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It’s all good at Applewood!

Already a hero to animals because they have donated millions of dollars worth of support to RAPS, the Applewood Auto Group team members saved the life of a single, vulnerable bunny!

The friends and neighbours at Applewood Auto Group rushed over to the RAPS Animal Hospital the other day. They had found a bunny under the hood of one of their cars.

Alisa Verwoerd, veterinary office assistant and inventory control administrator at the hospital, rushed over to the parking lot with a carrier, bite gloves and a net – just in case the rabbit was a wily one.

It is not at all uncommon for rats or even cats to crawl up into the engine compartment of a car seeking warmth or, unwisely, a safe place to sleep. But neither the RAPS team – nor Applewood – had ever heard of a rabbit getting into the undercarriage.

“They opened the hood for us and, sure enough, the bunny was inside,” Alisa says. “They ended up having to take off part of the bottom of the car and bend it back so that I could reach in there.”

She could see the rabbit, but couldn’t reach it, so the Applewood folks opened up the access even more. Alisa could get her hand in – but not with the safety gloves on, so she took her chances.

“You never know if they’re going to bite if they are injured,” she says. “But the bunny was actually really sweet. She barely put up a fuss. It was a bit scared but when I got her into the carrier, she was very chill. She wasn’t trying to escape the carrier. She was just, like, this isn’t too bad.”

It is difficult to tell with rabbits a precise age, but the bunny, who has been named Apple, after Applewood, is young … perhaps less than a year or maybe around two years old. Likewise, it is hard to tell if she was born in the wild or perhaps had been a companion animal who was dumped by an irresponsible party.

“We took her back to the clinic and gave her a full exam,” Alisa says. “We had her on her back in my arms so that we could check if she was a boy or a girl. She ate some salad with us during our staff meeting and she ate some pellets and had some water.”

Later, Apple sat contentedly on the lap of Shena Novotny, manager of the RAPS Adoption Centre and Cat Sanctuary Manager.

“She let Shena pet her and she was very friendly,” says Alisa.

Now at the Adoption Centre awaiting her spay procedure, Apple has been a bit nippy sometimes but Alisa wonders if that is a symptom of frustration at being moved from place to place.

After she is spayed and her personality is assessed a little more, Apple will be ready for adoption, Shena says.

“Apple definitely has a big personality and is quite the sassy and silly little character,” says Shena. “Her personality really started to show the second day once she felt a bit more settled. She loves grunting to tell us when she’s not happy, which started out as quite frequently. She was very protective over her belongings the first couple days and would do little lunges and try to nip but now that she is getting comfortable and starting to trust us so not doing this as often. She absolutely loves her daily salads and gets very excited when she sees it coming; dandelion leaves are one of her favourite parts. Staff have been working daily to earn her trust by hand feeding the salad to Apple, which is working well. Apple now accepts pets without giving sassy grunts. She also accepted a nail trim and did not once put up a fuss. Lastly, she also enjoys her toys and showing off how she can pick them up and throw them around. It’s very cute.”

The rescue was just another example of Applewood’s commitment to animals. Applewood Auto Group is RAPS’ most generous corporate ally, having donated the space for the RAPS Animal Hospital and the administration centre, as well as two transport vehicles. This extraordinary generosity over many years amounts to the equivalent of millions of dollars in in-kind contributions. The simple fact is that, without Applewood’s generosity, the RAPS Animal Hospital would almost certainly have never been possible.

The big-picture kindness is a reflection of the sort of people the Applewood team are. From donating millions of dollars worth of support to rescuing a single endangered bunny, Applewood is a great ally to animals!

When it’s time for you to buy a new or previously owned vehicle, we hope that you will start first at the dealerships that share your animal-loving values.

Thanks Applewood!

If you are considering adopting a bunny, keep an eye out on the adoption page of the RAPS website in the coming weeks. We’re sure she’s going to make a wonderful family member for someone!