First Annual Amy Espie Rabbit Hero Award

Captain Ross Hennessey after rescuing Pierre. Photo by Rebecca Ancira

House Rabbit Society is excited to announce the first annual Amy Espie Rabbit Hero Award, a new award to be given to a person who has done something extraordinary to help rabbits.

Pierre recovering at the Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana

The 2017 award is being given to Captain Ross Hennessey, a firefighter and first officer with the New Orleans Fire Department (Engine Station 1), in recognition of his heroism in saving the life of Pierre, a lop rabbit who was caught in a house fire on November 28, 2016.

After Captain Hennessey rescued Pierre, he was taken to the Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana, where he was given oxygen and supportive care. Pierre recovered from smoke inhalation and corneal ulcers, and is now back with his grateful family.

June Booth, a House Rabbit Society educator since 1995, will be presenting Captain Hennessey with his award at the New Orleans Fire Department 2920 Magazine Street on March 19, 2017 at 1:00pm.

Captain Hennessey was born and raised in New Orleans, and graduated from the University of New Orleans with a degree in sociology in 1988. He joined the New Orleans Fire Department in 1983, and was promoted to Captain in 1996. He became am Emergency Medical Technician (EMTB) in 1999 and was awarded EMTB of the year by the Louisiana Association of Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technicians in 2000. Captain Hennessey has two children, two dogs, two cats, four turtles, a tortoise, three snakes, a bearded dragon and several fish. Captain Hennessey says, “I’ve always been an animal person; I honestly like animals more than most people!”

House Rabbit Society’s President, Margo DeMello, said, “Captain Hennessey’s brave and compassionate act make him the obvious candidate for our first-ever Amy Espie Rabbit Hero Award, named after Amy Espie, one of House Rabbit Society’s founding directors, who died in 2009, and who worked tirelessly to promote the best interest of animals in all that she did.”


To see photos from the award presentation, visit this page.