Police ID woman accused of dumping bunnies in Middletown park

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 1:56 PM EDT
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MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (FOX19) - Middletown police have identified the woman who they say admitted to abandoning at least a dozen bunnies at a Middletown park Saturday.

According to a police report, 43-year-old Leah Mendoza dumped 35 bunnies at Smith Park but said she only left 10 to 15 there.

A Middletown officer says she was contacted on Facebook Saturday about a woman who was reportedly going to abandon 47 rabbits at the park.

When the officer arrived around 8 a.m. to look for the bunnies there were already several animal rescue crews and volunteers catching the animals.

Around 10:30 a.m., one of the volunteers told the officer that they knew where the owner lived and that she had more bunnies at her house, the police report reads.

When the officer arrived at the house, Mendoza said she dumped 10 to 15 bunnies at the park, “so she knew where they were and so she could take care of them,” the report said.

When the officer told her that more were found, she answered, “Then you tell me how many I dumped?”

The report goes on to say that Mendoza admitted to having more bunnies inside her house. The officer, who describes the smell inside her basement as “horrendous,” stated that she had bunny feces, food, dirty water, and hay everywhere.

On Sunday, the officer was contacted by the rescues advising that they trapped two more bunnies at the park and took the remaining 16 bunnies from Mendoza’s house.

In total, 35 bunnies were trapped at the park and 30 were taken from her home.

A spokesperson for the City of Middletown says Mendoza is facing 35 counts of abandonment for all of the bunnies that were trapped at the park, which are misdemeanors, and could mean as many as 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.

Myles Ahead Rescue is working to get the bunnies the medical attention and help they need.

Most of the bunnies only have minor injuries.

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