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Exploding population of rabbits vexes Garson neighbours

Residents in Garson are scratching their heads over what to do about rabbits infiltrating their neighbourhood.
A rabbit infestation has left some residents in a Garson community puzzled. They're not sure who's responsible for controlling the size of the colony. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

Residents in Garson are scratching their heads over what to do about rabbits infiltrating their neighbourhood

They're not sure who's responsible for controlling the size of the colony.

One neighbour says he's shooting the rabbits to keep them away from his yard, while another put up Kijiji ads to get them adopted.

Residents say they've counted up to 70 rabbits in the area.

Darren Hood didn't mean to spark a rabbit explosion in his community, when he released more than a dozen rabbits into his neighbourhood last spring.

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"I didn't know this was going to happen, having that many around,” he said.

“But I'm not ashamed. They don't bug me."

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals can only respond if it receives complaints about animal distress.

"Then our authority can kick in and we go and assess what that distress is and what role we can play,” spokesperson Lynn Michaud said.

The Lasalle Animal Clinic treats abandoned rabbits, and the veterinarian there says concerned residents should bring them in for a check-up.

“You know if they wanted to bring it in and have it examined that's probably the best,” Dr. Janice Vannevel said.
“Rabbits certainly need a lot of specialized care. They need proper hay and proper food and proper shelter. So you want to find out what you're doing and make sure you're giving the animal what it needs.”

Officials with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the City of Greater Sudbury report they weren't aware of the situation — but they're looking into it.

We have more on that colony of rabbits that is becoming a nuisance in the Sudbury neighbourhood of Garson. Dr. Janice Vannevel from Lasalle Animal Clinic shares her suggestions on how to keep rabbits from breeding out of control. 5:55

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