VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A concerned citizen contacted Virginia Beach Animal Control after seeing a rabbit trying to move around with an arrow protruding from its body.
“It is an unusual case,” animal control spokesperson Meghan Conti said. “Causing an animal to suffer in that manner is considered animal cruelty.”
An animal control officer located the rabbit Friday on Selwood Drive, near Providence and Princess Anne roads. Although it was alive, Conti said the rabbit was badly injured and had to be euthanized.
The news concerned Thomas Wasenius, who lives in the neighborhood.
“It’s a life. It’s an animal. There are places where you can go hunt, and a neighborhood is not one of them,” he said. “If you want to hunt or you want to practice shooting your bow, there are other ways of doing it.”
But the animals aren’t Wasenius’s only concern.
“There are kids around the neighborhood. A missed target, there’s no telling what it could hit,” he said.
For those who consider rabbits a nuisance, Conti said there are more humane ways to keep them away.
“They need to take the proper steps to deter that animal from their property, just like any wildlife,” she said. “Killing them or causing them pain and suffering is not an appropriate step.”
Conti recommends visiting the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for tips on keeping rabbits away.
Virginia Beach Animal Control is asking for the public’s help to find out who may have shot the rabbit. Conti asks anyone with information to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887).
PETA is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this crime.