Rabbit Named Mini Becomes Pet Mom’s Bighearted Best Friend

When Hannah adopted Mini, she learned that love and compassion can facilitate healing for pets and their people, too.

Hannah + Mini

A recent college graduate, Hannah was getting a fresh start in a new city. In adopting a rabbit named Mini, she found a warm, compassionate friend who was ready for her own second chance. 

"She’s clever, affectionate, and an agent of complete chaos (R.I.P. to all my chewed phone chargers). Being loved by a previously abused animal is an honor. Healing alongside my Mini is a blessing. "

In September 2020, I moved to Los Angeles with my two bonded bunnies in tow. I had graduated into a pandemic with a theatre degree and was leaving behind everything I knew for a place I had only visited once before, and I didn’t have a safety net. It was impractical. I was running on fumes. But, following a lifetime of abuse, I told myself: Hannah, if you could survive such hardship, you deserve to take this leap and thrive.

I had fostered rabbits throughout undergrad, and I had always dreamed of having an extra big bunny. For morale, I promised myself that as soon as I found my footing, I would finally adopt one. The promise I made to myself bolstered me on hard nights in an unfamiliar place. So, I started emailing Lejla at Bunny World Foundation. When I told her the kind of bunny I was looking for, she had just the ticket. “We rescued a group of eight rabbits from an animal testing facility, and we have a girl I bet we could bond with your boys,” she said. “She’s about ten pounds and like a puppy. I’d love for you to bring your boys to meet her.”

Not only was this bunny very large, but like most lab animals, she was also albino. In a world full of folks who are only in the market for itty bitty lop-eared rabbits, that was two marks against her adoptability. But our connection was immediate. Just as I was more than my past abuse, so was she. As a trauma survivor myself, I knew we were meant to be. So, I took her home right before Christmas, and though many would have seen me as “alone” for the holidays, I was not. I spent Christmas with my very furry family: my lab-bunny-turned-BFF included.

Mini had started her life as a number, but now she had a forever name—and a forever family. Mini gives me a reason to laugh every day. She’s clever, affectionate, and an agent of complete chaos (R.I.P. to all my chewed phone chargers). Being loved by a previously abused animal is an honor. Healing alongside my Mini is a blessing.

Since adopting Mini, I’ve adopted two more bunnies from Bunny World Foundation who—at no fault of their own—were also difficult candidates for adoption. Giving them a home gives me purpose. I genuinely cannot imagine my life without any of them. But the bond I share with Mini is unlike any I’ve ever had with an animal. Despite the cruelty she was shown in the beginning of her life, she is the embodiment of warmth.

When I walk in the door after another day in this scary and wonderful city and find myself greeted by those massive ears and ruby eyes, I know Mini and I are both precisely where we belong.

Each year, Petco Love Stories invites adopters to share how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Hannah won Bunny World Foundation in Los Angeles, California a 2021 Love Stories award.