04/21/2015 23:04 EDT | Updated 06/21/2015 01:12 EDT

Homes, not butcher, in store for 50 B.C. rabbits after SPCA seizure

NANAIMO, B.C. - The SPCA says it has taken custody of 50 rabbits that were being raised for meat but were living in substandard conditions on a Vancouver Island property.The society says it received a complaint about animals living in distress near Nanaimo.It found many rabbits living in small cages, while others had no shelter, adequate food or water, and several were underweight and suffering from dental issues.The society says the rabbits were seized and surrendered on April 17 and taken to a nearby shelter, and 14 have since been moved to other facilities for adoption or ongoing care.A small-breed dog was also taken into custody, and the society says it, too, needed veterinary care.Senior animal protection officer Tina Heary says the SPCA will recommend charges of animal cruelty be laid.