A team of animal-welfare specialists with the agency took custody of the 83 long-eared herbivores after finding out about their plight from a person who had bought the Riverside County farm where they had been housed in filthy, antiquated cages, according to SDHS spokeswoman Kelli Schry.
"While Riverside County is outside of San Diego Humane Society's typical service area, this rescue effort was initiated when (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) requested help of San Diego Humane Society to care for, rehabilitate and re-home these rabbits," Schry said.
Veterinarians examined the animals and found them suffering from a variety of ailments, including tumors, severe dental problems, overgrown claws, skin sores from urine burns, fur loss and respiratory disease. Some were missing ears or toes.
"Taking in this many animals makes a significant impact on our resources, space and personnel, but it's our mission," humane society President Gary Weitzman said. "These animals deserve a second chance, and we'll do our very best for them."