Pets & Animals

The guinea pig that could! Meet Estella, the tiny critter that uses a wheelchair

This little guinea pig is officially ready to rock 'n roll!

Meet Estella, a 2-year-old guinea pig from California who's paralyzed in her back legs, but thanks to a new set of wheels, she's ready to hit the exercise wheel in style.

Christine Morrisey / Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary

Earlier this year, Estella and another guinea pig, Pip, were found in a carrying case on the side of the road and taken to a local shelter in Calaveras County, California.

Unable to move the back half of her body, the little creature seemed doomed. A child had apparently squeezed her so tightly that her back broke.

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However, once Harvest Home Sanctuary, an animal rescue organization, caught wind of Estella's story, they knew they had to jump in.

This spring, Harvest Home brought Estella to their two-acre facility in French Camp, east of San Francisco.

A veterinarian there determined that no surgery or treatment could help Estella regain mobility.

"We immediately started thinking 'How could we improve her quality of life?'" Harvest Home’s Christine Morrissey told Today.com.

Morrissey said they soon found a company online that specialized in wheelchairs for animals. When they learned the company could make one for Estella, they jumped into action.

The organization set up a campaign on their social platforms to raise $500 for Estella and her new chair. Morrissey said that while the wheelchair itself cost $300, they needed an additional $200 to cover Estella's medical expenses.

Christine Morrisey / Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary

The campaign met its goal in no time.

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"It didn't take long for people to fall in love with her," Morrissey said.

Little Estella’s custom wheels arrived in September.

However, just like a human might, Estella needs to be properly fitted with the device, so she hasn't been able to zip around on it just yet.

"It's definitely a process," said Morrissey. "Exercise and enrichment are important for animals, and it gives animals that are overlooked a second chance."

In the meantime, the shelter’s workers have been helping her adjust by having her sit in the chair for periods of time and feeding her treats like lettuce to help create the idea that it's a positive experience.

Once she’s ready, Estella will use her front legs to move around while the chair supports her back legs.

"We call her our little warrior because she's not going to let anyone slow her down," said Morrissey.

We're certainly cheering — go Estella, go!

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Road-tripping guinea pig wins the Internet with adorable travelogue

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Road-tripping guinea pig wins the Internet with adorable travelogue

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