karen Johnson, of All About Rabbits Rescue, has been rescuing animals for years and says she's never seen anything like this case.
"When we got here, we started finding dead bodies strewn throughout the streets. And then we started finding, finally, live rabbits," she said. "It's a death sentence for these animals that were put out there."
"These aren't wild rabbits. They don't know how to fend for themselves. So, predator animals, dogs, foxes will be grabbing them. People can do harm to them. They'll walk out in the street and get run over," said Gross.
Nobody came to the door at the couple's home. Several empty cages were seen outside.
"There's a much better way, a more ethical way, and a much kinder way to deal with situations when they've got animals they don't want or can't keep anymore," said Johnson.
The couple is due in court at the end of the month. If convicted, they face up to a year behind bars.
Some of the rabbits have already been adopted, and the rest will be up for adoption soon.