Baby rabbits left for dead on side of road
WHAT sort of person leaves seven defenceless baby rabbits in a box on the side of a main road?
That's the question Rabbit Rescue Sanctuary director Kim Cooney wants an answer to, after it happened on Brooms Head Rd last week.
She said the act was not only cruel, but also socially and environmentally irresponsible.
Not to mention risky.
Under the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 it is an offence to release a rabbit into the wild, and can attract a maximum penalty of up to $11,000.
Abandoning animals in general is also prohibited, with the NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 outlining a maximum penalty of $5500 or six months' jail.
"It's just so heartless, there's so many other things they could have done," Ms Cooney said.
"They could have brought them here or taken them to a vet - people don't realise if they surrender an animal or take dumped animals to a vet they don't charge them.
"What vets do with the animal is up to them but it will be humane."
Luckily for the rabbits dumped last week, their story has a happy ending.
They were found by a Gulmarrad couple out for a walk, after they noticed a box moving so much it was "nearly falling over".
The couple opened it to find three rabbits about 7-8 weeks old, and four small rabbits which they estimated to be about four weeks old. The mother was nowhere to be seen.
"I'd say they'd been there for up to 24 hours, they were really hungry and thirsty," they said.
"We've been looking after them as best we can but we got our own rabbits, so it's a bit of a crowded house.
"They're still alive so that's the main thing."
With all of the rabbits now looking for foster homes, Ms Cooney said she just hoped no more litters suffered the same fate.
"Bunnies breed every 30 days, so it's very irresponsible to leave an undesexed pair together, which is probably what happened here," she said.
"If anyone in the Maclean, Brooms Head or Gulmarrad area has any idea who dumped these rabbits please let us know so that we can report them to the RSPCA," she said.