Rabbits escape from Moorhead home
"We got a couple reports of anywhere between six and 20 rabbits that were running loose in people's yards just north of MSUM campus."
MOORHEAD, Minn. (KVRR) — A local rescue is warning the public to be on alert for up to 20 domestic rabbits on the loose in Moorhead.
“We got a couple reports of anywhere between six and 20 rabbits that were running loose in people’s yards just north of MSUM campus,” Kritter Krazy Exotic and Reptile Rescue Founding Director Tasha Gorentz said.
According to Gorentz volunteers were able to capture three rabbits.
Moorhead Police were able to narrow down the home to 15th Street and 4th Avenue South.
“It sounds like there is a owner in Moorhead in that area that has a large number of domestic rabbits in that individual’s back yard and there is a hole in the fence and so the rabbits are escaping,” said Gorentz.
Gorentz says they have alerted the owner, but they have yet to do anything about the situation, which poses a risk to the community.
“There is a virus going around right now, it’s RHDV2. It’s an infectious viral disease of rabbits. 80 to 100 percent of infected rabbits die. There is no current way to look at a rabbit and tell if it has this disease,” Gorentz said.
The virus has been documented in both South Dakota and Montana, but it cannot be transported to other animals or people.
According to Gorentz there could be up to 60 rabbits inside the home, however she says there is no city ordinance making the act illegal.
“This individual potentially would have no consequences inside the current laws and ordinances of the city of Moorhead for having this number of animals, allowing them to breed and allowing them to run loose in the community. At this point we’ve turned that over to animal control for them to handle the owner themselves and try to get the fence in the hole fixed and it doesn’t continue to be an issue,” Gorentz added.
While not much can be done about the situation, Gorentz asks the community to call for change.
“One of the biggest help besides fostering and donating is pushing for change because there should be ordinances in places like there are for cats and dogs to avoid this scenario,” said Gorentz.
Moorhead police confirm animal control is looking into the matter, but they have yet to make contact with the owner.
The city attorney’s office may be consulted to see if any ordinances are being violated.