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Lily The Rabbit Still Lucky With Only Two Legs

GARLAND (CBS 11 NEWS) - Lily the rabbit only has two front legs, but she is still one lucky little bunny.

Her back legs were amputated after an accident. Most vets would have put her down but the North Texas Rabbit Sanctuary put her gave her a life by putting her in wheels.

Lily is what's known as a Lion Head rabbit because of her mane. After the accident, her owners brought the charcoal colored bunny to the North Texas Rabbit Sanctuary.

"We don't know exactly what happened. But, she was brought to us with a broken back. And, the break was in the middle of the back. And, it obviously left her paralyzed," said Marilyn Riha-Kourvelas, her new owner.

The rabbit's legs, which would have shriveled with the lack of blood flow, were amputated.

Most vets would have put her down. The North Texas Rabbit Sanctuary and its Haven of Hope put Lily on wheels.

"I think when people see that - they're amazed. We just don't see rabbits in carts. We don't see people take the time to do the extra, above and beyond to make sure they have a special life and a wonderful life," said Marilyn Riha-Kourvelas.

Lily's wheel cart is made out of PVC pipe, hobby store wheels and a harness. Lily doesn't like being out of it.

"She does like her independence. So, when she gets down in that cart, she will take off and there's no stopping her," said Marily Riha-Kourvelas.

The sanctuary in Garland is a non-profit no kill shelter for rabbits. Many are dropped off by tired families wanting to get rid of them.

"A lot of them are the people who say, 'We got it for Easter and our child doesn't want to take care of it, so we're going to get rid of it.' And, I hate that saying, "get rid of." It's like getting rid of the trash, you know?" said Barbara Yule.

Yule founded the rabbit sanctuary 20 years ago.  She estimates she's taken in several thousand rabbits since then.  "It started off where I was just taking in rabbits because people didn't want them anymore," said Yule.

The shelter pays to spay and neuter the bunnies, trains them to use a litter box and socializes any that need it.

Bunnies bond in pairs. And according to Yule, there's no such thing as a "dumb bunny." She says they're as smart as a two year old.

"They now their name. They know when you come home. They run to you. They know when they're being fed. They know what's going on," said Marilyn Riha-Kourvelas.

They wouldn't "get rid of" of Lily. And now, everyone's amazed to see the way she rolls.

For more information visit the North Texas Rabbit Sanctuary website.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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