I work for an organization that provides and maintains homes for people who are working hard to transition to life outside a mental health facility, and we have rabbits in the yard of one of our homes. This home is located just off a busy street in a fairly rural neighborhood, and houses six female guests at a time. Normally, we have a difficult time finding good properties in areas where the city doesn’t fight us on zoning issues. For the sake of our clients, we try to be as discreet as possible, but sometimes when neighbors find out who we are and who intends on moving in, we face all kinds of opposition.
But, this property was different. We were contacted by the previous owner, who specifically wanted to sell to us. He said it had been his family’s home for twenty-five years, and he’d made all kinds of improvements to it and updated the bathrooms and kitchen. His son had struggled with a mental health problem for years, but through perseverance and the efforts of organizations like ours, he was living a happy and healthy life with a family and a steady job. When we did our preliminary investigations, we found the property was perfect. It had enough rooms to transfer into bedrooms and one large day room. Its kitchen was large enough for the needs of our clients. And, it was on a large property that would allow house guests to meet outside, or stroll around on the premises. In addition, the neighbors were well-aware of who we are and what we do, and they welcomed us with open arms. They’d known the previous owner’s son, too, and loved him.
It’s been one of our most successful locations, until one of the guests tripped over a trench dug on the side of the house and twisted her ankle. I inspected the property myself, and spoke with the guests. Several guests admitted to having seen rabbits in the yard, poking their heads out of the trench, nibbling on the grass. One of our employees at the home had even stumbled across a rabbit nest in the yard, a small depression in the grass, in which three tiny little rabbits huddled and waited for their mama to return.
As a property manager, I was frustrated that no one had brought this to our attention before now. I understand the guests loved their little friends, but those adorable animals beget a lot more adorable little animals, and they can chew, and dig, and destroy. Plus, rabbits in the yard might be attractive to other wild animals, like feral cats or raccoons.
So, much to the chagrin of our guests and employees, we need to get the rabbits out of the yard. Fortunately, we’ve worked with Allstate Animal Control before, and we know they do a great job.