Creative animal charity volunteers have saved an adorable puppy’s life – by building him a HIGHCHAIR.
Poorly Pluto, a year-old golden Labrador, suffers from a rare condition that means he cannot eat like a normal four-legged animal – and needs to sit bolt upright.
The loveable Lab arrived at Battersea’s Brands Hatch centre in February as a severely underweight four month-old puppy, after his owner sadly passed away.
He was diagnosed with Mega-oesophagus, that means the muscles in his gullet don’t work properly and anything he chews could get stuck in his throat – potentially causing him to choke to death.
But canny staff at the Kent rescue centre sent just £3 in turning a selection of old desks and furniture into a custom-made highchair so the loveable pup can eat safely – like a human baby.
The chair, known as a Bailey Chair, took just a day to make by three staff members and the only expense was nails and hinges.
Pluto can now eat his dinner sitting upright, allowing the food to reach his stomach safely.
The lunching lab then has to stay upright in his high chair for ten minutes after eating so his food doesn’t come back up again, and has all four meals a day in his special ‘throne.’
Pluto’s chair even earned him a spot on a brand new TV series, Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, where the TV star witnessed first-hand the canine’s life or death situation.
The average dog stays at Battersea for just a month, but due to his illness, Pluto stayed for 225 days – leading to him forming close bonds with many who worked there.
Veterinary Surgeon Shaun Opperman said: “It’s all about gravity when you feed Pluto, he needs to be fed upright and have all his food in one go.
“At Battersea we put water in the food to hydrate him because he couldn’t even have a drink – it’s a fairly long process.
“Anything can get stuck in his oesophagus and people need to be really vigilant – even if he eats a small piece of food or fluff off the floor it would put back his progress.”
Finally, at the end of October Pluto moved into a loving new home in Oxfordshire, with Deborah and Alan Scoones.
Alan said: “Our daughter Chloe works at Battersea Brands Hatch and fostered Pluto and we had the chance to meet him.
“We fell in love with him and wanted to rehome him, so Chloe taught us all we needed to know about his condition.
“Now we have a good routine at home with feeding and we all take turns four times a day to give him a meal.
“Pluto knows to get straight into his chair and backs in to it all on his own – he sits there waiting for his food to be brought over.”
“He scoffs it down and seems very happy. It’s a small price to pay to have such a perfect dog in our lives.
“It’s great that Chloe can still see Pluto when she visits us, especially after she cared for him and did so much work with him at Battersea.”