How pets helped us through a year of pandemic, meet Sunny and Edna

Sunny Wilson and her lop-eared rabbit, Edna, spend time together in her bedroom, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. Wilson, who lives alone in a second-floor apartment, decided on Edna as a companion at the start of the pandemic. She used to be the gallery director at Visionaries & Voices, but is now studying Occupational Therapy at Cincinnati State.

Her name is Edna. She’s 2-and-a-half years old. Maybe 3. Sunny Wilson isn’t certain. Edna, you see, is Sunny’s pet, a lop-eared rabbit with those distinctive droopy ears that reach halfway to the floor.

When Sunny met the bunny, she wasn’t concerned about Edna’s age or background. All she knew for sure is that she wasn’t coping well with the pandemic-imposed isolation.

Preparing to start an occupational therapy degree at Cincinnati State, she’d left her job at Visionaries + Voices, an organization that works with artists with disabilities. But she was soon consumed by an overwhelming sense of loneliness.

“I had way less people in my life and way more anxiety,” said Sunny. Something needed to change. Soon.

Maybe a pet would help, she thought.

Sunny wasn’t the only one feeling that way. Calls to several local animal adoption facilities indicate that 2020 has been an extraordinarily busy year.

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