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Rabbit Stew and a Cockatoo Named "Lucky"

One day, with Azzopardi's permission, a rabbit breeder dumped several hundred unwanted rabbits at Amarillo Wildlife Refuge (AWR). Many arrived with injuries. The breeder told our investigator that he had beaten them with a hammer to get them out of their cages and into the transport crates, which were already crammed full of rabbits. Many of the animals died at AWRthe sick were denied veterinary care, and Azzopardi turned some into stew.

rabbit with eye problems The survivors were forced to live in filthy, overcrowded cages. On videotape, Azzopardi is heard telling our investigator and an AWR volunteer that rabbits enjoy living in their own waste. Still others were left to wander the property looking for food; some suffered from untreated eye ailments; and several were discovered dead inside the big-cat enclosures. During one incident, our investigator watched helplessly as caracals tried to pull a rabbit into their enclosure. The rabbit eventually broke free, but she had been torn open and was in shock; our investigator rushed the wounded animal to a veterinarian who put her out of her misery.

Despite the dangers associated with cross-species contamination, a variety of birds, including canaries, parrots, and cockatiels, shared a room with the capuchin monkeys. In addition to the loud and disturbing noises made by some of the birds, the capuchins were forced live next to bird cages in which feces, rotten food, and maggots were inches thick. As if this weren't bad enough, Azzopardi instructed our investigator to pick out the uneaten seeds that had fallen into this mess and place them back in the birds food receptacles!

A cockatoo named Lucky was forced to endure the noise, flies, and stench that were part and parcel of her daily life and was also defecated upon daily after a cage containing canaries was placed above her. After weeks of not being cleaned, the canaries cage accumulated several inches of feces, which overflowed into Luckys cage.

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