By Ed Brock
Emma and her babies are in limbo right now, sharing incarceration with around 80 or 90 of their friends and family while the wheels of justice slowly turn to decide their fate.
Emma is a rabbit, one of about 25 rabbits taken from Rose Aulicky of Riverdale in July along with more than 60 Guinea pigs. Aulicky faces charges of animal cruelty in connection with the case, but so far no court date has been set.
Meanwhile, officers with Clayton County Animal Control have had to call in some volunteer help to take care of the room full of small furry inmates.
"Because it takes about four to five hours a day to take care of these animals," Animal Control Capt. Toni Tidwell said. "They're more delicate than people realize."
Members of the House Rabbit Society and some Guinea pig lovers have been coming to the pound to take care of the animals, even bringing fresh fruits and vegetables for them.
"They are coming out of their pockets a lot to help these animals," Tidwell said.
The rabbits and Guinea pigs are kept in their own room with rabbits on one side and Guinea pigs on the other. Some of them have been born in that room.
Tidwell said that the barking of the dogs in the nearby kennels stresses the animals and animal control employees must limit handling of the critters.
Emma and some of the other rabbits got their name from the House Rabbit Society volunteers. A call to the Georgia representative for the House Rabbit Society was not returned.
Clayton County Solicitor General Keith Martin said he's been working with Aulicky's attorney Larry King on finding a new home for the animals and he's already referred to King some people who have called expressing concern for the animals.
"What we're seeing is the animals get time served and the owners get probation," Martin said.
King did not return a call seeking comment.
Martin's office is also working to decide how many counts of animal cruelty Aulicky will face when the case does come to court.
Aulicky may have been breeding the animals for sale in her home at 1608 Fairhaven Drive outside Riverdale, Clayton County Police spokesman Capt. Jeff Turner said previously.
Two of the Guinea pigs were dead, Tidwell said.
Animal control officers received a call prior to the raid regarding the conditions in which the animals were living, Tidwell said. Many of the animals were roaming freely through the house while some were in cages.
"They look pretty healthy but there was no visible water," Tidwell said.
The food that was being fed to the animals was also not good, Tidwell said.