COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- The Red Barn Rabbit Rescue captured video Saturday of the Cottage Grove Rodeo.
The 2 minute 10 second clip shows rodeo staff pulling rabbits out of a trailer one by one for a segment called "the animal scramble".
At the count of three, kids run as fast as they can to the animals. They chase after the rabbits, and if they catch one, they get to keep it.
"It's appalling, absolutely appalling," said Janetta Overholser, president of the Humane Society of Cottage Grove.
Overholser called it animal abuse.
"The animals have got to be totally terrified," said Overholser. "To pick them up wrong can result in a broken back or leg. You've got kids out there chasing and running, falling, trapping."
The animal scramble was part of the Cottage Grove Rodeo put on by the Cottage Grove Riding Club.
KVAL News tried all day Monday to get someone from the riding club to talk on-camera or give a statement. The secretary of the club eventually returned the calls and assured us the club's president would call us back. He never did, and Overholser said they haven't got back to her or Red Barn Rabbit Rescue either.
"We would like to see the animal scramble eliminated from the rodeo," said Overholser. "If they choose to continue it, they need to do it in a much more animal friendly way."
Overholser said the kids are given a box and instructions on how to care for the rabbits after they catch one. Instead, she's asking the riding club give the rabbits away in a calmer environment and after the kids have permission from their parents.