Las Vegas Rabbit Crisis

House Rabbit Society thanks rabbit lovers and the rabbit rescue and shelter community for their tremendous outpouring of support for the abandoned domestic rabbits at the Las Vegas State of Nevada Mental Health Facilities. We are appalled by the unspeakable cruelty that caused the death of dozens of these rabbits.
A veterinary expert has performed necropsies on three of the rabbits and determined that each rabbit died from hemorrhage caused by 7-10 severely broken ribs (rabbits have only 12 ribs). Further, contrary to the public warning issued by the Southern Nevada Health Department, all three rabbits tested negative for tularemia, which means they were not potential carriers of the disease, and did not pose a threat to public health.
Given that the individuals responsible for the deaths of these rabbits are still at large, the remaining rabbits are still in extreme danger. We ask that anyone who has any information that could lead to the identification and apprehension of these individuals, please report it to the appropriate authorities.
News coverage of this tragic event follows:

How is House Rabbit Society helping the groups in Las Vegas?

    • HRS and the “Bunderground” (a volunteer relay system for relocating rescued rabbits) have been working with Las Vegas groups to find rescue placements and arrange transportation for these rabbits.
    • HRS has been working with rescue organizations to set up satellite foster care sites and to spay and neuter rabbits.
    • HRS awarded the following Emergency Rescue Grants:
      • All Creatures Sanctuary ($1000) to help with transportation expenses
      • Bunnies Matter in Vegas Too ($1000) to help with spays/neuters
      • Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society ($800) to help with neuters, vet care, and foster supplies for Las Vegas rabbits
      • Rabbit Rescue Inc. ($1000) to help with spay/neuter and vet expenses for Las Vegas rabbits
      • Cottontail Cottage Rabbit Rescue ($1000) to help with spays and vet care for Las Vegas rabbits
    • HRS, along with the “Bunderground,” will continue coordinating transports until there are no abandoned domestic rabbits in Las Vegas.

How can I help?

    • If you are a key decision maker in Nevada, or know a key decision maker in Nevada, please contact us so we can work on a humane resolution for any surviving rabbits.
    • If you are a shelter or rescue group and can take a rabbit, contact [email protected]. We will arrange transport as quickly as we can.
    • If you are an individual interested in adopting a rabbit, please contact your local shelter or rabbit rescue group to see if they are accepting Las Vegas rabbits.


There are many domestic rabbit colonies across the US and Canada resulting when guardians release rabbit companions outdoors. When people see a domestic rabbit outdoors, they think it is safe to abandon their rabbit outdoors. When this occurs, the rabbits breed…like rabbits. A female can have a litter every month with an average of eight babies. At 16 weeks, they begin breeding. This continued breeding can result in 1,369 rabbits within one year.

Rabbits are wonderful indoor EasterAdoption-page-001companions for people willing to make a 10+ year commitment. Easter, six weeks away, is the most common time that people acquire baby rabbits. House Rabbit Society recommends thoroughly educating yourself before acquiring a companion rabbit. If a rabbit is a good fit for your family, please contact your local shelter or rescue group. When you adopt from a shelter or rescue group you save a life and make room for the next rabbit to come in. Please distribute these flyers on social media.








This page will be updated as new information becomes available.

Revised 5/30/2018