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Kayaker Saves Rabbit Tied To Weight In NH River

RAYMOND, NH (CBS) - A kayaker saved a rabbit from an act of animal cruelty in New Hampshire. Mike Eaton was paddling downriver when he spotted the animal struggling in the water, it had a rope around its neck tied to a weight.

Eaton climbed in his kayak Tuesday night still haunted by the face of the bunny. "I'm upset by this obviously," Eaton said.

It was Sunday afternoon when his paddling on the Lamprey River brought him to a spot just off Main Street in Raymond. "And something caught my eye," he said.

Rabbit river
A rabbit tied to a weight was saved by a NH kayaker (Image credit Michael Lothrop)

That something was a rabbit, struggling in the relatively still water.

"I scooped it up between its four legs on my forearm," he said.

But Mike quickly discovered it wasn't that simple because the animal had a rope around its neck which disappeared into the river.

"I pulled up a five pound weight, someone obviously did this deliberately," Eaton said.

Police are not sure if the rabbit was thrown off a bridge or tossed from a landing, but the rope around its neck was just long enough that when the weight hit bottom, the rabbit could barely keep its face above the surface.

Mike Eaton
Mike Eaton (WBZ-TV)

"Just two eyes and a snout poking out of the water," Eaton said.

The rope was so tight, Mike quickly borrowed a knife from a fellow kayaker and cut it off.

"And I'm thinking who would do this? Who would do this?" Eaton said.

The answer to that, say Raymond Police, is a juvenile boy who was apparently trying to torture or kill the family pet and now faces felony animal cruelty charges.

"If you're able to do that to a defenseless little animal, what else are you capable of?" Eaton said.

The animal is now recovering with a vet in neighboring Candia, while Mike just wishes he could erase the image of the panicky little face from his mind.

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