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How to Help the 74 Rabbits Rescued From Behind a Gowanus Tire Shop

By Leslie Albrecht | January 29, 2015 7:31am
 Animal Care & Control of New York City is accepting donations of hay and other supplies for the rabbits.
How to Help the Rabbits Rescued in Gowanus
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GOWANUS — Animal lovers who want to help the 74 rabbits rescued from a Gowanus backyard in the middle of this week's snowstorm can bring hay and other supplies to Animal Care & Control of New York City, a spokeswoman said.

The bunnies are now at ACC's Brooklyn facility at Linden Boulevard and Shepherd Avenue in East New York, after police seized the rabbits on Monday night following multiple 911 calls about the animals being left outside in the cold. 

ACC is accepting donations of hay (which rabbits eat), small pet igloos, ceramic food bowls and plastic pet carriers at ACC's Brooklyn Care Center. A list of needed supplies is also posted on the website of NY CLASS, one of many animal welfare groups that have sounded the alarm about the Gowanus bunnies.

People can also donate money directly to ACC, a nonprofit organization, on its website.

While the rabbits are under ACC's care they'll be examined by a veterinarian. If the vet finds injuries or diseases that indicate the animals are suffering from cruel treatment, investigators will consider charges against owner Dorota Trec, a law enforcement source said.

However, not all of Trec's rabbits were taken during the Monday raid. Some — it's not clear how many — were left behind because they were inside heated hutches and weren't in immediate danger of freezing to death, the law enforcement source said.

Rabbit lovers say they're worried about the bunnies that remain in the Gowanus backyard, and they're concerned that authorities will return the 74 seized rabbits to Trec.

"The real question is, what's going to happen to these animals?" said a man who works with a rabbit rescue group but didn't want to be identified because he fears retribution from Trec, who has said she's planning to sue the NYPD and the animal welfare groups that asked authorities to investigate her rabbits.

"My concern as an animal rescuer is that if they don’t find injuries that they can easily label as cruelty, they’re just going to give them back to her," the rabbit rescuer said. "There needs to be an outpouring of people saying she can’t keep these rabbits in these conditions. The story is definitely not over yet.”

Trec declined to comment.