GOWANUS — A rabbit owner who's facing animal cruelty charges after authorities discovered dozens of her animals were sick or injured is taking legal action to demand the return of her 237 pets.
Dorota Trec filed a petition recently in Brooklyn Supreme Court asking that police give back the rabbits they seized from the backyard of a tire shop on Third Avenue and Ninth Street.
“I want my own rabbits back because these are my children,” Trec told DNAinfo New York. “I’m going to fight."
Trec was arrested March 4 on suspicion of animal cruelty after veterinarians discovered many of the fluffy creatures were suffering from syphilis and bite wounds. She was due to be arraigned on March 13 but the case was adjourned until April 3, a spokeswoman for the Brooklyn District Attorney said.
Trec alleges in court papers that 60 of the seized rabbits are healthy and "not needed for evidence," and that 117 were taken illegally because police didn't use proper search warrants.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Animal Care & Control of NYC have housed Trec's rabbits since police took them.
The lawsuit names the ASPCA, the Brooklyn District Attorney and the NYPD as respondents.
Trec said in the filing that police harassed her unfairly about her rabbits. An NYPD spokesman said police used warrants to take the rabbits because the animals were suffering.
"They had scratches on them, they had bite marks on them, they were not in good condition, that's why we took them — not because we don't like the owner,” the spokesman said.
“All the rabbits were taken legally.”
A spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney declined to comment on the pending litigation.
An ASPCA spokeswoman said the agency doesn't comment on lawsuits, but added that the ASPCA remains "committed to ensuring that the rabbits receive the care they need and deserve."
Animal welfare advocates fear that Trec is a hoarder who can't properly care for her animals.
Trec contends in the court filing that she keeps the rabbits "to provide [the] community and especially children with [a] natural and interesting view of [a] number of different rabbits playing and interacting with each other.”