PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. - Pet bunnies are being dumped and abandoned all over Brevard County.
Local rescuers with "Space Coast Bunnies" are opening up their homes to take in the pets but are running out of space. They say it’s only a matter of time before rabbits become the next neighborhood nuisance if the county doesn’t address the issue.
Blueberry the bunny has a broken back, and Bun Bun has only three legs. The rabbits at the foster homes were all abandoned and dumped.
"Just like with the iguanas in south Florida, same thing with feral cats, we’re going to have the same problem with rabbits," said Ashley Berke who sees the intensifying issue every day as she leads the rescue organization.
Berke started the volunteer organization back in 2019. Since then, she’s seen the issue get worse year after year. People get rabbits as pets, but Berke says, kids lose interest. Then, the animals are left in the wild where they aren't supposed to be.
She says around 30 people are taking in as many rabbits as they can but can’t keep up, which could lead to chaos.
"They can create a nuisance in neighborhoods, property damage, attract predators into neighborhoods such as coyotes and bobcats," Berke added. "Then you have residents that are upset, so why not do something about it now while you still can."
Pet bunnies are being dumped and abandoned all over Brevard County. Local rescuers with "Space Coast Bunnies" are opening up their homes to take in the pets but are running out of space.
They’re pleading with county commissioners to consider an ordinance that could limit pet stores selling rabbits and backyard breeding.
"There’s the backyard breeders. There’s the pet stores. There’s general overpopulation from the combination of those two because there was already a lot of rabbits to begin with," said Emily Dusenbury who’s a current bunny foster.
These fosters care deeply about the strays and wish more was being done to prevent the issue from a legislative standpoint.
"They don’t have a voice. No one seems to care about them. Like dogs and cats, of course, people are ready to jump for but bunnies – just doesn’t seem to be happening," said Jessica Graham who’s also a foster.
Right now, there are 70 bunnies staying at 25 different foster homes across the county. Rescuers say there are rabbit colonies still out there. They don’t have any more space and loose rabbits are most likely breeding more bunnies.
"When you have two rabbits that are running free outside, you know, in a very short period, you could have 30 bunnies out there in a neighborhood," Berke concluded.
FOX 35 did reach out to county commissioners for comment on the issue and possible ordinance consideration. On Thursday, we did not hear back.
If you’re interested in adopting a bunny or becoming a foster, click HERE.