If you found yourself in the right place at the right time, would you have the courage to stop a crime? One brave 60-year-old Englishwoman named Elle risked her own safety recently to save nine frightened baby bunnies who had been stuffed into a bag and were seconds away from being hurled into the river.
When Elle (last name withheld to protect her personal safety) came around the river bend with her dog, as she’d done a thousand times before, she saw a man there acting strangely. He was grasping a bag in one hand and looking nervously over one shoulder as he approached the riverbank. Elle’s intuition stirred and she felt a sense of danger wash over her. She could see the shapes of the rabbits’ tiny bodies rounding out the bottom of the bag. There was a risk that any man capable of drowning baby animals wouldn’t hesitate to harm her too, but Elle’s conscience made the split-second choice to race forward and protect the animals with her own life and her trusty walking stick.
With her dog by her side, Elle charged the man and grabbed the bag. He was enraged and swore in her face, but did not raise a hand to Elle. Perhaps it was the presence of the dog that made him think twice or perhaps he only acts with violence against small animals, but for whatever reason, this unidentified man left the scene without further incident.
Shaken but unharmed, Elle and the bunnies made a beeline for The Rabbit Residence Rescue to see Caroline Collings.
“Drowning an animal is just horrendous,” Caroline said as she combed over each bunny, looking for any overt signs of trauma or injury. “I don’t understand how anyone could do it. How many other animals has he done that to?”
Caroline has been caring for the rabbits at The Rabbit Residence Rescue for nearly 20 years. The organization aims to educate rabbit guardians about responsible pet care and is a safe landing spot for unwanted and formerly-neglected rabbits of every size and color. Though all rescue centers are often low on space to accept additional animals, Caroline urges people to act responsibly and wait for a humane solution if they find themselves with pets they can no longer care for.
“If you dump your rabbit in the wild it will get run over or eaten by a fox,” Caroline warns.
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