Hundreds of rabbits removed from Edmonton house
"The house was in an unsanitary condition caused by over 500 rabbits that lived, unconfined, throughout the house," environmental health officer Sandra Hamilton wrote in an order on March 15.
The residents were ordered to leave their house within seven days and return it to a "safe and habitable condition."
The rabbits were removed by Edmonton Humane Society animal protection officers on March 12, according to spokeswoman Shawna Randolph.
Randolph said she could not say how many rabbits were actually seized until charges are laid, but said it was "more than 500." Neighbours say the rabbits were running free for about three years.
According to the order, heat vents in the house on Haliburton Crescent were blocked by dust, hair and droppings. Missing floor coverings exposed a subfloor contaminated by rabbit waste.
Rabbit droppings, hay contaminated with rabbit droppings and drywall stained with rabbit urine were found inside the house and another pile of droppings was discovered in the driveway.
The electrical system was also deemed hazardous by Hamilton, due to wires that appeared to have been chewed by rabbits. Some animals were found in the pantry cupboard, the report said.
When reached by CBC News, Hamilton declined to comment directly on the case.
"Its a difficult situation for anybody," she said. "Anybody who is found hoarding —whether its newspapers or animals or computers or whatever they hoard — are usually very attached to their belongings and are very traumatized when they are removed."
It could be weeks or even months before a home such as this can be deemed safe to live in, Hamilton said.