Facts Involving the Transport of Rescued Rabbits to Florida:
NEW INFORMATION 1.6.16: Statement from Margo DeMello, President of the House Rabbit Society regarding the rumors and concerns surrounding this rabbit rescue: “I just had a very nice phone call with the Halifax CEO who was able to assure me that the rabbits were being cared for. We rabbit people had a lot of concerns, and people were very upset at the lack of information that we were able to get. But for me, I just want to say that I am satisfied that Halifax had the interests of the rabbits in mind when they transferred the rabbits, and that nothing shady is going on. Thanks to Miguel for taking the time to talk to me and to share with me what has happened. I appreciate it.”
After a hoarding case involving 72 rabbits in North Charleston, Charleston Animal Society reached out to Halifax Humane Society in Daytona Beach, Florida upon the recommendation of Pet Health, Inc., which is the largest shelter/rescue software management company in the U.S. and works with over 2,000 shelters/rescues.
Halifax Humane Society has 61 pre-qualified transport rescue partners. All of these rescues agree to spay/neuter animals before adoption.
In the case of the rabbits, three rescue partners in Osceola County (run by two police officers), Lake County and Seminole County Florida stepped in to help. Again, all agreed to have rabbits spayed/neutered before adoptions. Halifax Humane is in Volusia County.
As for this area of Florida having difficulties finding homes for rabbits already in this part of Florida, Halifax Humane says 85% of the rabbits have already been adopted. Also, Halifax Humane had NO rabbits available for adoption when this joint operation came up.
Rabbits will NOT be used as food. This is misinformation being spread by uninformed people. A picture of one of the transporters with a snake (taken in an entirely separate situation) has been taken completely out of context on social media.
Charleston Animal Society spent a considerable amount of money on medical exams, food and treatment when the rabbits were first brought in after a hoarding case in Charleston County. Charleston Animal Society is still treating over 30 cats which also had medical needs with the majority of them suffering from upper respiratory infection.
Charleston Animal Society has built relationships with respected and hard-working rescues across the country and will continue to do so, to help insure that all animals can be saved in a crisis.
Charleston Animal Society sends manpower to rescue situations led by the ASPCA and HSUS and we have also taken in animals when other rescues have been overwhelmed. We led an unprecedented rescue operation during the fall floods throughout the Lowcountry, saving numerous animals and depended on our transfer partners for that operation.
This teamwork between shelters and rescues is something that should be applauded and emulated by all shelters. It is unfortunate that some individuals cannot see the “bigger picture” and will tear down any efforts to save lives.
Charleston Animal Society was founded in 1874 and is South Carolina’s most honored charity, based on its transparency, financial management and program efficacy.
The case involving the individual responsible for hoarding these rabbits is being handled by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.