More people are stopping by Duluth Animal Hospital these days. Not because they are dropping off or picking up sick animals, but because they want to meet Penny the Chicken and the 2-legged Chihuahua Roo who have been rising in fame on the internet. This unique duo is a pair of rescues owned by Duluth Animal Hospital employee Alicia Williams.
Alicia Williams came across Penny, a silky chicken, when she was just nine weeks old. Penny was an experimental chicken used at the local veterinary school but had run the course of the study and ended up being taken in by Williams. She didn't know anything about taking care of chickens, but she learned quickly and Penny became a welcome member of her household.
While Penny was absolutely pampered by chicken standards, there was one downside to her plush new life. Chickens are flock animals, so thus she often got lonely while her owner was at work. Alicia Williams began taking Penny to work with her at the animal hospital; this was where Penny met Roo. When Roo was rescued, he was freezing in a ditch. He had been born without his two front legs, likely due to the tricky breeding of Chihuahuas. However, Penny and Roo took to each other and became fast friends. As Roo grew to adult size, a client at the animal hospital donated money in order to buy him a wheelchair.
"At first he hated it," Williams recalled. However, soon the wheelchair became known as the "treatmobile" and after Roo realized he would get liberal treats for using it, he came to love it. However, Roo has to be quick on the draw for those treats. Penny has found great sport in stealing his treats and toys, running off with them. Now the pair lives with Williams and enjoys the good life. They snuggle together each night and enjoy regular outings to the beach and in the snow.