NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — On Wednesday, the Niagara SPCA rescued 57 rabbits from a residence on Independence Avenue.

“We were called over there by the Niagara Falls Police,” Eric Salisbury, the cruelty investigator for the Niagara SPCA said. “We’ve been there in the past, and honestly, the conditions haven’t changed from when we were there in the past. There was deplorable conditions and rabbits running all over in every room of the house.”

Back in April, 35-year-old April Monachelli had 40 rabbits in her home and was given a warning, limiting her to only keep 10 and to relocate the others.

The SPCA helped her relocate some of the bunnies, and thought she had listened.

But then, they got a call this week, saying it had gotten worse.

“What we’re guessing is that she temporarily moved those other 19 rabbits, and then they came right back to the house,” Amy Lewis, executive director of the Niagara SPCA, said. “As we know about bunnies, they multiply very, very quickly, so 29 became 57 pretty quickly.”

The SPCA is now charging Monachelli with six counts of animal cruelty.

The organization feels overwhelmed by the situation, but those who work there wanted to do what was best for the bunnies.

When rescued, the some of the rabbits were covered in fecal matter. They rescued 57 bunnies, but one of them died shortly after.

“We really wanted to avoid this, because it’s not a good situation for our shelter to take in 56 animals in the matter of a couple hours,” Lewis said. “It’s taxing on our resources, but we had to do what was good for the animals.”

Anyone interested in helping the bunnies is encouraged to donate supplies or provide a foster home for the bunnies. Supplies needed and other information can be found at this link.

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.