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Rabbits, Rooster Stolen in Break-In at Santa Maria Animal Shelter

Reward offered for information on theft, but animal services authorities have few clues to follow

Praline was among 10 rabbits stolen from the Santa Maria Animal Center.
Praline was among 10 rabbits stolen from the Santa Maria Animal Center. (Santa Barbara County Animal Services photo)

Ten rabbits and a rooster were stolen from the Santa Barbara County Animal Services shelter in Santa Maria, officials said Saturday.

“Our Santa Maria Animal Center staff and volunteers were distraught to find that someone came into the Rabbit Resort last night and stole 10 rabbits,” the Animal Services staff posted on the agency’s Facebook page.

A bantam rooster dubbed Dark Tail was taken from the shelter at 548 W. Foster Road in addition to rabbits Delight, Duchess, Dudley, Frosty, Kermit, Lennie, Mr. Bunny, Praline, Vasan and one other whose name wasn’t released.

“We do not know who would have done such a thing or why they felt the need to steal these innocent animals in the first place, but we fear for the animals’ safety,” Animal Services staff said. “Our hearts are breaking as some of these rabbits have been with us for several years.”

Law enforcement officials were notified about the theft, officials said.

Delight. Click to view larger
Delight. (Santa Barbara County Animal Services photo)

The theft came hours before an adopter was set to pick up one of the stolen rabbits, Dudley.

“They are heartbroken and so are we,” Animal Services officials said.

A reward is being offered to anyone who can provide information leading to the return of the animals or the arrest of the people or person responsible for the theft.

A report was filed with the Santa Maria Police Department on Saturday morning, Sgt. Daniel Rios said, adding officers do not have any information about possible suspects

Word of the crime quickly spread through animal-support groups on social media.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the Santa Maria Animal Center front office at 805.934.6119, x6.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Vasan. Click to view larger
Vasan. (Santa Barbara County Animal Services photo)

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