Gothamist reports that an Animal Care and Control is offering a $1,000 reward for the safe return of a bunny that was taken from its East Harlem care center. In a Facebook post, ACC wrote, “Our bunny Sunny was stolen 2 weeks ago from our East Harlem care center. Surely there is someone out there that knows who has this bunny and can return her for $1,000 no questions asked. Sunny needs special care and an experienced bunny owner to care for her.”
The bunny theft occurred on June 14, 2017. “The thief was a man who went to the shelter that day looking to adopt a dog, shelter officials said. When he was not allowed to because he had what he called two unneutered ‘guard dogs‘ at home, he got mad and grabbed the rabbit instead, shelter officials said,” the NY Times reports.
ACC has an “open-cage policy” to encourage potential adopters to interact with animals. Apparently the thief “took advantage” of that, plus “two developmentally disabled young women looking to become volunteers” who let him hold the bunny, according to the Daily News.
Amy Odum, a volunteer, wrote on Facebook, “Why is 23rd Pct blowing off the theft of an animal from ACC’s 110th Street shelter on June 16? ACC was able to provide his name, address, and more (including video), but I guess as far as NYPD is concerned it’s just a case of shoplifting. No matter that he took a living thing who might still be saved (if she’s not dead already, or worse), but to NYPD she might just as well be a candy bar or a pack of cigarettes. I guess we should expect more of this sort of indifference since ASPCA is out of the picture.”
The next day, June 28, the 23rd Precinct replied, “Ms. Odum, I’m not sure where you got your information but it’s inaccurate. Following a thorough investigation of the theft, there is now an active warrant for the perpetrator and I expect an imminent arrest. Thanks for your concern.”
“Yes, ACC has been saying essentially the same thing for over a week now in response to any inquiries. I guess the three of us have different understandings of the word ‘imminent,'” Odum responded.
A police official told the NY Times that detectives were working on a shooting at an East Harlem playground that injured three, including a 19-year-old who was paralyzed, “The 23rd Precinct in the last 28 days has investigated 59 felony crimes, including multiple felony assaults, robberies, rapes and burglaries. Those are a higher priority of crime than a petty larceny.”
An in-demand cat was stolen from the same Animal Care and Control center in April.