Rabbit owner receives baffling letter about ‘anti-social’ barking at his home

A Friskney rabbit owner was left bemused after receiving an official council warning letter about excessive barking at his address.

Martin with his friendly, non-barking pet rabbit Joey.
Martin with his friendly, non-barking pet rabbit Joey.

Martin Vickers, of Low Road, received the letter from East Lindsey District Council warning him that excessive barking was classed as anti-social behaviour under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

But the only animal at Martin’s address is his seven year-old rescue rabbit Joey.

“I’m not sure how they have mistaken Joey for a dog,” Martin told the Standard.

Joey the floppy-eared bunny is innocent.

“The only noise Joey makes is scratching when he wants to come out of his enclosure to have a run around indoors. He doesn’t go outside as he could be got by a fox.”

The letter, from environmental protection officer Sue Pailing, states: “I am writing to advise you that I have received a complaint regarding the behaviour of your dog. I understand your dog barks quite excessively whilst in the garden, especially when horse riders go by your fence. This is obviously a concern as this could cause a horse to bolt and possibly throw its rider.”

After receiving the letter, Martin said he rang up the council to tell them he doesn’t have a dog,

“I said I have only got a white rabbit - and he’s not aggressive at all. I then spoke to Sue at the council and she was very nice about it - in fact we had a good laugh.”

The Legendary Black Beast of Arrrghhh.

Sue Pailing told the Standard: “Mr Vickers and I did have quite a chuckle about the mix up and he was very understanding about it. I didn’t want to rabbit on about the complaint and no further barks have come from the rabbit in question since.”

Martin said his conversation with Sue included an amusing reference to the killer rabbit from Monty Python’s Holy Grail - in which a white rabbit known as the ‘Legendary Black Beast of Arrrghhh’ leaps up and kills several of King Arthur’s knights in a surprisingly graphic scene.

“She did joke that she had seen that, and said ‘so they can be vicious’,” Martin laughed.

But unlike the Monty Python rabbit - Martin’s bunny doesn’t have ‘a vicious streak a mile wide’.

The killer rabbit scene from Monty Python's Holy Grail.

Martin put a post about the amusing mix-up to the Facebook group ‘Friskney Community’ with a photo of Joey - where some members have jokingly asked ‘who framed Joey rabbit?’

One commented: “Nasty-looking dog you got there’ - while another joked: “You’ve clearly got a barking rabbit that’s causing a nuisance.”

Martin said: “It’s not the council’s fault - as I think they were simply given the wrong address.”

He added: “Most of our neighbours around here seem to have dogs, so I think it is a case of mistaken identity.”

Martin with his seven year-old indoor rescue rabbit Joey.