A judge has ordered jail time for a man who reportedly severed the tail, legs, and genitals from a living rabbit he purchased from a pet store.

The judge sentenced the man to 5 years in jail, suspended after 1 year — meaning he will spend at least one year in jail, and more if he re-offends in that time period — as well five years of probation.

We thank prosecutors for treating this case with the severity it deserved. We also thank the more than 24,400 people who signed our petition urging prosecutors to take this case seriously. Justice may have been a long time coming, but your voices were heard.

State police pulled over the defendant in October 2019 for swerving. Once they approached, they noticed blood and fur in the passenger seat and a cardboard box in the footwell.

The box contained a tri-colored rabbit who was “in clear medical distress.”  Officers determined the man had bought the rabbit from a pet store a half an hour before the stop, and in that short time had used scissors to sever the body parts from the rabbit.

The rabbit had to be euthanized given the severity of the injuries.

Rabbits are sensitive and intelligent animals whose lives matter.  Those who commit intentional cruelty to sentient beings must be held accountable, and we’ll keep working hard to advocate for animals everywhere.

To help us advocate for other animals in shops, please sign our petition urging a thorough investigation into filthy conditions documented for dogs at several New Jersey pet stores.

SIGN: Justice for Puppies Living in Their Own Filth at NJ Pet Stores