LEICESTER, NC - Dozens of rabbits discovered living in what a local animal welfare center says was an inhumane environment have been rescued.

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue recently took care of more 120 rabbits after it got notification from a neighbor of a hoarder in Leicester.

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The nonprofit no-kill shelter initially took 60 animals from the property, and is in the process of spaying and neutering 60 more.

There is a reason they say "multiply like rabbits," said Denise Bitz, founder of Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.

Of the 60 rabbits rescued more than 30 were pregnant, resulting in an additional 65 baby bunnies born while in Brother Wolf’s care, she said.

Many of the rabbits came to Brother Wolf with medical concerns because of overcrowding and poor nutrition, said Bitz. Several died as a result of these conditions.

Pictures provided by Brother Wolf show the rabbits with matted fur and skin punctures.

The cost to provide medical care for the animals was unexpected, said Bitz. She estimates Brother Wolf has already invested $10,000 into the rescue.

Brother Wolf has entered into a contractual agreement with the property owner to ensure the rabbits that remain in Leicester have access to food, water, hay, medical care and humane enclosures, said Bitz. The rabbits were found in a barn living in hutches made of wire.

The goal is to work together to create a better environment for the rabbits that remain, Bitz said. The owner realized she was in over her head, but didn't have the funds to spay and neuter her animals, she said.

"We're trying to make them a habitat where they have more enrichment to do natural bunny things," Bitz said . "Bunnies like to dig and be in the dirt."


Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is in need of foster or adoptive parents for the rabbits and monetary donations to offset medical costs. Volunteers are also needed to help socialize the rabbits, as are donations of fresh produce for the rabbits to eat. For more information, visit Brother Wolf’s website at www.bwar.org or call 828-505-3440 extension 101. The adoption center is located at 31 Glendale Ave.