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For the past five years, the historic barn and idyllic pastures of Savage, Minnesota’s last farm have served as the backdrop for a young boy’s mission, as he described, to change the world through kindness “one bunny at a time.”

Peacebunny Cottage, as the farm became known, is home base for the boy’s endeavor to train endangered rabbits and spread joy on what’s been described as a 22-acre private island on the Mississippi River called Peacebunny Island.

The tale — told in the boy's book — has been recounted by numerous national press outlets, including People Magazine, The Washington Post and NBC’s Today Show.

But the dream of Peacebunny, says the Minnesota Federated Humane Societies, "instead appears to be a living nightmare for these rabbits." 

The non-profit, which assists law enforcement with animal cruelty investigations, said it launched an investigation this week when the organization learned over 250 rabbits may be living at the farm with feces "piled so high that the animals were tunneling through it." 

On Tuesday, the Savage Police Department removed 20-40 rabbit carcasses from the farm while executing a search warrant tied to an ongoing animal cruelty investigation. 

Investigators believe the neglect and cruelty discovered at the property "did not occur overnight," according to the warrant filed in Scott County. 

According to police, rabbits at the property lacked adequate food and water and were living in unsanitary conditions with flies, mice and rats. 

"I observed babies that were so tiny, they were able to get through the metal of their enclosures and then had difficulties getting back into the cages of where l observed larger adult rabbits, assumed to be their mothers," the police investigator wrote. "Some dishes were too big for these little bunnies to drink from and one almost fell into the bowl trying desperately to drink."

Rabbits Rescue Minnesota, 4 Paws animal control and the Animal Humane Society are among the organizations assisting with the response. 

The Savage Police Department's investigation is ongoing, Capt. Scott Gordon confirmed Thursday. 

The family behind the Peacebunny operation rents the barn, while the property itself is owned by someone else. 

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