ALTO, Texas (KETK) — In early January, a stray dog got onto campus, broke into the kennels of the Alto agriculture students’ and killed 17 of their rabbits.

Junior FFA student, Brooke Low, was impacted by this incident.

“I put a lot of work into one of them that died, and so she’s my favorite. I cried,” said Low.

Some of the rabbits that died were just weeks old. 

“And then the babies I had just grown them, and I had just sold one a day before,” said Low. 

She explained that students spend hours each week taking care of these animals and prepping them for shows.

“They can’t go without water or food, so you have to constantly feed and water them, and make sure everything is filled. You always have to keep it cleaned or it smells, or it can get dirty, diseases, or infection,” said Low. 

CTE Director and Agriculture Instructor, Laine Carpenter, explained that some of the rabbits they lost were previously named grand champions.

“It’s also, kind of stressful and almost sad because it’s like, we had good ones and we don’t know what we are going into it this year,” said Carpenter.

She mentioned that stock shows usually require entry deadlines so when this happened so close to show season she panicked, but the Alto community showed support.

“Luckily we have had a lot of people in the community reach out, offering to donate, or, ‘here is my best rabbit here, take it to go show, for your kids,'” said Carpenter.

The program also bought some rabbits, and students have been working hard to get the animals prepared for the upcoming shows. So far, they have replaced 16 of the 17 rabbits that they lost. 

Carpenter explained students win anywhere from ribbons to cash prizes for livestock shows.

“A small cash prize, and then some like Houston even give away big thousands of dollars in scholarships,” said Carpenter.

For now, the hard work continues in hopes to win big prizes.

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