Unwanted Guests: Florida Suburb Faces Invasion Of Domestic Rabbits Due To Illegal Breeding

By Martin B

In a quaint Fort Lauderdale suburb, a unique challenge has emerged as domestic rabbits, specifically lionhead rabbits, have taken over the neighborhood due to the actions of an illegal breeder. With their distinctive flowing manes, these rabbits are now a common sight in the area, as they seek food from local residents.

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However, one resident, Alicia Griggs, has taken on the mission to rectify the situation and restore balance.

These lionhead rabbits, which hail from a domesticated breed, have multiplied and established themselves in the neighborhood of Jenada Isles. Alicia Griggs has spearheaded efforts to address the issue by raising funds, approximately $20,000 to $40,000, to support a rescue group’s endeavor to capture, neuter, vaccinate, shelter, and ultimately rehome the estimated 60 to 100 rabbits.

This endeavor, while challenging, aims to protect the rabbits from threats such as predators, Florida’s extreme weather, and the potential intervention of exterminators.

The story traces the origin of the rabbit invasion to an illegal backyard breeder who released these creatures into the wild when she moved away two years ago. Monica Mitchell, representing the East Coast Rabbit Rescue, recognizes that the process of rescuing, providing medical care, and securing homes for these rabbits is intricate, given the distinct challenges posed by rabbit care and veterinary treatment.

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The local city, Wilton Manors, has shown support by giving Griggs and her team time to raise funds and relocate the rabbits, as opposed to exterminating them, which was initially considered. The decision demonstrates the city’s commitment to the well-being of these animals and highlights the responsibility to protect both the local ecosystem and the welfare of these exotic pets turned wild.