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Homeless Hero Saves Pet Bunny After Jerk Teen Tosses It Off Bridge

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By Jeff Wilber on January 16, 2013


How far would you go to save your pet bunny?

John Byrne jumped into Ireland’s River Liffey to save his pet bunny Barney last July after 18-year-old Gary Kearney threw the rabbit off the O’Connell Bridge into the water below. Pardon the yacht rock soundtrack.

Byrne, one of Dublin’s nearly 5,000 homeless residents, was begging on the bridge with Barney and his Jack Russell Terrier when Kearney walked up, snatched Barney and tossed him into the river below. To Byrne’s surprise, and relief, when he looked down into the river, Barney had survived and was swimming in circles clinging to life.

With his rabbit barely hanging on, Byrne jumped from the bridge to rescue Barney before he could be swept away by the current. As nearly 200 people gathered to watch, Barney seemingly died in Byrne’s loving arms.

This story has a happy ending, though. According to Care2:

“I wasn’t going to leave him there,” John said. “I had to get him, I had to jump in to get him. Barney died in my arms but I got him under the bridge and gave him the kiss of life.”

That’s right, Byrne revived the bunny with what is assumed to be a very unconventional form of Rabbit CPR.

Man rescues pet rabbit from River Liffey 03-07-2011
via Care2/Sebastian Dooris

Last month, Kearney, the punk that tossed Barney off the bridge, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and torture in Dublin District Court.

His punishment for the heinous act was four months detention, and the permanent reputation of being the ultimate jackass.

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