Poor puppy Pluto can’t eat like a regular dog. Due to a rare condition, Megaoesophagus, he needs to sit upright to eat otherwise he could choke to death.
So staff at Battersea’s Brands Hatch centre built him his very own highchair from old desks and furniture they had lying around.
When he arrived at Brands Hatch, Pluto was a very underweight pup. His owner had passed away and the muscles in his gullet weren’t working properly. Anything he tried to chew could get stuck in his throat and cause him to choke, so he wasn’t eating enough food.
But the chair, known as a Bailey Chair, took staff just one day to throw together, with the only added expense being nails and hinges.
Now Pluto can eat sitting upright - like a human person - allowing food to reach his stomach safely. He has to stay put for ten minutes after eating just to be sure the food actually reaches his stomach.
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, after nearly a year at Battersea, Pluto moved into a new home in Oxfordshire at the end of October. His new owners, Deborah and Alan Scoones, found out about Pluto through their daughter, Chloe, who works at Battersea Brands Hatch.
"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."
All images: SWNS