By Mollie Tracey
An adorable bunny who was dumped on the roadside by his former owners has a new set of wheels after dodging death.
Eddie, the long haired rabbit, was rescued by Marisca Forrer, 28, from Stellenbosch, South Africa, after his previous owners abandoned him on a busy dual carriageway.
He quickly settled in to his new home however Marisca became concerned when one day he didn’t respond to her calls.
Eddie was unable to move from under a garden bush and it soon became clear that his back legs were paralysed.
There was nothing that the vets could do for poor Eddie and despite being given a second chance at life, it was suggested that Marisca had him put down.
But refusing to give up on her beloved pet, Marisca discovered bunny wheels online and found a specialist that was willing to help.
Now, Eddie finally has his very own custom made wheelchair and is back to his usual happy self.
Marisca, an office manager, said: “My fiance, Craig, and I were devastated when we were told there was nothing we could do for Eddie, he’s part of the family so getting him bunny wheels was the best decision I’ve ever made.
“After rescuing him and seeing his former owners dump in on the busy road was heart breaking, he needed someone to love him.
“I have five cats and two more rabbits and I treat all of my animals as I would my children so I couldn’t just give up.
“We took him to three different specialists but no one was completely sure what caused the paralysis so we can only assume it was due to his legs dislocating after some stomping around.
“After receiving his wheels Eddie has been so much happier, he is finally able to move around again and he is even regaining some strength back in his legs.
“Eddie is such a character and can sometimes be a bit of a diva, he has a very fussy appetite and will only eat certain colours out of his rabbit pellets and when we first bought him home he slept on the end of our bed.
“He loves getting pampered at the salon, I take him regularly to get his hair trimmed and his nails cut, but despite being spoilt he is so loving and is such a happy bunny.
“There was a lot of people telling me to put him down, but I feel all animals deserves a chance and hopefully this will inspire others to make the same decision for a pet they love.”
Marisca found Eddie abandoned by his previous owners next to a busy road side, instinctively Marisca and Craig wanted to know what was going on.
She added: “The owners said they didn’t want him anymore but Craig and I knew that if he was left there he would die out in the wild.
“I love animals so we offered to take Eddie back with us and he soon settled into his new home.
“Eddie would always come running when we called for him, but one day after work we couldn’t find him anywhere, we searched the entire garden and eventually found him in a bush.
“Eddie couldn’t move, so I took him to the vets but they weren’t sure what had happened, they gave him injections to help with the pain.
“After no improvement Eddie saw two other vets and a specialist for special exercises and had his legs massaged daily for a week to see if this would help.
“But there was still no improvement and people who knew about Eddie told us we should just put him down.
“It was clear he was paralysed but we didn’t want to give up on him so we started researching wheelchairs for animals.”
Desperate for help, Marisca posted on a Facebook group, Cape Town Bunny Huggers, explaining Eddie’s condition and she soon received a message referring her to a specialist.
Marisca contacted Ruan from Ortho Pets Africa, who was more than willing to help, and came to measure Eddie for his new wheelchair.
Marisca said: “Whilst we were waiting for Eddie’s wheels to be made, his back legs stiffened up as he wasn’t able to move around which left them permanently straight.
“Ruan then had to adjust the wheelchair to accommodate Eddie’s straight legs, as well as making a few other adjustments to make it fit perfectly and suit all of Eddie’s needs.
“Eddie loves his wheels and they have really helped, by being able to move around it has built his strength back up and he is even able to walk by himself for small distances, which was impossible before.
“He is so much happier now that he can get around again, he loves playing in the garden and I am just so thankful that I didn’t give up on him.”