Rabbits rescued in Sooke find bunny romance
SOOKE -- For as long as she can remember, Amy’s been helping animals.
“My parents would come home from work and I’d have a full litter of kittens,” Amy smiles. “And they’d be like, ‘Where did these cats come from?’”
Young Amy would often find them offered for free at garage sales or in newspaper ads. Her parents would sometimes let her keep who she found, with one exception.
“My parents would never let me have rabbits!” she says.
So perhaps rebellion is to blame for what grown-up Amy did when she spotted an ad online that was offering rabbits for free. Or perhaps it was something else.
“This is one of the most disgusting cages I have seen,” Amy says, showing me pictures of four bunnies confined by dirty wire.
Amy had worked at the SPCA for almost a decade, but she’d never seen rabbits covered in urine, feces and sores like this.
“I’m just trying to hold back my tears at this point,” she recalls of seeing the rabbits for the first time. “I’m like, ‘I cannot believe this.’”
Amy rescued all the rabbits, nursed them back to health, and found stable homes for all of them, except one. She adopted the bunny and named him Panda.
“I think I just instantly had a connection with him,” she smiles.
Perhaps it was the way Panda licked her after his dirty wire cage was replaced by a clean plush blanket, or perhaps it was the way Panda fit in so well with the rest of Amy’s pack of pets—sleeping nose-to-nose with her dog Chi Chi.
“It was so precious,” Amy says. “He is such a sweet bunny.”
And Amy knows her bunnies. When she’s not working full-time in the government, she’s running ‘Amy’s Bunny Barn’ from home—which has helped find “forever families” for more than 200 rescued rabbits.
“I feel like [rabbits] are the underdog in the pet world,” she says of her motivation to help.
While bunnies may not seem as self-assured as a cat, or as loyal as a dog, Panda displays both in abundance—especially with his wife, Koala.
She introduces me to the pair, who are hopping around Amy’s fenced backyard together.
“Love at first sight,” Amy says, showing me pictures of the pair cuddling together. “Immediately he started giving her kisses on the face and she returned the love!”
Perhaps the bunnies bonded over their common background of neglect. Or maybe being clean, cared for and unconfined instilled a confidence to connect.
“They’re not meant to be in tiny cages,” she says. “I always ask people, ‘If you were a rabbit, how would you want to live?’ Give them that life.”
And for Panda and Koala their life turned out to be one filled with love.