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Bunny theft brings offer of reward, new rabbits

Spokane animal lovers hopping mad about the weekend theft of a pet bunny rallied Tuesday with offers of reward money and replacement rabbits for the downtown preschool.

Sugar Bunny was nabbed on Saturday evening by someone who left a pile of anti-circus fliers behind in the 8-year-old rabbit’s cage at the Community Building Children’s Center.

“I’m just floored at this. We think it’s wrong to steal an animal. We want to see some justice here,” said Chris Anderlik, president of the Animal Advocates of Inland Northwest, which is offering a $250 reward for information that helps solve the case.

“I don’t believe in animals being in cages, but this animal wasn’t being taken in for research,” Anderlik said of Sugar Bunny’s domesticated life of runs outside, brushings and treats.

The man who created the fliers said he went to the preschool Tuesday to apologize, even though he and other circus protesters had nothing to do with the theft. “Right now, I have not heard about anyone who may have the bunny, but I am looking,” Jeffrey Kemmish wrote in an e-mail to the newspaper.

He may be the only one.

Children’s Center teachers never officially reported Sugar Bunny’s theft to the Spokane police, so they didn’t take a report, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.

The story has garnered quite a bit of interest. It was disseminated nationwide on the Associated Press wire.

Children’s Center Director Anita Morgan said she is grateful for the support the center received Tuesday but is uncertain that Sugar Bunny will be replaced.

Many people offered rabbits to the heartbroken kids, but Morgan said the teachers want to be certain that getting another bunny is the right thing for the children and the rabbit.

“We need some time to consider this,” she said.