Mission Viejo officials have given the go ahead to homeowners association in a gated community here to control its rabbit population by shooting the animals with pellet guns.
The permit was issued to Palmia, a community of 901 homes near the city's northeast border. It's only the second one issued by the city; Casta del Sol first requested to be allowed to shoot rabbits in 2005, a move some residents protested at the time.
Under the permit, which is reviewed every two years, shooting is only allowed 30 minutes after sunset and thirty minutes before sunrise.
The HOA must hire a professional company to shoot the rabbits and that shooting can only be done in open space when people are not present. The sheriff's department must be notified on those days.
In Palmia, just as in Casta del Sol, rabbits have chewed patches of lawn down to the dirt, eaten through flower beds, and damaged areas with urine and droppings.