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What's up, Doc? Mission Viejo residents allowed to shoot rabbits with pellets

June 11, 2010 |  8:06 am

Bad news for rabbits in Mission Viejo.

The City Council has approved a request allowing residents to shoot the furry pests with pellet guns. The small mammals are said to damage property by chewing grass and raiding gardens.

The good news for the rabbits: The council has mandated a strict set of guidelines. Shooting is allowed only a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise. No traditional guns are allowed -- just the air-powered pellet variety.

Rabbit exterminators must be hired professionals. (Note to rabbits: Exterminators will be required to wear distinctive clothing, such as an orange vest.) And shooters must put down their guns when people are around and prowl only with chaperones by their sides, watching out for human bystanders.

The Palmia Homeowners Assn., which requested the permit, presides over a small adult housing community in northeast Mission Viejo, where, according to the association's website, residents are offered a variety of activities, including bocce ball.

-- Robert Faturechi