Kevin Bacon the pig busted his legs. Amherst is determined to get him a wheelchair

·3 min read
Kevin Bacon and his owner Carrie Rhindress-Frenette hang out in Curly's Sports & Supplements in Amherst. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
Kevin Bacon and his owner Carrie Rhindress-Frenette hang out in Curly's Sports & Supplements in Amherst. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

Carrie Rhindress-Frenette was scrolling through Facebook one night when she saw an ad for a six month old pot-belly pig named Buddy.

She and her husband Steve Frenette already owned five cats and 10 dogs in Amherst, N.S. Their entire animal family lives above their business: Park your Paws dog kennel.

"I showed Steve, I said look he needs a new home, and he said, 'Let's go get him.' It was as easy as that," said Rhindress-Frenette. "We're kind of the home of forgotten souls. We've wound up with a lot of animals that were never planned."

Within a couple of hours, Buddy was brought to Park your Paws, and he had a new name: Kevin Bacon. Kevin Bacon had a lot of energy and a big appetite. They had to lock the fridge to keep his snout out.

"He had to learn that he wasn't just allowed to go and eat whatever he wanted to," said Rhindress-Frenette.

Robert Short/CBC
Robert Short/CBC

Kevin Bacon would run around the house and the kennel getting up to all kinds of shenanigans. He'd open up the fridge and gorge himself, he'd rip open bags of flour, he'd dig holes in the dirt. His owner says he also has a gentle and kind side.

"He spent his days greeting people in the store. Every single person that brought a dog in for daycare or boarding he would say hi. He'd say hi to all his favourite people."

After a year, Kevin Bacon could sit, stay and roll over for belly rubs.

But Kevin and his family's life changed last month.

Car accident damages spine

They were driving to get Kevin some homemade snacks a friend had baked when they got into a car accident.

Kevin Bacon took a tumble and injured his spine. He was rushed to the Amherst vet clinic. Later he spent nine days at the veterinary college of the University of Prince Edward Island.

"That whole first three days was very difficult for us. Steven and I both stayed over on the island to make sure we were close. There were a lot of unknowns, which was really hard."

At the large animal clinic at UPEI, they got the news that Kevin Bacon would no longer be able to use his back legs.

These days, they push their pig through town in a large dog stroller. Occasionally, they lift his back legs gently in the air so he can walk forward for a few feet.

Robert Short/CBC
Robert Short/CBC

Now, business owners and community members in Amherst are raising money to get Kevin Bacon a special wheelchair. The pig rig will cost about $25,000.

Dwayne Ripley owns Curly's Sports and Supplements. "When the little guy comes into my store it just makes my day."

Ripley's business is one of many raising funds for Kevin Bacon's wheels. "It's great to see the community come together to help out Kevin."

Some shops are donating small portions of their sales, which is adding up. Local print shop Underground Graffix has been selling clothes and blankets with Kevin Bacon on them to raise funds.

Robert Short/CBC
Robert Short/CBC

Other fundraisers are being planned, with a big event coming up at the end of the month. "I'm making a big candy basket to raffle off at Kevin's birthday party," said Ripley.

Kevin Bacon's second birthday will be a big bash. There will be a 50/50 board, gift baskets from local businesses, live bands and a snow-cone cart.

"Having the wheelchair will give him that little sense of freedom where he's able to go out and do his normal things again."

Kevin Bacon's owners hope he'll soon be zooming around in his wheelchair, and welcoming visitors again to the Park Your Paws kennel.


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