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The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
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Hopnot's Story

Three month old Hopnot found a permanent home at the Rabbit Sanctuary.

On a typical day, the woman sat down at her kitchen table and listened to the noises out her front window. But this day was different. She’d just received a call from her doctor. The results were in, and they weren’t good.

The news was a severe blow, and Nancy Hill knew her life would be changed forever. Even while in this state of shock and disbelief, she couldn’t ignore the noises coming from outside, at a fervor and pitch much louder than normal.

Nancy peaked outside the curtains and saw a few children passing a small, white animal over their heads. She watched for several moments, trying to find out what they were up to and what was going to happen. Then she hustled outside, figuring in no time that whatever the children were up to, it wasn’t going to be good for the animal.

She heard a girl yell out, "Free rabbit. Free rabbit. Does anyone want a free rabbit?” The small animal was placed on the hot pavement and prodded to hop along with the children as they walked.

As she approached the children, Nancy asked the girl, “Why do you want to get rid of your rabbit?”

“Because my mom says it’s stinking up my room. She says I can’t come home ‘til I get rid of it.”

“So we’re trying to find someone who wants it,” announced one of the other children.

“If we can’t,” continued the girl, “then my mom says to just turn it loose.”

Although horrified, Nancy understood that the children, all eight and nine year olds, were not being intentionally cruel and meant the little rabbit no harm. They were just trying to solve their problem the best way they knew how. On the other hand, she also realized that the little rabbit was indeed in a life-threatening situation. She reached out her hands, “I’ll take him.”

Nancy arranged a circle of pillows on her living room floor and placed the little white rabbit in the center. It was then that she saw how bad off the little rabbit really was. His feet and bottom were caked with excrement. He could not sit up. He was very thin and panting heavily.

She thought her good intentions might be in vain, but she went to the kitchen and returned with a saucer of cool water and some slices of an apple. Sitting on the floor beside the rabbit, she began putting the cool water on the little rabbit’s long ears and on his lips. She tried to get him to sit up. The coolness of the water and her gentle manner seemed to revive the little rabbit. With the support of the pillows, he began to sit up and even drink on his own.

Nancy knew she would be scaling back on all her activities—even her job—in order to treat her newly discovered, chronic illness. She would not be able to take on the added responsibility and work to care for and keep this little rabbit. On the Internet, she was elated when she found the Rabbit Sanctuary, supported by The Fund for Animals, and realized this rabbit would have a chance of living a happy life.

Sanctuary staff estimated the rabbit was only three months old when he arrived. Over the next several months, in the rabbit-friendly environment of the Sanctuary’s health care building, the little rabbit grew healthy and strong. He was named Hopnot.

After being neutered, Hopnot was introduced to Miss Pinky, another recent rescue. Even though she, a Californian, is twice as big as Hopnot, a Mini Rex, they took to each other quickly.

In the safety of Rabbitat 1, both Hopnot and Miss Pinky have found other rabbit friends, fresh air, good food, clean water, the sun and the moon and lots of room to run and dig. In short, they have everything rabbits need to live a wonderful life.

All the rabbits who find their way to the Sanctuary are miraculous rescues. These fortunate rabbits, like Hopnot and Miss Pinky, have been given a second chance at life.

Posted March 23, 2006