NORTH HAVEN, Conn. – A 7-year-old girl is worried about losing her 20-pound pet rabbit after a North Haven official issued a cease-and-desist order, saying the family can’t keep the bunny on their property.

Two weeks ago, Zoning Enforcement Officer Arthur Hausman issued the order informing the Lidsky family that they were violating town zoning regulations because their property was smaller than the two acres required to keep rabbits and other livestock. Hausman had been investigating neighbors’ complaints of blight outside the family’s home.

Since the story first appeared Wednesday on WTNH-TV, nearly 1,500 people have signed an online petition demanding that the town allow Kayden Lidsky to keep the 3-year-old Flemish giant named Sandy. Kayden’s father, Josh Lidsky, has vowed to appeal the order,.

“She’s not a mean bunny. She doesn’t bite people,” Kayden told WTIC-TV. “She only licks.”

But North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda said the town is not trying to take the bunny away. He said town officials are trying to get Josh Lidsky to respond to neighbors’ complaints about blighted conditions on his property.

Town officials inspected the property in May and asked Lidsky to take several actions including removing the rabbit hutch, replacing missing siding on his house and repairing an unfinished addition.

Lidsky said he’s appealing Hausman’s order about the rabbit to the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals, but he’s willing to clean up his yard.

“The whole story is about my daughter and the bunny,” Lidsky told the New Haven Register. “That is hitting below the belt. I want the bunny to stay on the property, for my daughter’s sake.”

Linda Thibault, president of the Hopalong Hollow animal rescue service in Norwalk, started the online petition on change.org.

“The situation with North Haven’s zoning is ridiculous,” she told the Register. “We’re not talking about a breeder or multiple rabbits. We’re talking about one pet bunny who is obviously beloved and well-cared for.