There are some stories that grab you by the heartstrings and won’t let go. One of these is about a cute rabbit that was found abandoned in a box on the side of the road. And if that wasn’t sad enough, here’s the part that might make some of you shed a tear: the bunny was dumped with its favorite teddy bear which was almost the same color as the fluffy bunny’s fur.

The good news is that both the abandoned animal and its teddy have been rescued by the England & Wales chapter of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (or RSPCA for short) that operates in the United Kingdom. Now, the cute bunny named Nigel is waiting for a new forever home in an animal shelter. And we’re sure that his teddy will come along with him. Bored Panda contacted the RSPCA, so scroll down for our interview with a representative of the Royal Society.

We’ve all heard of emotional support animals, but how many of us know about emotional support for animals? Nigel isn’t the only animal that needs plush toys to cuddle up to in order to feel safe. Previously, Bored Panda has written about a squirrel named Jill that was rescued from Hurricane Isaac and now can’t sleep without her teddy.

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Nigel the bunny was abandoned with its favorite teddy bear

Image credits: RSPCA

The fluffy duo was rescued by the RSPCA

Nigel and his teddy are waiting for a new forever home

Image credits: RSPCA

RSPCA representatives came to Turnham Road in Lewisham, in South East London, after a kind-hearted member of the public informed them about the abandoned fluffy animal and its toy. Luckily for everyone, Nigel is in good health, isn’t ill, and does not have any injuries. For those of you who are worried about the teddy bear as well, we can tell you that it’s perfectly fine as well.

Bored Panda spoke with Emily Stott of the RSPCA to hear more about Nigel the rabbit, his teddy bear, as well as the situation regarding abandoned animals in England and Wales.

According to Stott, in 2018, there have been 1.693 reports of abandoned rabbits across the entirety of England and Wales. So Nigel is far from the only bunny to be left by its owners.

They are both in perfect health

Image credits: RSPCA

The gray rabbit, which was left in a cardboard box with a gray teddy, is now being cared for at an animal boarding facility in Kent until a new owner is found.

Because the bunny is so attached to the stuffed bear, it’s very likely that it was living with the toy at its previous home. The sweet friendship between rabbit and bear is so cute it’s melting our hearts.

The rabbit’s fur color is almost identical to the teddy’s

Image credits: RSPCA

Stott from the RSPCA told Bored Panda that they search for the owners who abandon their pets. “Our inspectors work hard to try and find out what has happened to animals which are rescued after they have been abandoned. We speak to any witnesses and view CCTV footage and regularly put out appeals for information in the media. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, it is an offense to abandon an animal as this could cause them unnecessary suffering.”

“We rely on the public to be our eyes and ears and unfortunately, if there is no evidence available, we’re sometimes unable to get to the bottom of what has happened. We feel it’s important to highlight the stories of abandoned animals to raise awareness of the issue and make people think twice before dumping an animal.”

Here is where the bunny and his teddy were found in a box

Image credits: Google maps

A huge number of pets are abandoned each year in the UK: the RSPCA has rescued and collected more than 102,900 pets last year alone! According to the RSPCA, giving up animals should always be a last resort, not something to be done at the drop of a hat when owning a pet gets to be a bit inconvenient.

There are correct ways of giving up an unwanted pet so it can lead a healthy, happy life in another home. For example, you can contact the seller of the pet and check to see whether they could take it back. If that isn’t possible, then it’s important that you contact a charity or a rescue center which will help your pet find a new owner. After all, who would be heartless enough to leave a bunny in a box?

People hoped that Nigel would quickly find a new home