News

North Haven Settles Dispute Over Girl’s Pet Bunny

Sandy the bunny (credit: Laura Rosenberg Lidsky/Facebook)

Sandy the bunny (credit: Laura Rosenberg Lidsky/Facebook)

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Officials in Connecticut have settled a zoning dispute over a girl’s 20-pound pet bunny after receiving calls and emails from across the country demanding that the rabbit be allowed to stay.

North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda said Friday that the town will allow 7-year-old Kayden Lidsky and her family to keep the Flemish giant named Sandy and change the zoning rule that led to a cease-and-desist order three weeks ago.

“I think the town finally realized that there are laws and situations, some of the situations are just outdated and not up to date with current times,” Josh Lidsky, Kayden’s dad, told 1010 WINS.

The rule bars anyone from keeping rabbits and other livestock on properties smaller than two acres.

The town’s zoning enforcement officer issued the cease-and-desist order while investigating a neighbor’s blight complaint against the Lidsky family, whose property is less than two acres, reported WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau .

WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau with more on this story:

“All along I’ve said that little girl is not losing that rabbit,” Freda said. “We have a ridiculous ordinance — and we’re going to change it.”

The Lidsky family, however, interpreted the cease-and-desist order to mean that they had to get rid of Sandy. Lidsky had planned to appeal the order to a town board.

“My daughter is ecstatic. I think we’re all just honestly glad that it’s over,” he said. “Everybody’s happier now, the town is happier that I’m not pursuing this anymore.”

Kayden also said she’s happy Sandy gets to stay.

“I was sad when they told me to get rid of my bunny and now I’m happy,” she told 1010 WINS.

Since the dispute hit the news last week, nearly 4,400 people have signed an online petition on change.org urging the town to not
force the family to give up the rabbit.

Freda said he’s also spoken to and exchanged emails with about 1,000 people nationwide.

The ordinance was put in place about 50 years ago when North Haven was a large farming community, and it was designed to prevent people from raising and selling rabbits and other livestock on less than 2 acres in competition with farmers, Freda said.

Freda said the new ordinance will allow rabbits to be kept as pets.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)