Three wild baby rabbits showed their gratitude at being rescued by snuggling together in a perfect heart shape.
The tiny trio had been plucked to safety by a member of the public moments before they were due to be fed by ferrets after their mum was killed by a dog.
The RSPCA was called to Bishop Auckland, County Durham by a shocked animal lover on Easter Sunday (12 April).
RSPCA Inspector Krissy Raine said: “A member of the public told us that she had taken them from three youths at about 4pm in the Durham Street area the day before (Saturday 11 April).
“She said they had the rabbits in a carrier bag, and she had overheard them saying their dog had killed the mother and they were going to feed them to their ferrets.”
Krissy collected the rabbits and took them to be checked over by a local vet before transferring them to a local wildlife expert.
The orphaned bunnies rewarded their rescuers by snuggling into the perfect heart shape.
Krissy added: “The kits are about four weeks old and are eating and drinking well so I’m hopefully that they will survive and be able to be released back into the wild soon.
“We don’t have any more information about who the boys are and where they live. If anyone has any specific information about them, please call our appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and ask to speak to me.”
The RSPCA is continuing an emergency-only service through the lockdown period.