A rabbit in northern Florida is “safe and sound” is after being rescued from teen girls who threw her against a wall repeatedly and kicked him.
Despite the abuse she suffered, the rabbit is “very sweet and gentle,” Tim Maguire, Nassau County Animal Services director, told The Huffington Post. “[She] likes being held.”
Animal shelter workers are debating whether to name the bunny “Peter” or “Mr. Fuzzypants.” (Note: The rabbit has since been named "Fuzzy Pants" after the revelation that she is actually a female)
She's been in the care of animal services since Saturday morning, after the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office arrested three girls aged 13 and 14 on animal cruelty charges.
On Friday, a concerned county resident posted a Snapchat video on a Nassau Community Facebook page. The video appears to show three young girls giggling as they hurl a rabbit into the walls of a room; one girl appears to kick the animal. The caption “She threw her bunny” appears in the video.
The woman who posted the disturbing and graphic video, Laura Morabito, said she did so because she wanted to locate the girls responsible for hurting the rabbit. “I don’t like to post these things, but she’s in our area and We have to find out who these little girls are,” she wrote. “Please share guys, this is absolutely disgusting and not ok. Where are the parents?!”
The sheriff’s office received multiple complaints and managed to track down and arrest the girls in the video, The Florida Times-Union reported. Since they are minors, law enforcement is not releasing their names.
The rabbit, recuperating at the animal shelter, has a leg fracture and some bruising, Maguire said, though it’s still unclear how serious the leg injury is. The bunny will eventually go up for adoption once she has recovered. The shelter has already received 15-20 requests from people interested in adopting Peter/Mr. Fuzzypants.
“We do this every day, all day, seven days a week with horses and cats and dogs,” Maguire said. “When a cute bunny becomes public it garners more attention.”
And while it would be great if all animals at the shelter got so much attention, it’s encouraging to see such strong community support for the injured rabbit.
“We’re happy to see so many people caring about animals,” said Maguire.
UPDATE: The rabbit is now in the care of Southwest Florida House Rabbit Rescue, which has informed HuffPost that the female rabbit was initially misidentified as male. The story has been updated throughout.