When Rusty was brought to Best Friends in the spring of 2016, his last priority was finding the love of his life. The poor bunny had been abandoned in a park in Las Vegas, and worse, he could barely walk and had little chance of surviving on his own. But all that was about to change.

Though Best Friends vets couldn’t tell what had happened to the domestic rabbit, it’s likely that an injury left both of his back feet in terrible shape. Rusty looked like he was clubfooted, though that wasn’t his exact condition. Instead of being connected normally, the bones in his feet floated loosely. His nearly useless feet were like little sackfuls of disconnected puzzle pieces.

Because it hurt to put weight on those feet, Rusty had taught himself to walk using only his front legs. But that was no way for a young bunny to go through life, because eventually, the extra stress on his front legs would damage them, too, and then he wouldn’t be able to get around at all. Rusty’s situation seemed grim, but no one at Best Friends was about to give up on him.

Best Friends vets, along with caregivers at Bunny House, came up with a medical plan to ease his pain and get back on all four feet. Though it meant lots of medical treatment and physical therapy, getting his feet working was extremely important if Rusty was to ever a full and happy bunny life.

Besides medication for pain and an anti-inflammatory and supplements for his joints, Rusty received laser treatment on his feet twice a week. Weather permitting, he also spent a few hours every day in a large enclosure with dirt and grass. The soft surface was easier on his back feet and therefore encouraged him to use them more. For Rusty, walking around on the Bunny House “lawn” was a fun form of physical therapy. As the laser treatments began giving him much-needed relief, he started increasing his step count.

After more than 100 laser treatments, Rusty is pain-free and happy. His feet will never be normal, and should his condition turn out to be degenerative, he may someday need a bunny wheelchair. But for right now, he’s enjoying life just as much as (and maybe even more than) the next bunny. That’s because he has someone special making him extra happy.

You can read more about Rusty and meet his friend Nancy here.