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Wheelchair hopes for pig at Happy Pants Ranch, near Sittingbourne

An animal sanctuary founder has come up with an ingenious idea for her paralysed pig named pip.

Amey James, who owns the Happy Pants Ranch in Hill Green Road, Yelsted, near Sittingbourne, is on a mission to find a wheelchair for her Vietnamese black pot bellied pig, who lost use of her back legs a month ago.

Watch Pip walk around with the help of a blanket

However, in the meantime Amey is still making sure Pip, about eight years old, still gets plenty of exercise, with sanctuary volunteers sliding a blanket under the pig, and hoisting her up as she meanders around the fields on her front legs.

Pip, who arrived at the sanctuary four years ago with her sister Baby, after their Maidstone owners gave them up, now has her food and drink bought to her and sleeps in a barn with the cows and goats, rather than living her own kind.

"People like to get pictures with her, she's getting so much attention now she's actually enjoying it," Amey said.

The reason behind Pip's deterioration is not known, but vets suspect it could be caused by a tumour on her spine.

Pip the pig has lost the use of her back legs (24776855)
Pip the pig has lost the use of her back legs (24776855)

Amey said: "The vet came and gave her pain killers, I think she was in quite a bit of pain, she was shaking which is a sign of nerve damage. The vet was talking about euthanasia and I said what about a wheelchair? To me, whatever I would do for dogs and cats I would do for pigs and dogs get wheelchairs. We have got to give it a go.

"If her quality of life depletes and we find she's in a lot of pain that would warrant euthanasia. Her quality of life is paramount. "

Amey is in talks with a charity which help disabled dogs about a wheelchair for Pip and is planning on crowd-funding for the equipment, once she knows how much it will cost.

In the last couple of weeks, a small amount of movement has returned to Pip's legs.

"I am hopeful she will walk again by herself but its going to be a long road, " Amey said.

The Happy Pants Ranch was founded 10 years ago by Amey, a former graphic designer and pet sitter, and is home to 300 animals.

Escaped animals, unusual finds and news from the RSPCA can all be found here.

Read more: All the latest news from Sittingbourne

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