Stephanie Henkel, Global Animal
What do a baby pig, a goldfish, and a frisky feline all have in common? These three beloved animals all live with physical disabilities. They also have guardians that have gone the extra mile and a half for each one of them. Providing them with mobility like they have never had before, these charming animal companions are now equipped with one-of-a-kind wheelchairs made especially for them.
Chris P. Bacon
Chris P. Bacon was born on January 13th with a birth defect that causes his hind legs to be nonfunctional. The woman who cared for him brought Chris P. to a Florida veterinarian, because she did not have the means to care for him. Instead of turning to euthanasia, Dr. Len Lucero chose to adopt the little piglet.
Dr. Lucero and his son decided to transform a K’Nex set into Chris P. Bacon’s new makeshift wheelchair. After a little practice, the baby pig seemed to be doing well with his new contraption. A few days later, Dr. Lucero came across a company that specializes in aiding disabled animals. Lucero was then connected to Lisa-Marie Mulkern through the website handicappedpets.com. She graciously donated a new chair for Chris P. Bacon, who is now rolling around as happy as could be.
The Viral Video Goldfish
An anonymous and devoted goldfish guardian has posted a video that has gone viral. One of their delightful aquatic companions is swimming in a fish wheelchair. The buoyant harness keeps the goldfish from flipping over, a condition that may be caused by an abnormal bladder. Also, this little guy is hand-fed!
“She looks a little silly, but it is better than lying at the bottom of the tank all day!” the video description says. This type of love and devotion for such a small creature has left video viewers delighted and contemplating how small actions can make a vast difference.
Flipper the Cat
Flipper was born with a twisted spinal cord, which makes sitting and walking virtually impossible. When Flipper was three weeks old, she was taken to the Aspen Park Vet Hospital in Colorado. The doctors and nurses knew that cats with limited back leg use usually are euthanized.
Dr. Gurney decided to present the Blitz Robotic Club at Conifer High School with the ultimate challenge—to build an apparatus that will help little Flipper move around freely. Many prototypes and Popsicle sticks later, the Blitz Robotic Club succeeded! The hospital is hoping that Flipper’s new “cat-traption” will help her build leg strength to the point where she will be able move around without it. Flipper may not be able to flip now but hopefully soon!
As you can see, a pig, a goldfish, and a cat can have a lot more in common than you would think—physical hurdles, loving caretakers, and a newfound zest for life!