Piglet in wheelchair beats the odds and becomes an Internet sensation
Attitudes are definitely changing about pets with special needs, and because of that, many advances have been made to help them live more fully.
Whether it's vision or hearing impairments, or mobility issues due to injury, illness or aging, there seems to be no shortage of ingenuity and ideas to help animals, especially when it comes to challenges with mobility. Even pets in our own community have benefited from the use of devices like wheelchairs designed just for them.
One little piglet has a new lease on life thanks to his owner, Dr. Len Lucero, DVM. The Florida veterinarian set out on a mission to help the little guy, whom he adopted and named Chris P. Bacon.
The nearly 4-week-old pig was born with a stunted, non-functioning set of back legs. Lucero decided to create a wheelchair out of K'NEX, patterned after wheelchairs that are designed for dogs.
He explains further, “He was born with a congenital defect; a birth defect where his hind legs are nonfunctional. They are shortened. They never formed.”
Lucero met Lisa-Marie Mulkern, a spokesperson for handicappedpets.com while at a veterinary conference in Florida and showed her a video of the piglet using the wheelchair.
Although the company has had other animals besides dogs use their wheelchairs, like a miniature horse, a deer and a goat, they hadn't had a pig use one — until now.
Handicappedpets.com donated a new wheelchair to Chris P.
Chris P. still needs to grow a bit more before he can use his donated wheels, so his owner will continue to fabricate wheelchairs that are size-appropriate until he's big enough, according to the pig's Facebook page.
Check out the cute piglet on his current set of wheels, from his very popular YouTube channel.
Lorrie Shaw leads the pets section for AnnArbor.com. Catch her daily dog walking and pet sitting adventures or email her directly.