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These Adorable Animals Get By With a Little Help From Their Friends

Meet five sweet pets that are doing just fine thanks to technology, ingenuity, and some extra tender loving care.

A wheelchair for piglet Chris P. Bacon

As a piglet, Chris P. Bacon would compensate for his malformed hind legs by scuttling around on his forelimbs. His owner, veterinarian Dr. Len Lucero, quickly recognized his pet’s method for movement was unsustainable; once the pig grew bigger, it would become too difficult for him to support his weight on only his front legs. To solve the problem, Dr. Lucero constructed a wheelchair out of toy pieces and trained Chris P. Bacon to use it.

North Texas Rabbit Sanctuary

A cart for Lily the bunny

Lily, a black Lion Head rabbit, arrived at the North Texas Rabbit Sanctuary in dire condition: her back had been broken in an accident, leaving her partially paralyzed. Rather than put her down, veterinarians at the nonprofit amputated her hind legs. Volunteers fashioned a cart out of PVC pipe, hobby store wheels, and a harness she could use to get around. Currently, Lily resides in Haven of Hope, a division of the nonprofit dedicated to special-needs rabbits.

A life jacket for Einstein the goldfish

When Leighton Naylor discovered his pet goldfish, Einstein, had developed swim bladder disease—an ailment that causes goldfish to turn upside down and sink to the bottom of the tank—he got crafty. He made a life jacket our of spare aquarium tubing so little Einstein could stay afloat.

Bionics for Flipper the kitten

Flipper, a kitten who suffers from a twisted spine, was given a second chance at life by the Blitz Robotic Club at Conifer High School in Colorado. When the students learned the nine-month-old feline was going to be put down because of her birth defect, they set to work designing a cart for to help rehabilitate her lower half. Flipper responded best to a chariot-like contraption; today she utilizes the device to wheel around her home, the Aspen Park Veterinary Hospital.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest