CRESWELL, Ore. — Her rabbits have everything they need, from fresh water and food to air conditioning and kisses. When Heather Crippen saw these furry creatures being chased by kids at the Cottage Grove Rodeo’s Animal Scramble last year, she couldn’t believe it. That’s when she took action.
“From the very start, we wanted the Animal Scramble stopped,” said Crippen, president of the Red Barn Rabbit Rescue.
She’s now relieved, after hearing from multiple sources, that rabbits will no longer be used.
“A big part of it was that we didn’t like them being terrorized and it is a relief to know that they’re not going to be chased and not be put in that situation where they can be injured,” said Crippen.
Some Cottage Grove residents feel the event is nothing but harmless fun.
“I can understand their concern and whatnot but it’s also a tradition and it’s also something that’s fun for the kids,” said Kay Tucker, a Cottage Grove resident.
As a mother herself, Crippen can relate but she feels this isn’t the right way to entertain kids. She thinks it’s sending the wrong message. That’s why on June 4, she proposed an ordinance to Lane County commissioners.
“Overall, it achieves not being able to give away small animals as prizes,” said Crippen.
Although Crippen is happy that rabbits are no longer in the event, she says the new animal of choice could be a concern for other groups out there similar to hers.
“I feel like I just put one burden off of me and a burden onto other sanctuaries that deal with chickens. I think it’s a step sideways,” said Crippen.