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Cruel pranksters target distraught Hartlepool girl over lost pet

Laila Ellison with her rabbit Licky that has gone missing.
Laila Ellison with her rabbit Licky that has gone missing.

A Hartlepool girl who is searching for her missing rabbit has been the target for cruel pranksters.

Laila Ellison, 11, was left devastated when she realised her beloved pet bunny, Licky, was missing from the family garden.

Friends and neighbours rallied to help find the rabbit, but she is still missing.

To add to the youngter's anguish, sick pranksters phoned the family's home in Westbrooke Avenue saying they had found the all-white pet.

But, when Laila's mum, Caroline, quizzed them further they started laughing and put the phone down.

Caroline said posters have also been ripped down and someone even posted a photograph of a cooked rabbit on a social media post.

She said: "Laila is absolutely heartbroken over the rabbit going missing. She is such a lovely pet.

"We have had some really kind people helping us look, but it is just awful when others play nasty tricks. I am so thankful that Laila didn't see the picture online.

"The prank call sounded like older teenage boys. I got my hopes up thinking about my heartbroken daughter and how happy she would be. Then when I asked where she was found, laughing started and they hung up.

"It is so upsetting how they did not consider how upsetting that would be and I am just glad my daughter was not with me at the time."

The mum-of-two said they had rabbit-proofed the garden, but believe somehow three-year-old Licky managed to get out and is either lost or someone has kept her.

She said: "She is pure white, but has blue eyes, which we are told is very rare in rabbits. We really hope someone has seen her or know where she is."

The family, which also has Licky's sisters, Storm and Honey, are hoping Laila can be reunited with her beloved pet.

If anyone has information about the rabbit they should contact Caroline on 07533 874939.