Giant rabbits bring big comfort to Radford Rehab patients

MONTGOMERY CO., Va. A local woman is sharing her love for bunnies with others.

These aren't like the little rabbits you'll see running around your neighborhood.

They're called Flemish giants and they can grow up to 22 pounds.

Gwen Jones raises about 125 of them in the Riner section of Montgomery County. Taking care of them is a lot of work, but Jones says they're a good reason to get up in the morning.

"Especially when the babies are due," Jones said. " You're always anxious to get to the barn."

Jones has Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and needs an oxygen machine to help her breathe. She also gets blood work and other tests done, but that doesn't slow her down.

She says her rabbits bring her comfort and "makes you want to care about life." That's one reason she shares her bunnies with patients at Radford Rehab.

Brittney Bright, one of the administrators, says that the rabbits bring smiles to people's faces and helps them forget about any pain they might be feeling.

"I think it’s really cool that there’s someone who breeds these animals, but doesn’t breed them just to keep them at home," Bright said. "She brings them out into the community and shares those rabbits with others."

Jones' rabbits are also show stock, which means they compete in various rabbit shows around the country. There will even be at show at the Alphin Stewart Livestock Arena at Virginia Tech on November 11th.

She says Flemish giants also make great pets because they are very docile and can even be potty-trained.