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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > Infant bunnies in a local pet shop..
Last Post by Pandorachik at 11/22/2011 2:48 PM (46 Replies)
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User is Offline Tipsy Bunny
Tucson, AZ
373 posts Send Private Message
10/25/2011 9:44 AM
Considering I havent found anything on the USDA website about a federal law regarding sale of unweaned rabbits, it must be a state thing. So go to your state's agriculture department and check to see their legal age for animal sales. Because if your state does have a law regarding age for rabbits, you or the rescue, can definitely write them up and they can be fined big time or even shut down.
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User is Offline avarismom
110 posts Send Private Message
10/25/2011 9:46 AM
While I'm glad that these buns were saved all paying for them did was promote and condone the sale of infant rabbits. The rescue said loud and clear we want and will pay for smaller younger bunnies. I would expect to see more and more in that store from now on. While these 3 were saved it opened the floodgates for so many more to die.

Animal control should have been contacted at once. Then you should have loudly told the manager that they were sick and too young for legal sale. Telling and (and really doing) that you would be posting all over the internet and writing letters to EVERY newspaper around about their immoral and unethical if not illegal animal sale practices. Also the BBB should have been notified No one wants there business to look bad. THey may very well have taken the monetary loss to keep themselves free of bad publicity

User is Offline Sarita
18886 posts Send Private Message
10/25/2011 9:53 AM
That's very true aviarsmom and remember that it's not just the baby rabbits who suffer, it's the breeder rabbit who suffers as well. They are kept in small cages and just bred for convenience, it's not a great life for a rabbit.

User is Offline avarismom
110 posts Send Private Message
10/25/2011 2:32 PM
Sigh, poor mama's I can't even think about what they go through

User is Offline Nova
220 posts Send Private Message
10/25/2011 4:19 PM

Oh trust me.... I'm working on this.

Like I said, *my job* now is to make sure this doesn't happen again. So, that means contacting animal welfare, and yes, going to the media. I already began contacting animal welfare

However I can't do anything until I have it confirmed by a veterinarian that these babies were in fact sold too young. Once I have that documentation ON PAPER things will move nicely, and I'm even going to shoot for getting my money back. When we paid for these bunnies we did it with intentions of getting that money back.....

The vet appointments are tomorrow in the evening. I'l let you know how it goes from there but most f all I need this on paper that the buns were too young.

User is Offline Nova
220 posts Send Private Message
10/26/2011 6:19 PM

Vet appointment went well! The vet is a crazy rabbit lady like me xD she "prefers" to see rabbits while the other vets have their own specialty. I LOVE this place! They have a dog specialist, cat, horse vet, rodent/aviaries vet and of course the rabbit vet!

She said that baby bun's (I think I might name him "Boon") approximate age as of right *now* is between 5 and 6 weeks, which would put him around 4 weeks when I got him, and 3 weeks or less when the pet store received him and his sibs from Florida.

I'm taking the copy of her documentation to the animal control tomorrow and they can take it from there with the pet store, plus I'm going to try to get my money back. She (the vet) said she can't comment on whether it's right or wrong on paper (but absolutely agrees with my standpoint on the matter...) only that she can document the age as of *right now*.

Phenom is a confirmed gIRL!!! So daddy is happy that she is stil his little girl :p and I am too.

When I told her about my incident with Beau she seemed really at odds but she said they do intubate rabbits and only use the gas....both things Beau's vet did not do RIP my Beau...

she said she wants to see the baby again in 6 weeks before we ever consider neutering him because he has a heart murmur... she said it's very mild and will likely go away as he gets older tho

She also told me to not clean Phenom's anal glands because it can cause further irritation? O.o

*binkies* I'm so glad I got validated...

User is Offline Tipsy Bunny
Tucson, AZ
373 posts Send Private Message
10/26/2011 6:43 PM
Wow... 3 weeks? That is so young, poor little babies, no wonder they had the sniffles and the eye goopies! Theys all bedder now! So happy for them. and very happy you found a vet that you really like
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User is Offline MimzMum
Southwest Oregon
8087 posts Send Private Message
10/26/2011 7:49 PM
I just saw the pix of your wee one and his sibs. Gosh what cuties! I just don't see how anyone can look at those little eyes and only see dollar signs.
I agree that you want to protect yourself from libel suits, but at the same time, I applaud you for getting those little lives out of those horrid conditions. Bless you, it was a brave thing to do.

User is Offline Nova
220 posts Send Private Message
10/27/2011 9:52 PM

*sigh* So today was a watse of time. I could not get ahold of the cruelty officer for the local humane society, and the rabbit rescue swears up and down that this officer won't do anything anyway (funny - in 2007 I was going to train for that same exact position in the humane society but instead fell ill with epilepsy)

My professors at my university do not know me on a very personal level - this is myfirst semester at this university. They will not comment.

