“We think it was the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services that did this,” the volunteer said. “They were the only ones who wanted the bunnies gone. And now over 800 of our friends are dead. They murdered them.”

For the past five years, volunteer Stacey Taylor spent every single day caring for a colony of over 900 rabbits that lived outside a psychiatric treatment center in Las Vegas. Despite their large numbers, the volunteers gave them individual names that reflected their personalities.

“It was like a big family,” Taylor said.

So when she showed up on Sunday to feed them, and was only greeted by two of them, Taylor knew immediately that something was terribly wrong.

“Usually when you walk out, you’re greeted by 100 of them,” Taylor said. “I can’t even begin to explain the feeling. I felt weak. I felt like I couldn’t breathe.”

Check it out from The Dodo:

Walking across the property, dead rabbits were everywhere. Their tiny bodies lay in the grass with no signs of trauma as the survivors hopped among them. She started filming a live video on the page for her rabbit rescue group, Bunnies Matter in Vegas Too, which has since gone viral.

Volunteers frantically scooped up any rabbits that they could and loaded them into carriers, worried at the possibility of more deaths. They’ve managed to bring over 100 of them to safety while they await transfer to foster or adoptive homes — but many are still on the property.

“We’ve named them,” Taylor said. “We know these rabbits. They were our friends.”

Just two days prior, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services announced it would be implementing a trap and relocate plan over concerns that the rabbits, who had lived there for years, were a health threat.

Taylor believes the rabbits were intentionally poisoned by the state department.

While nothing has been proven in this case, and at this point, it’s all speculation, we feel like it could have easily been the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. Who else had a motive to see the rabbits gone? There weren’t any other groups or individuals who would have profited from their deaths.

Should the local police launch an investigation?

Or should the national authorities get involved?