“Please return my rabbits”

A photo of the bunnies in question, provided by the author.

Last week Morningstar Raindance of Saugerties wrote a letter protesting her arrest for animal cruelty and the seizure of 10 rabbits by the SPCA. Click here to read the article about her arrest.

Morningstar Raindance is being charged with animal cruelty by the SPCA. “What is wrong with this picture?” I think to myself as I am carrying a bale of hay for my animals up a steep hill in the last snowstorm.

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I am an animal lover and animal activist. I started Peace on Earth Farm, where I have rescued 18 chickens, two sheep, one dog, one cat, and two rabbits. I love rabbits because they are so cute and cuddly, so I adopted a few more. I thought that because they were small, they were too young to get pregnant. Then there were 21 bunnies and two were adopted by friends. I tried everything to find homes for the rest of them but it is not Easter time. I was totally overwhelmed so I called the SPCA to surrender most of the bunnies. I called them.

There was no reason to suspect that the bunnies were anything but healthy. They hadvery thick and beautiful fur since they lived outdoors in the rabbit barn. They had bright eyes. They were eating, hopping around. Rabbit pellets were normal. Then under a bright light, when they were examined, injuries were discovered.

This was a medical problem that I was unaware of and not a situation of animal cruelty. There is a big difference between these. I thought and believed that the bunnies were healthy.

Although farm animals sometimes have coccidiosis, they have diarrhea as a symptom. The remedy is commonly sold at feed stores and I have it right here in the barn. However, rabbits show no symptom of coccidiosis and their rabbit pellets looked normal so I did not know they had it. If the SPCA had determined that coccidiosis was going around in the rabbit barn, all they had to do was to tell me and I would have treated them for it. Instead, they took all my rabbits. I would like my 10 rabbits returned to me ASAP.

Since they already have a good home where they are loved and well cared for why is the SPCA’s money being wasted taking care of ten rabbits that already have a happy home? I have six empty rabbit cages and 75 pounds of rabbit food in my kitchen. I loved my rabbits and at least one of them, Hip Hop, is unadoptable because he bites.

I live in nature and my rabbit cages were not dirty as the SPCA is accusing me of. It is a different style of cage — homemade and wooden, not metal. I have hay and litter boxes in each cage as well as fresh water and food everyday including snacks, lettuce, carrots and oats, The litter boxes were changed every day and the whole cage cleaned totally once per week. I usually let the rabbits out to hop around while I cleaned the cages. The SPCA happened to show up in the morning before the cages were cleaned and they used this as a reason to justify their actions.

I am 60 years old and brain damaged. My two strong sons have moved out so I am taking care of the farm by myself, and the quantity of rabbits became overwhelming especially when my car died in the middle of the winter.
For the spring when the ground is no longer frozen I want to construct tunnels for the rabbits in the rabbit yard modeled after what was created by Donna Stack so that the rabbits can actually enjoy the underground.
I think my precious, beautiful rabbits had a very happy life here on Peace on Earth Farm until the SPCA took them and have them now in their metal cages indoors and away from Nature and home.

My 10 rabbits are being held as hostages of the SPCA unless I pay the ransom fee of $800 dollars. A lot of this was money spent unnecessarily but I would have paid the medical expenses of the bunnies that I was surrendering if Brian Shapiro had asked me. He did not have to kidnap my 10 rabbits and charge me with animal cruelty, since I was very upset that the bunnies had illnesses that I was unaware of.

Recently, Adell Seligman, a well known lawyer and friend of the SPCA, made Peace on Earth Farm into a Not-For-Profit corporation. Since I am a fellow animal activist, I suggest that the SPCA drop the animal cruelty charges and return my rabbits.

If anyone would like to help my rabbits come home, please call 247-0321.

Morningstar Raindance

West Saugerties

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