Rabbit Motel

Adam was apparently in a generous mood yesterday, and sent me this lovely little nugget out of Oregon.

Police seize rabbits — again
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The Oregonian

HILLSBORO — For months, more than 200 rabbits were kept under lock and key in an undisclosed location — evidence in one of Oregon’s largest animal neglect cases.

Tended by volunteers, they were fed, cushioned with hay and after a brief period of unexpected mating, separated by sex. They were living with comforts they had never experienced, police said.

Then one night, a chain-link fence was cut, a steel door was pried open and 130 of the bunnies were gone. Police quickly zeroed in on the rabbits’ original owner: 44-year old Miriam E. Sakewitz.

In October, Hillsboro police seized 158 live rabbits from Sakewitz’s home and found nearly 100 dead ones in three freezers. She was charged with 92 counts of first-degree animal neglect and 165 counts of second-degree animal neglect.

Two days before the bunnies disappeared, Sakewitz repeatedly asked Rouches if police would return 75 of her favorites.

“She was very respectful but had a desperation, that ‘I need my rabbits,’ ” said Rouches, who told Sakewitz she had to wait for the court to rule on the case.

Skinner said Sakewitz checked into a motel on the day of the robbery and asked the clerk for a ride. During the drive, Sakewitz spoke so obsessively of rabbits that the clerk became concerned.

The clerk used a Google search to find online stories about Sakewitz’s criminal case and informed police.

In addition to 10 rabbits found in Sakewitz’s car, authorities recovered 132 at a nearby horse farm, where two more were found dead.

It’s good to see that there’s still quality comedy out there to be had, for those of us willing to look hard enough. Now clearly, Ms. Sakewitz has followed the creative lead of Minneapolis’ own Rabbit Lady, whom I admiringly reviewed on this website over two years ago. That’s okay though. If you’re going to plagarize someone, might as well steal from the master.

A few reactions and suggestions:

-I absolutely loved the touch of talking obsessively about rabbits with the random motel owner. What a refreshing, unnerving move! The fact that she was so insane about rabbits that he actually did an internet search on her is a testament to her comedic powers.

-I see that she fell prey to the usual sequel structure – “Let’s go get our rabbits back!” – and so one inevitably hits on the same themes as the original (dead rabbits in the freezer). This is difficult to avoid, and so the audience is usually willing to cut the comedian a little slack.

-Perhaps she could have gone further this time? Maybe upped the ante a bit? Committed suicide by smothering herself in rabbits? Some sort of mass rabbit immolation? Demanded that a justice of the peace perform marriage rites between her and a rabbit named after a boy she liked in 9th grade?

Overall, I’d give this performance a favorable review. Obsessive animal hoarding is a favorite comedic theme here at the John Larroquette Project, and we’re always happy to come across articles like this involving hundreds of dead animals, collected and categorized for future reference. While I wouldn’t characterize Miriam Sakewitz as creatively inspired, it’s clear that she was willing to go the extra mile for our enjoyment.

Bravo, Miriam. Bravo.

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11 Responses to Rabbit Motel

  1. _steve says:

    My favorite part was that she kept 10 of them in her car.

  2. kevin s. says:

    “Tended by volunteers, they were fed, cushioned with hay and after a brief period of unexpected mating, separated by sex.”

    Sounds like a youth group retreat.

  3. Sarah says:

    I also liked the part of 10 rabbits in her car.
    it would be interesting to see what would happen if 2 animal hoarders cohabitated. Like the feral cat lady and the rabbit lady. Which animal would dominate? I suspect cats but you never know.

  4. peter says:

    Nice one, Kevin.

  5. Andi B says:

    “Two days before the bunnies disappeared, Sakewitz repeatedly asked Rouches if police would return 75 of her favorites.”

    Since when do psycho animal hoarders play favorites? I think Miriam’s effort in establishing favorites really sets her apart.

  6. Ted says:

    “Then one night, a chain-link fence was cut, a steel door was pried open and 130 of the bunnies were gone.”

    She pried open a STEEL door! I went back to the original story to see what manor of giant German woman this was. She is like a scrawny librarian type. How did she pry open a steel door?

  7. Peter says:

    Rabbit love is a powerful thing, Ted.

  8. Miriam Sakewitz says:

    Andi,

    Part of my plan was to get my 75 favorites and have them mate. That way I would have more adorable fuzzy bunnies to hold, cuddle, squeeze and love. And if it got too warm, i would put them in the freezer.

    I do not understand why this is considered cruel. I loved my bunnies, much like a mother loves a child. How is that cruel? Why are you all mocking my pain of being seperated from my bunnies? I need them…my heart is breaking without them. How can you laugh at that?

  9. kevin s. says:

    Incidentally, how sobering must it be as a cop to look yourself in the mirror each morning and say “well, time to go guard the rabbits.”

  10. Don P. says:

    As the officer who did the guarding of the buns…you have no idea…the shame, the resentment…the insanity of having to carry out this detail…I’ll never be the same.

  11. Stef says:

    I took this quote from a story I read online and just thought it very shocking in many ways….

    “She claimed to be storing the dead rabbits in freezers until she could properly bury them.”

    How time consuming to take shovel each time and dispose of it properly as each rabbit passed away and give it back to the earth as necessary. She’d rather wait until she has 50,000 to 100,000 AND RENT A BACK HOE????

    She doesn’t deserve to breathe!!!!! LOCK HER IN FREEZER! ANIMAL ABUSERS ARE JUST AS SICK AS PEOPLE ABUSERS!

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