Barney the bunny gets kiss of life

Wednesday, 5th December 2012

A drowned rabbit named Barney is jumping for joy after being brought back to life by his homeless owner.

The rabbit's guardian John Byrne will also be relieved to know that the man who threw Barney into Dublin's freezing River Liffey was jailed for four months for animal cruelty.

Mr Byrne – who has been living on the streets since he was a teenager -  jumped into the river to rescue his beloved pet after young thug Gary Kearney snatched Barney and hurled him into the water.

The 37-year-old has been given a Compassionate Citizen Award for going above and beyond the call of duty to help an animal in need, and has described how he gave Barney the "kiss of life" after the rabbit died in his arms.

Many homeless people keep animals as companions and often make considerable sacrifices in order to buy the pet food they need to stay healthy.