Mayoral candidate touts apparent hoax idea of drug-sniffing bunnies

- A local mayoral candidate says he was serious when he vowed to investigate the use of drug-sniffing bunnies if elected - even though it appears to stem from an internet hoax.

It was the answer that got Phoenixville talking. At a forum of the three mayoral candidates last week, Republican Dave Gautreau talked about an alternative to drug-sniffing dogs.

"This is gonna sound very strange what I'm gonna say. But I found some information and I called Lancaster City. They actually use rabbits, believe it or not," he said. "So obviously if I'm the successful candidate, I'd want to have a meeting with myself and the chief. He said they currently have rabbit sniffing, you know for drugs, and they're about 1500 a piece."

Drug-sniffing rabbits? Who'd heard of such a thing?

It's questionable alright. The only drug-sniffing rabbits we found online came from satirical sites like "People of Lancaster." 

Yet, Gautreau insisted he spoke to someone, responding to the criticism on Facebook: "When I contacted the department they briefly told me they had used them. My apologies, obviously somebody in their staff had fun at my expense." But the department insists, no one would have told him they used drug-sniffing rabbits.

Gautreau's opponents for mayor say anyone can make a mistake; however, "He should have done more research. But at the end of the day, I wish it was more about actual issues that are actually gonna affect Phoenixville residents," Nate Craig said.

"We need to hold ourselves to a higher level and be accountable for the information that we have and do research," Peter Urscheler said.

Meanwhile, Borough council member Michael Kuznar says, it was clearly a gaffe, but voters should also consider his record of service.

"Is a comment he made something that's gonna affect your opinion on the 20 years of public service that he's had and that he's given to the borough?"

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