I think my best bet is to call a lawyer, straight up, and ask him or one of his paralegals to research the laws regarding "unweaned" animals. Granted, the rabbit was technically "weaned" because he was (barely) chewing his food - but - the definition of unweaned, legally speaking is two very different things varying from state to State.

Here is what I will present to the lawyer that I confide in (they will only lend you so much of their time before they start charging you money for their advice) it is what Tipsy and others have recommended and I keep coming back 

to it in my research...

(my state is PA)
There are twenty-four states (AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, IL, IN, KS, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NV, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, RI, VA, WI) and D.C. which prohibit the sale of certain unweaned animals. Most apply to dogs and/or cats and require the animal to be at least 8 weeks old. (In Pennsylvania, dogs only have to be 7 weeks old to be imported into the state.)

Some states (CA, CO, IN, NH, NJ) and the District of Columbia also have laws regarding chickens, ducks, rabbits, goslings, and fowl - sometimes with an exception if they are sold in a group of twelve or more.

New Jersey prohibits anyone from selling rabbits, turtles, chicks, ducklings, other fowl, or chameleons under 2 months old if they fail to provide “proper” care for the animals. New Jersey has also prohibited the sale of ferrets under 8 weeks old and, in Colorado, it is illegal to sell guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits under four weeks old.

California is the first and only state to prohibit the sale of unweaned parrots. Weaning or 'hand raising' parrots is a very complicated and demanding process that should be left to experienced breeders. For more information, click here.

Many cities and counties also have regulations concerning the sale of unweaned animals. In Myrtle Beach, SC, "sales of unweaned, sick or diseased animals are prohibited". In Anchorage and Juneau, Alaska, it is "unlawful to sell an unweaned horse, dog, cat, ferret or bird"."

What do you guys think?

p.s. - The State the bunny was sold to me in is Pennsylvania (PA)


p.p.s - the brown and white bunny has a very congested upper respiratory infection but is on meds now (update from the rabbit rescue)


This will be in attempt to get my money back and they lose profit .. so will stay away from ordering or accepting baby bunnies in the future... :\

User is Offline Sarita
18886 posts Send Private Message
10/28/2011 3:30 AM
Contact the Pennsylvania Dept of Agriculture.

User is Offline avarismom
110 posts Send Private Message
10/28/2011 6:40 AM
contact animal control that is in the town that you purchased the rabbits from. The elected ACO needs to be notified.

User is Offline Nova
220 posts Send Private Message
10/28/2011 9:33 AM
Left two messages on the cruelty officer's voicemail and one on the voicemail of the humane society that employs the cruelty officer - haven't heard back yet.

Left 1 message with the local county's appointed Veterinarian.... said she will be back in 1 hour.


User is Offline avarismom
110 posts Send Private Message
10/28/2011 9:51 AM
Contact the Animal Control Agency that Covers
your Municipality:

Pittsburgh Animal Control: 412-255-2036
For the city of Pittsburgh

Monroeville Animal Control: 412-856-3355

West Deer Township Animal Control: 724-224-5291
West Deer Township

Upper St. Clair Animal Control: call 911
Castle Shannon, Dormont, Greentree, Mt. Lebanon, Scott
Twp, Upper St. Clair, Whitehall

Ferree Kennels: 412-672-6699
Baldwin, Braddock, Clairton City, Dravosburg, Duquesne,
East McKeesport, Elizabeth Boro, Elizabeth Twp, Forward
Twp, Glassport, Homestead Boro, Jefferson Boro, Liberty
Boro, Lincoln Boro, North Huntingdon, North Versailles
Twp, Pleasant Hills Boro, Portvue Boro, South Versailles,
Versailles Boro, West Elizabeth Boro, West Homestead Boro,
West Mifflin, Whitaker, White Oak

Triangle Pet Control: 412-771-7387
Aleppo Twp, Moon Twp, Aspinwall, Mount Oliver, Munhall,
Baldwin, Neville, Bell Acres, North Braddock, Bethel Park,
North Fayette Twp, Blawnox, O’Hara Twp, Braddock Hills,
Oakdale, Brentwood, Ohio Twp, Bridgeville, Carnegie,
Pennsbury Village, Chalfont, Pine Twp, Churchill, Pitcairn,
Collier Twp, Rankin Boro, Coraopolis, Reserver Twp,
Crafton, Richland Twp, Rosslyn Farms, Robinson Twp,
Edgeworth, Sewickley Heights, Emsworth, Shaler Twp,
Etna, Sharpsburg, Finley Twp, South Fayette Twp, Franklin
Park, South Park, Hampton Twp, Stowe Twp, Hanover
Twp, Swissvale, Hopewell Twp, Thornburg, Ingram, Turtle
Creek, Kennedy Twp, Leetsdale, West View, McCandless
Twp, Wilkinsburg, McKees Rocks, Millvale

