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Spaniel Adopts Hare
Grou, Holland (Reuters)

A cocker spaniel which caught a hare adopted the animal instead of killing it.

Joke Poortman's dog Tosca caught the hare while on a walk in woods, near Grou. Mr Poortman says the dog took an instant liking to the hare, which he's named Flappy, and they shared her basket.

But animal rights campaigners heard about the unusual case and reported Mr Poortman for illegally holding a wild animal. Ministry of agriculture officials visited his home and said he had to take the hare to an animal refuge.

"They came to see in my house and found Flappy and Tosca sleeping in the same basket. They said it was so sweet and they took a picture," he said. "But still they were asked by the ministry to order me to take the hare to the refuge."

But when the inspectors returned a day later, Mr Poortman told them that Flappy had escaped into the wild. The ministry said it would take no further action: "The case is closed. There has been too much attention for it already," said a spokesman.

Mr Poortman said he was very relieved: "Flappy is safe. Although she is still suffering from a lot of stress, I expect she will soon be reunited with Tosca."

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