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Homeless Man Saves Pet Rabbit from Liffey River in Ireland

How far would you go to save your bunny from a life threatening situation?  
The following news article is over a year old but I just recently found it.  I am amazed by the dedication of this man to his animals and the true love they share!

"John Byrne doesn’t claim to possess much in life — he has been homeless for more than two decades and has no job — but at least he has his pets, his beloved possessions: two dogs and Barney, his bunny.

John and his animals are well-known in Dublin and children often stop to pet the dogs and rabbit when they see John begging on O’Connell Bridge.
The 38-year-old homeless man made headlines recently when he jumped from the bridge into the River Liffey, which runs through the heart of Dublin, to rescue Barney. The rabbit had been grabbed by his ears and thrown into the river by a passing teenager, who thought it would be something of a lark.
Without hesitation, John Byrne jumped from the bridge into the cold waters of the river to rescue his pet. He struggled to reach a small platform at the base of one of the bridge’s pillars and managed to stay there for more than a half hour until a rescue boat came by to take them to safety, cheered along by throngs of onlookers.
John’s heroic and kind deed earned him the annual “Compassionate Citizen Award” which was presented to him in a ceremony a few days later on the very same bridge by John Carmody of ARAN (Animal Rights Action Network).."
Here is a touching video of the news coverage of the dramatic rabbit rescue:

  1. Lynn Pierson Lynn Pierson

    I found this story touching in many ways. I have 2 rabbits myself and I know how strong that bond and love can be. Kudos to the homeless man. I am proud of you.

  2. Susan Susan

    This man is definitely a hero!  I have 2 bunnies and just lost one to cancer so I understand the bond he has with his animals.

  3. Cathie Green Cathie Green

    I have a rabbit. His name is the TAZZ. Every morning he wakes me up. Sometimes he is very polite. Other days he gets mad but everyday is funny. I do everything I have to do for his health and well being and will forever hopefully…

  4. Amanda Harrison Amanda Harrison

    This is such a wonderdul ending to a horrific situation….What is wrong with people these days? How could anyone think that it would be funny to take someone else's animal and throw it in the river? I hope the judge throws the book at that guy and gives him the max allowed by law for what he did. I wish that I could meet this man and his rabbit. I also wish there was something I could do to help this man out. God Bless you for the couragous thing you did for Barney. I am glad that you and he are alright.

  5. allison allison

    I wish I could help this man. 

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