Hoffman Kennels: 724-468-5505
Cheswick Boro, Oakmont Boro, Penn Hills, Plum Boro, Forest Hills Boro, Frazer Twp, Springdale Boro, Harmar Twp,
Tarentum, Harrison Twp, Fawn Twp, Indiana Twp, Verona
Boro, Wilkins Twp, Wilmerding Boro

User is Offline Nova
220 posts Send Private Message
10/28/2011 10:03 AM

There is no animal control or "Animal Control Agency" for the city of Hermitage, PA. I think I have mentioned this. There is the local pound and the humane society.
When I called the city of Hermitage's municipal building they verified there was none, but I left a message with the Building and Inspection / Code Enforcement and Health dept for the city of Hermitage as well.

It's frustrating right now, but I'm sure as time goes on someone will get back to me.

For right now, I can simply ask for my money back but I doubt I'll get anywehre without some sort of official backup. It's just frustrating that it is taking so much time. -_-

User is Offline Sarita
18886 posts Send Private Message
10/28/2011 10:28 AM
If you look under the link that was posted you will see that the pet shops are licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, so once again, I want to recommend that you contact them.

User is Offline Nova
220 posts Send Private Message
10/28/2011 12:43 PM
I did. They told me that they only deal with commercial livestock - more frustration, but - they did refer me to Attorney General's appointed county veterinarian who I left messages for. So... I was def on the right track!
The assistant got back with me, took notes, and is going to contact the rabbit rescue to get their side of the story as well. She told me straight up, though, that they aren't even going to begin to look into the case until Monday.

Code Enforcement for the city - dead end

Spoke with store manager again to follow up on what their supplier said - they said the supplier said it was the store's fault for accepting the shipment.
Finger pointing.. lol
I told them I will likely stop by over the weekend and drop off the laws that they should consider if this happens again..he actually seemed thankful. the manager also gave me a phone number for the store's corporate customer service line regarding any refunds. As expected, that particular store will only refund me if I return the animal. So I gotta find a way around that.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
16043 posts Send Private Message
10/29/2011 2:05 AM
Chain petstores have "higher-ups" to answer to, so I'm not surprised that they cannot refund your money on their end. They have to be able to account for all the money and "product", including live animals. I would definitely contact corporate and start moving up the chain of command, expressing your concerns about the age and health status of the animals. I would also offer to fax health reports and your vet receipts.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
11069 posts Send Private Message
10/31/2011 5:22 AM
It's a drop in the bucket, but if you're dealing with a chain pet store, definitely lodge a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and let them know that you have done so. They do keep records and rate businesses, even if the co. is not a member, and people use them to research companies, so it will be a record that may hit their pocketbook.
SPIKE, my snuggle bunny (aka Spikey Marbles)

User is Offline Nova
220 posts Send Private Message
11/03/2011 9:23 PM

Hey guys - I've been super busy lately :\

But I have some great news!

The veterinarian's office appointed by the PA Dept. of Agriculture investigated the pet store, stated the laws and ensured they would no longer sell baby rabbits. I'm assuming they talked to the same staff I did. They left a followup voicemail on my cell phone which I uploaded to YouTube. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to link to it, but if you do a youtube search on "pet store abuse - unweaned rabbits" you should be able to see the video.

I'm still on my own fightng for a refund with the corporate offices, but since I'm in contact with the officials and I have the health reports of the buns, I think I'll have more than enough documentation for refunds. The rabbit rescue is extremely busy (they rescued 4 new stray buns) so I dunno if they will get refunded. I'm going to try and get them a refund, though - that $35 could be used towards vet care.

BTW - all the buns had coccidia and the smallest brown and white one had congestion in her lungs and an URI. poor babies. They are all being treated with meds. My bun didn't even really show too many signs of it but occasional "clumpy" bowel movements. Which are not good.

I'm so glad I got somewhere...even if I don't get my refund. But I'm not going to give up. *does a binky*


*edit: The humane society never even returned my call, as I suspected

User is Offline Sarita
18886 posts Send Private Message
11/04/2011 1:31 AM
I thought you said the Pennsylvania Dept of Agriculture told you that they didn't deal with this....

Nevertheless, it's good it's resolved.
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > Infant bunnies in a local pet shop..

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