Police seize rabbits — again
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
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.