Metro Animal Care & Control seized dozens of rabbits and bunnies from a home in Old Hickory on Wednesday morning.
Authorities were first alerted to the problem from an anonymous tip.
Each animal was placed in its own cage to document where it was confiscated from and its physical condition.
“People mostly think of hoarding as cats and dogs, and [the] majority of the calls with MACC are cats and dogs, but there are a vast array of animals that can fall into this gamut of animal cruelty or hoarding,” explained MACC field investigator Ashley Harrington.
In all, 61 rabbits and bunnies were taken from the small home due to what investigators say were poor conditions, and inadequate food, water and shelter.
“So we had an anonymous complaint they were being sold and in poor conditions,” Harrington told News 2.
When MACC investigators arrived at the home today, they found bunnies inside the house, on the porch, and even in a neighboring yard.
“We are looking at the best interest of the animals at this point so we are removing them,” Harrington said.
According to investigators, the owner was selling bunnies in parking lots around town. You can see those handwritten signs on the front porch.
“I believe the owner had the intention of selling them,” Harrington told News 2’s Andy Cordan.
When police first arrrive, investigators say the suspect kicked an officer, and afterward, spent the majority of the morning in the back of a squad car.
MACC personnel said some of the bunnies are in poor shape — but it’s the deplorable conditions inside the home that lead to the decision to seize the 61 animals, of which many are young bunnies.
“There’s a good bit of filth and feces, and the urine odor is pretty strong,” Harrington said. “It is a quote-unquote ‘hoarder situation,’ so we are looking at the best interest of the animals at this point, so we are removing them.”
At this point, no one cited, but the owner of the bunnies could be charged with animal cruelty.
In addition to the 61 rabbits, MACC investigators said there were also 13 cats in the home. That owner was given an environmental citation for companion animal hoarding.
MACC officials said that woman was previously cited for having 48 cats in a Nashville motel.