GOWANUS — The rabbit owner who was arrested on animal cruelty charges has a new set of bunnies and she's flaunting their presence with a large street sign.
A four-foot sign that says "Rabbits Gowanus" recently appeared above the empty lot where police seized more than 200 sick and injured rabbits in January, and several new bunnies could be seen there on Friday.
Owner Dorota Trec declined to comment on the sign, which has vibrant red and blue letters and seems designed to draw attention to her pets.
“It’s outrageous,” said rabbit advocate Natalie Reeves of Big Apple Bunnies. "The situation is a ticking time bomb. She’s demonstrated that rabbits in her care are in danger.”
Trec has made other cosmetic changes to her rabbit refuge. She recently installed fresh sod in the dirt lot where her rabbits live, and there are new structures that appear to be rabbit hutches.
Animal lovers sounded the alarm that Trec appeared to be acquiring new rabbits last month and asked authorities to intervene.
Prosecutors asked that as a condition of Trec’s release on her own recognizance, she not be allowed to possess any rabbits while her criminal case was being heard, a spokeswoman for the Brooklyn District Attorney's office said. The request was denied, the spokeswoman said.
Trec was arrested in March on animal cruelty charges after authorities discovered that dozens of her rabbits were sick or injured. Her case has been continued several times and she's next due in court on July 15.
She recently referred to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as "terrorists" for helping police confiscate her beloved rabbits.
Trec said previously she kept the rabbits as a project to develop new breeds, and because she wanted to bring joy to her neighbors, especially children.