New Hampshire

Rabbit Found With Weight Around Its Neck Rescued From NH River

Two kayakers rescued the struggling rabbit in the Lamprey River on Sunday

A rabbit that was rescued from a New Hampshire river this week with a weight tied to its neck is recovering and "doing well," police said Tuesday.

Two kayakers were making their way down the Lamprey River in Raymond on Sunday afternoon when they came across the animal struggling to keep her head above the water, according to police.

Initially, Mike Eaton thought the rabbit was trying to swim to shore.

"As I got closer, I could see its furry little head, and all I could see was eyes filled with panic poking out of the water," said Eaton. "I couldn't wrap my head around why somebody would do this to this poor, defenseless little animal."

Eaton said he went to pick up the rabbit and felt something around her neck.

"At first, I was so angry," he said. "Like, who would do this?"

Eaton and another kayaker cut the bunny free from the 5-pound weight around her neck, calmed her down and called police, who brought her to a nearby veterinarian.

"If you can do this to a poor little bunny, what else are you capable of?" Eaton asked.

Investigators learned a child tortured the bunny, who had been a pet.

"There are a lot of factors here. These can be complicated cases," said Raymond Police Lt. Chad Shevlin.

When Eaton learned the suspect was a juvenile, his anger turned to concern.

"I was torn and confused," he said. "I just hope this kid gets the help he needs so history doesn't repeat itself."

Police are moving forward with a felony level animal cruelty charge.

Officers brought the rabbit to a nearby veterinarian for treatment.

The bunny will make a full recovery, according to officials. She will eventually be put up for adoption.

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