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Last Updated: Friday, 5 March, 2004, 10:12 GMT
Life-saving rabbit wins top award
Simon Steggall and Dory
Simon Steggall says Dory the life-saver is a family favourite
A giant pet rabbit who saved her Cambridgeshire owner's life has been honoured with a special award.

Dory, a 1.5 stone rabbit, has been made the first ever honorary animal member of the Rabbit Welfare Association.

Dory's actions saved the life of Simon Steggall, 42, of Warboys, when she jumped up on his chest as he began to slump into a diabetic coma.

The action alerted his wife Victoria to the emergency, which happened in January this year.

Mrs Steggall, 32, thought he had simply fallen asleep after a hard week at work and it wasn't until Dory started thumping on his chest and licking round his mouth that she realised something was terribly wrong.

Dory gets a hug
The couple have had Dory for three months

Ambulance driver Mrs Steggall immediately swung into action and rubbed a special gel into Simon's gums to try and bring his blood sugar levels back up to normal.

But when that failed she rang 999 for paramedics who injected the BT engineer with medication to force his liver to dump its store of glucose, which finally brought him round.

Ingrid Tarrant, Rabbit Welfare Association supporter and experienced rabbit owner, said the story of Dory came as no surprise to her.

'Rabbits misunderstood'

She said: "Rabbits are the most misunderstood of animals; people just dont realise how intelligent and sociable they are.

"Too often they are abandoned alone in a hutch at the bottom of the garden, forgotten and ignored, when in fact they make excellent house pets.

"Hopefully, rabbits such as Dory will help to raise awareness of rabbits and just how wonderful they really are."

Dory is the first animal to be made an honorary member of the association set up eight years ago.

'A great honour'

Mr Steggall said: "I don't know how she did it but Dory saved my life."

Mrs Stegall said: "It's a great honour. I can't believe it. I'm very impressed and so is Dory, though I had to help her fill in the application form."

Among the human members of the Rabbit Welfare Association are Toyah Wilcox and Ingrid Tarrant, wife of show host Chris.

The couple have had Dory, a three-foot rabbit, for three months, but she is not the first pet to respond when he has a diabetic reaction.




SEE ALSO:
Rabbit saves diabetic from coma
29 Jan 04  |  Cambridgeshire
Parking attendant 'books bunny'
22 May 03  |  Manchester
Counsellor offers to train rabbits
20 Apr 03  |  Suffolk
Bunnies face winter of discontent
14 Jan 03  |  England


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