3The Eureka Sheriff’s Department stepped forward heroically in an unusual case and played hero.

On March 4 in the late morning, Crescent Valley handyman and plumber, Bob Rugne, was doing work on the W.B.N. property in Crescent Valley when he happened to look into an empty, never-used 1500 gallon septic tank inactive until drain fields are dug; and saw a little bunny alive in the bottom of the tank. The rabbit had likely entered through a pipe at one end of the 43-year-old tank and fell some eight feet to the cement floor. The rabbit’s back legs seemed injured as it dragged itself around in its cement cell. If not rescued, the bunny would surely die.

Rugne suggested the property owner call the Sheriff’s department and at 12:08, Eureka County Dispatch received a call requesting an officer or search and rescue assist in rescuing the bunny. Officer Marcial Evertsen, who had never gotten such a call before, responded, bringing the kind of pole used to catch dogs. Armed with a flashlight held by the property owner, Evertsen managed to get the pole’s noose around the middle of the injured rabbit, tightened the noose successfully, and lifted the animal out of the cement tank.

Evertsen held the bunny while the property owner procured a cardboard box, a bowl of water, and some wild spring grass. Rugne volunteered to care for the rabbit and took off on his four-wheeler to ride home while Evertsen put the box with the rescued creature into the patrol car and drove it to ‘Nurse’ Rugne’s.

Rugne has stepped forward to care for injured and abandoned animals in the past including a baby raven named Chewie whose mother had died. Chewie, thanks to Rugne’s care, remains a part of the Crescent Valley community.

At 3:08 p.m., Rugne reported that the bunny was stable and seemed to be regaining use of its legs. If the rabbit survives the night, Rugne will attempt to release it.