City confiscates dozens of rabbits from breeder

Investigation focused on same property from 2013
Posted: 8:15 PM, Oct 06, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-07 00:15:38Z
City confiscates dozens of rabbits from breeder

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Animal Care Services has confiscated dozens of rabbits from the same breeder who was the focus of a 2013 investigation by the city.

The city recently received a complaint about animal neglect involving rabbits on Alston Drive on the south side.

Indianapolis Animal Care Services officers impounded 36 rabbits and 2 dogs on Wednesday

A city spokesperson said the rabbits were found living in unsanitary conditions, similar to the rabbits found in 2013.

Animal control officers noted the garage where the rabbits were being held smelled strongly of urine and feces.

The rabbits were divided into 5 wire cages without any bedding, according to the city’s report.

“The catch trays were full of rabbit urine and feces,” read the city’s report. “The garage is very dirty with dust and dirt hanging from everywhere, including the rabbit cages. The smell in the garage from the animals was very strong and unpleasant.”

When officers began to move the cages, they noticed piles of feces piled up on the floor and dirty water bowls.

Cartheuser is a truck driver and is currently out of town, records show.

A caregiver told animal control officers that Cartheuser does not live at the property where the rabbits are being kept.

Indianapolis Animal Care Services issued citations to the caregiver, and Cartheuser will be cited at a later time.

In 2013, breeder Rick Cartheuser was cited for 329 counts of care and treatment violations, and animal control officers confiscated 375 rabbits from his home.

Cartheuser signed an agreement in 2013 that allowed him to claim 15 of his rabbits and they had to be spayed and neutered.

He is not allowed to breed rabbits in Marion County, according to city documents.

As part of the 2013 agreement Cartheuser reached with the city, he agreed to future inspections by the city.

The rabbits confiscated in 2013 were relocated to sanctuaries with the help of PetSmart Charities, according to a city spokesperson.

Call 6 Investigates reached out to the law firm who represented Cartheuser, but we have not yet heard back.

He is currently listed as a member of the Board of Directors for the Indiana State Rabbit Breeders Association.

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