UPDATE: Prize-winning rabbit allegedly stolen from 8 year-old disabled girl returned
POSTED: Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 9:41am
UPDATED: Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 11:47pm
Family is pleading for rabbit's return
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) — An El Paso girl's prize-winning rabbit that went missing from a local fair last week was found on Saturday.
Eight year-old Madison "Maddie" Francis and her family raise animals to show at fairs each year.
Maddie, who has a condition similar to cerebral-palsy, uses a wheelchair, and is legally blind, entered her prize-winning Holland Lop rabbit named "Keagan" for show at the Southern New Mexico State Fair last week.
After the showing, the Francis family says Keagan was stolen from the fairgrounds.
NewsChannel 9's Anoushah Rasta contacted the family for a story about the incident on Friday.
Maddie's mom, Meagan Francis, contacted Anoushah on Saturday morning with news that someone had turned Keagan in to the Las Cruces Animal Shelter.
"I don't believe we would have him without your help and the way you put her story together!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart" said Meagan to Anoushah.
For the original story, please see below:
A fun trip to the Southern New Mexico State Fair took an unexpected turn for the Francis family from El Paso, and now they're asking for the community's help finding a missing loved one.
It's their daughter, Madison's pet rabbit named Keagan.
Madison "Maddie" Francis' pet rabbits are especially important to her because her mom says they make her feel like any other eight year old girl.
"It gives her a moment to feel a part of something bigger, not to have to see herself as disabled but as somebody else who can do all this," said Madison's mom, Meagan.
Maddie has a condition similar to cerebral-palsy, she uses a wheelchair, and is legally blind.
But she doesn't let her disabilities get in the way of her love for animals.
Maddie and her siblings raise animals at their family farm to show at local fairs.
Last week, her prize-winning $500 brown and white Holland Lop rabbit Keagan, won every contest at this year's Southern New Mexico State Fair.
"She loves what she does, she loves her rabbits, she loves being able to spend time with them," said Meagan.
But something that was supposed to be fun, turned sour for Maddie.
"I was showing him and then all of a sudden, he disappeared," she said.
The Francis family says Keagan was stolen at this year's fair. Right after the showing, they had locked him in his cage while the other Francis children showed their pigs at an auction nearby - when they returned, Keagan had gone missing.
"I miss him very much," said Maddie.
"She asks me every day when he's coming home, and my answer is 'I don't know baby. I hope he's coming home,' " said Meagan.
Now Maddie's family is pleading for Keagan's return.
"I just want him home," said Maddie as she sobbed.
If you have seen or found Keagan, the Francis family says you can return him to Horse n' Hound Feed n' Supply, 901 W Amador in Las Cruces, NM - no questions asked.