Randy andLeslie Noble's love affair with animals started when they began fostering abandoned dogs.But they fell in love with so many of their four-legged foster animals that they ended set up their own shelter calledNoble Island Ranch & RescueinFlorida. That's how they metMichelle,a young alpaca with crippled back legs.
When she arrived at their shelter with a herd of alpacas, the Nobles notices that Michelle couldn't walk properly.It turns out her back legs had been severely injured by a horse.But Michelle's new foster parents were determined to offer her a better chance at life, so they found a solution.They linked up withEddie’s Wheels, a company which specialises in wheelchairs for disabled animals,and got her a customised wheelchair.
Michelle slowly learned how to get around with her wheelchair, and her strength and confidence grew.
One of our new volunteers stopped by yesterday for the sole purpose of learning to work with Michelle. So it was a great opportunity to go through the process of harnessing and lifting Michelle so the wheelchair can be assembled around her. It was cloudy and somewhat cool, so perfect weather to allow Michelle some freedom to "roll" with her girls for an hour or so. This video shows how far she has come and how comfortable she now is in navigating her wheels. Thanks again to all of our supporters who helped to give her this freedom!Posted by Noble Island Ranch & Rescue on Sunday, November 9, 2014
The couple thought that the wheelchair would just be a temporary solution and asked specialists at the University of Florida to operate on the female alpaca.
Sadly, after an examination, the vets decided the operation wouldn't be possible.Randy andLeslie Noble told The Dodo:
The staff at UF absolutely adore her, but unfortunately, surgery turned out to not be an option.
So the wheelchair is now Michelle's permanent solution! And it's actually turned out for the best. Now she's able to join in with the herd and their activities. They don't see her as any different to the rest of them.Michelle is healthy and happy to be a part of her alpaca family. One thing's for sure, she's one very lucky animal to have found Randy and Leslie to look after her.