OZAUKEE COUNTY -- New details have been revealed after nearly 30 rabbits were seized from terrible conditions in Ozaukee County Wednesday, December 30th. 4-H officials are shocked because as it turns out, the rabbits owner worked closely with kids to teach them about her animals.
4-H helps teach kids about agriculture and leadership. That organization says if the allegations against a Saukville woman are true, she is certainly not practicing what she has been teaching to kids in Ozaukee County.
At the Wisconsin Humane Society, the rabbits are off to a much better year. But some are showing signs of skittishness after being seized.
Thursday, the rabbits owner tried to explain the conditions to FOX6 News.
"They missed a day of feeding because of the snowstorm. We went there to feed and water them and they were gone," said the rabbits' owner.
FOX6 News is not naming this woman because she has not been charged. She says the rabbits were not mistreated, and the dead rabbit found by the humane society was due to old age.
"That rabbit we forgot to take out. We go there at night, we have headlights, it was dark, it had passed about three weeks and we forgot to remove it," said the rabbits' owner.
"This has been going on for years," said a neighbor.
Neighbors say they've called authorities multiple times fearing the welfare of the animals in the dilapidated structure.
Friday, FOX6 has learned the owner should know how to responsibly care for rabbits. After all, she taught the subject to kids at the Ozaukee County 4-H.
A website shows the woman has been "the rabbit project leader," as recently as this past summer.
A 4-H official says she is "shocked" by the allegations, and had no idea of the criminal investigation by the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office launched this week.
As for the rabbits, they may have been seized just in time.
"They were going to be butchered in the middle of January anyways, so if they wish to find them homes I can help them with that," said the rabbits' owner.
An Ozaukee County 4-H official says if the allegations are true, the woman will not be allowed back.
The rabbits are still not up for adoption yet as they are being held as evidence by authorities.