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Group Wants to End Rabbit Scramble

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. — The annual Cottage Grove Rodeo starts next week, and a local rabbit rescue wants it to stop one of its events.

Heather Crippen, President of the Red Barn Rabbit Rescue, said the yearly animal scramble at the rodeo is dangerous. At the event, kids line up along a wall and chase after rabbits once they’re released from a trailer.

Last year, the Red Barn Rabbit Rescue was able to record parts of the animal scramble and posted the videos online. Rodeo President Kelli Fisher said the event isn’t meant to injure rabbits, but to include kids into the rodeo tradition. Also, it was a way for the community to experience having and raising an animal. Crippen and the rabbit rescue don’t see it that way.

“The event needs to be eliminated altogether, and they need to not use any other small animals for it. There is a possibility that the rabbits will be taken out and chickens will be added, and that’s not better. That’s stepping sideways,” Crippen said.

Fisher said the animal scramble started getting negative feedback about three years ago, but the past year has been the worst, everything from death threats to employees being stalked. She says the situation is being blown out of proportion, and from an agricultural standpoint she and the community take care of their animals very well.

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