AURORA, Colo. -- Some residents of an Aurora town home community are angry after learning about a rabbit removal operation.
Residents that live at the Chateaux at Aurora Park town homes near Iliff and Revere said their Homeowners Association told them the rabbits would be relocated.
But now they’re learning the animals will be killed.
"It’s just something I can’t even fathom," resident Katie Fortune said.
Fortune just learned the HOA hired Animal & Pest Control specialists to trap and kill the critters. She said they told her the rabbits would be relocated.
"It's amazing. Here we think they will be relocated. And actually they are going to be gassing them…which is insane,” Fortune Said.
In this letter, the HOA said: "The rabbits have caused an enormous amount of damage to the landscaping." It claims it spent nearly $17,000 on additional water for replacement turf.
Some residents said a parasite in the grass is killing it, others say dogs are contributing and even more said this summer’s record-breaking heat hurt the most.
"We have bare spots, absolutely bare ground. And it's expensive to replace all that," said Anada Guse, a resident of a neighboring HOA. She and her husband Ron said the animals are destructive—but trapping two years ago did not help the situation.
The problem is rabbits can have babies every 30 days. And experts say if you trap just 90-percent of them, the 10-percent left behind will repopulate within a year. With open space on both sides of the property, it seems impossible to catch them all.
But Fortune hopes to catch her neighbor’s compassion by handing out facts about the rabbit removal.
"At first, it sounded like they were going to trap and take them away and relocate them. Now, with this new information, it's cruel, it's terrible," said resident Kathy Bent.
It’s a problem, some say does not have much of a solution.
The HOA plans to start trapping rabbits this Wednesday. The letter states that interfering with traps is considered a violation of poaching laws and the contractor can press charges.
Residents say Animal & Pest Control specialists told them traps would be checked once or twice a day and that the rabbits would be gassed inside company trucks and then taken to a dump for disposal.
The company’s owner, Ronnie Purcella, did not return our phone call for comment, and HOA president Arne Halcromb had no comment.