SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — A few years back the focus was on Marilyn Barletta, the so-called cat woman of Petaluma, Calif., who was found to have been keeping 196 felines in her home. In the last week, also in Petaluma, nearly 1,000 rats were discovered in filthy conditions in the home of Roger Dier.
And Friday, in South San Francisco, a man with a soft spot for bunnies was reported to the local humane society. When animal welfare workers arrived at his home, they discovered 80 rabbits chewing on bagels and cauliflower.
It seems, for various reasons, that sometimes the cutest of creatures can pile up -- fast.
"This case hit us at the worst possible time," said Scott Delucchi of the Peninsula Humane Society, which is caring for the confiscated rabbits and trying to find them homes.
The three months after Easter always are a busy time because of extra rabbits that have been turned in after their new owners got bored, Delucchi said.
The latest case, however, involved a man who bought a couple of rabbits for his son's class project -- animals that ended up doing what rabbits do best.
"He didn't know you can 'fix' a rabbit like you can dogs and cats," Delucchi said.