Rabbit breeder agrees to surrender hundreds of animals

Man avoids hefty fines per agreement with city

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indianapolis rabbit breeder has agreed to surrender hundreds of his animals, per an agreement reached in court Wednesday afternoon.

Rick Cartheuser agreed to surrender all but 15 of his rabbits to the city, according to IACC administrator Dan Shackle.

"He is allowed to keep 15 rabbits that will all be spayed and neutered by Indianapolis Animal Care and Control," said Shackle. "He will also get back 15 cages for those rabbits and will not be able to breed rabbits in Marion County."

Cartheuser will have to pay for the spay or neuter of the animals, which is $35 for neuter and $50 for spay.

On June 11, animal control officers confiscated 375 rabbits from Cartheuser's home on Alston Street, saying conditions were unsanitary and some of the rabbits had urine burns.

Cartheuser is a well-known breeder in the state and serves as the vice president of the Indiana State Rabbit Breeders Association, as well as the vice president of the Indiana State Mini Rex Rabbit Club.

Cartheuser declined to comment to RTV6 as he was leaving court Wednesday afternoon.

"It was part of the agreement that he will be subject to inspections by Animal Care and Control to ensure he's abiding by the agreed judgment," Shackle said. "I think this is the best outcome, especially for the rabbits. Now that they're in our possession, we can ensure they get out to proper rescues or adoption."

Animal Control said they had received complaints about an odor coming from the house. They said they warned Cartheuser for weeks to take action, but conditions did not improve so they took the animals.

Some of the rabbits were show rabbits, some were used as feeder rabbits for reptiles and others were to be given to people as pets.

Because of the agreement, Cartheuser avoids paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for hundreds of care and treatment violations.

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