From Tulare, CA: “Rabbit pens can be pretty smelly” (?)

This is an article that is primarily about chickens in Tulare, CA (if you don’t know where Tulare is, it is just east of Spinks Corner and south of Farmville).  

Located between Fresno and Bakersfield Tulare is in California’s Central Valley, an agricultural area that is literally the “bread basket” of California (and possibly the rest of the country).  

While rabbits may be viewed differently in agricultural communities, it is my personal opinion that articles like this perpetuate misinformation about bunnies and contribute to their overall suffering and lower status in the world of companion animals.  

Feel free to contact that author of the article to politely let him know that rabbits are not “smelly” and nothing like chickens. 

 I’ve highlighted the section of the article that addresses rabbits in red.  ~ Tamara 

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Published at the Visalia Times Delta  

By Victor Garcia • vdgarcia@visalia.gannett.com   

Tulare City Code Enforcement officials say chickens are the agency’s third-most complained about animal behind dogs and cats.   

Rabbits and chickens are not the same.

 

On average, code enforcement receives about two-to-three complaints per week regarding chickens, said Frank Furtaw, Tulare code enforcement director.  

But Furtaw said his code enforcement officers don’t go searching for chickens. Code enforcement only responds to complaints about the animals.  

“Our guys don’t go on active chicken patrol however, if a complaint comes in we definitely follow up on it,” Furtaw said.  

On Tuesday, the Tulare City Council voted unanimously to make it illegal to raise chickens within the city limits.  

Most chickens that code enforcement comes across are considered to be free roaming, meaning no one will claim ownership of them, he said.  

Rabbits are also a problem code enforcement sees around the month of Easter.  

“They’re a horrible problem,” he said. “During Easter time, people think it’s cute to get their child a pet rabbit.”  

Rabbits also aren’t allowed within the Tulare city limits, he said.  

“Rabbit pens can be pretty smelly, and they cause the same issues [as chickens],” he said.  

Other animals which code enforcement officers have responded to include an Emu, iguanas and pythons, he said.  

People who are in violation receive a written notice first and a time period to remove the problem, Furtaw said.  

“If we have zero compliance, the first citations could be $100,” he said. “To our knowledge we’ve never had to issue a citation.”  

The Valley Oak SPCA, which handles animal control for the city of Visalia said it gives people in violation notices of 10 days to get the animal relocated outside of the city limits, said Valley Oak’s Kelly Austin.  

On average, her agency receives about one complaint per week about farm animals being inside city limits, she said.

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