Three Rabbits Abandoned at Whole Foods in Hyannis

Skinny and frostbitten, bunnies found huddled together under a car...
Brittany Pickul of MSPCA Cape Cod cuddles one of three rabbits that were abandoned at Whole Foods during a period freezing weather in January. (MSPCA photo)

BOSTON and Centerville, Mass. – Three frostbitten, skinny rabbits are lucky to be alive after they were rescued by the Barnstable, MA Animal Control Officer in January and brought to the MSPCA-Cape Cod where they have been recovering since, the organization announced today.

The rabbits, now named “Tempeh,” “Jackfruit” and “Seitan,” were found cowering under a parked car—and it was obvious that they had been intentionally abandoned.  

“The fact that they were all huddled together in the same place points to them being dropped there vs. having escaped from a home,” said Mary Sarah Fairweather, director of the MSPCA-Cape Cod animal care and adoption center.

Sick and Thin: a Deadly Combination

All three rabbits were underweight by about two pounds, said Fairweather, which means they would not have survived long outside in the freezing winter temperatures.  Moreover, all three were suffering frostbite as well as conjunctivitis and hair loss.

One of the rabbits, Tempeh, required surgery to fix an “entropion” lid to his eye.  The condition, a malformation of the eyelids that rabbits can sometimes be born with, would ultimately lead to blindness if not treated.  Tempeh underwent the surgery at the MSPCA’s Nevins Farm location earlier this week.

“We’re so lucky that they were brought to us in time because if they didn’t die from exposure they could have easily succumbed to their illnesses,” said Fairweather.  “Now that they’ve put on a bit of weight their futures look much brighter.”

Superhero Adopters Wanted for “Wonderful Pets”

According to Fairweather, now that the rabbits are feeling better, their personalities have also begun to shine.  “They have become much more spirited and far more social—so much so that they just really enjoy the attention our staff and volunteers have lavished upon them.”

Fairweather said that animal abandonment, while rare, does happen and it is a distressing part of working in the animal protection field. 

“It’s heartbreaking to think these animals—already sick and underweight—had to endure the cold all while vulnerable to cars, other animals and the myriad other hazards awaiting them outside,” said Fairweather.  “We are an open admissions shelter and we are always open to animals in need—it is never appropriate, or necessary, to abandon pets outside.”

Anyone interested in adopting can email [email protected] for more information about the rabbits and the adoption process.  To contribute to the MSPCA-Cape Cod’s Guardian Angel Fund, which helps pay for the medical care for animals in the Centerville adoption center, readers can click here.


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