Updated: Nov 7, 2018
Submitted by pig pal: Haley Snepp | A story of an ESA Pig helping her tiny human pal through Kidney Disease.
Eight year old Charlie was born at 26 weeks only weighing 1lb, 10oz. She has spent her entire life, since she left the NICU, in and out of hospitals battling Kidney Disease. There has been very little time for this young girl to enjoy being a kid, but whatever precious moments she does get are spent with her pig Peppa. When Charlie is well enough to enjoy being outside, or able to be up and about, she spends most of her time with piggy Peppa.
Peppa, is a 1 year old Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Pig. The family got Peppa from a breeder in Georgia to help Charlie keep her mind off her illness, give her comfort and companionship. Peppa and Charlie love to play chase in their yard and go on walks in their Radio Flyer Wagon. Haley Snepp, Charlie’s mom says, “Though Peppa is primarily for Charlie, it was crucial for us to get an ESA that was hypoallergenic, because Charlie’s 6 year old sister has really bad allergies. We also needed an animal that could be trained very quickly and with my experience (10 years) in animal husbandry, I knew a pig would be great.”
Pig’s are among one of the smartest, cleanest and more emotionally intelligent creatures, making them perfect ESA’s and Therapy Pets. The family is currently working on meeting all the training hours and testing requirements to get Peppa fully certified as a Therapy Animal. While taking on this endeavor, Haley was also undergoing a series of tests and treatments so she could be a Kidney Donor for her daughter. Charlie’s disease has now progressed to stage 5 kidney failure and she is on the waiting list to have a kidney transplant. Unfortunately, during these tests, doctors found a cyst on Haley's kidney, and she is unable to donate until that is removed, now leaving Charlie without a kidney and back on the list.
Haley will undergo surgery in August to remove the growth, and start the donor process over again. The family is just hoping that a good donor match for Charlie pops up in the meantime. While they wait, the girls seek continual comfort hanging out with Peppa. Whether it's playing with their OinkBox goodies, camping inside, or just snuggling, Peppa is always there for them, ready to comfort and take on what ever the family needs.
Our thoughts and continual prayers are extended to the Snepp family as we wish both Charlie and Haley positive progress, a speedy recovery on any and all surgeries, good news that they found a Kidney Donor and eventual remission and cure of Charlie's Kidney Disease. We will be checking in with the family after Haley's surgery and update the pig pal community on any progress.
UPDATE AS OF OCTOBER 30TH, 2018: CHARLIE RECEIVED A KIDNEY, HAD THE KIDNEY TRANSPLANT SURGERY AND IS O THE PATH TO RECOVERY. We are so elated by this fantastic news and wish Charlie a speedy recovery so she and Peppa can get back to playing together!
To help the Snepp family, you can learn more and donate here: Https://m.facebook.com/groups/1764594376909903