Dog Wheelchairs Help Senior and Disabled Dogs

Resourceful Animal Rescuer Designs Carts

dog wheelchairs-pawsitive purrposes
Oliver was elderly and needed help.

Dogs are born with disabilities and suffer aging just like people. Dog wheelchairs and carts are vital to improve their lives. Thanks to resourceful animal rescuers and the ever growing internet, there is hope. Easy and cost effective designs for dog carts and wheelchairs are now making their way into the mainstream. Derek Wille is learning all about it.

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It certainly is a labor of love!

Animal rescue work teaches the necessity for assistance carts for dogs. Derek Wille, an animal rescuer on both sides of the border, knows firsthand the need for custom dog wheelchairs. Living in Baja CA for 10 years, he has seen dogs hit by cars and left lame. In the US he has advocated for the disabled and senior dogs abandoned in shelters. His experience makes him passionate to find solutions. He finds them on the internet. In 2017 he started custom designing wheelchairs for needy dogs. It has become his labor of love.

Labor of Love

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Manina born without front legs walks upright for the first time.

His greatest reward is helping owners who need the service but cannot access or afford these simple solutions. Meet Manina. She is a little chihuahua from his community La Mision in BCN, MX. She was Derek’s first cart challenge. Born without front legs, she dragged on her belly to move around. She needed a cart to lift her front body and give her balance. He designed a small cart with larger front wheels than back. And of course, it needed to be pink. A little strange at first, she acclimated to having her chest off the ground and now moves without dragging herself or having to be carried.

dog wheelchairs-pawsitive purrposes
Bunny could not hold up her head.

Meet Bunny.

animal welfare dog wheelchairs-pawsitive purrposes
Bunny was born with severe neurological problems. This cart helped her spine and reduced her seizures.

Born with a mysterious neurological condition, she was left at a San Diego shelter almost unable to move.

A foster took her in and reached out for help. She found Derek through social media. The design of her assistance cart was done solely through emails.

With precise measuring a cart was custom designed that held her head up and straightened her spine. When Derek first met Bunny, she couldn’t even hold up her head. Now, because of her cart, she has more control of movements.  She now lives a more normal life with more control and self esteem.

Animal Welfare Crosses Borders

animal welfare dog wheelchairs-pawsitive purrposes
Measurements are key to good design.

Snowball’s story has special significance because it shows how compassion and cooperation extends across borders. Snowball lives in San Diego. As a puppy she had a play accident that left her back leg’s paralyzed. Her owner worked with a Vet who recommended a dog wheelchair. The task of finding a custom wheelchair was overwhelming.  She was about to give up hope. Her friend who lives in Baja recommended Derek’s services. He went to San Diego, met Snowball and measured her for a cart.

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The owner’s sister picks the cart up in Baja.

The owners wanted it heavy duty so she could go up curbs and play outside. So Derek found big bicycle wheels and cambered them in to give her more mobility.

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Snowball’s cart all painted and pretty.

Once completed, which included a shiny paint finish, the owner’s sister traveled to Baja to pick it up.  The results are amazing! Snowball can now go on walks with her family. Compassion knows no borders!

Animal Welfare Is Community

Building his wheelchairs involves community. With a strong network, Derek reaches out for whatever he needs and caring people donate parts to make it happen. Parts include wheels, PVC, belts and seat parts from old bicycles. An old BIG WHEEL toy from the 70s was even dropped off at his door.

Derek Wille pays it forward and asks all of us to stay PAWSitive! There are effective solutions to help disabled animals and senior dogs. Ask your Vet for solutions or reach out to animal rescue organizations. Maybe they too have started a program like this. Easy solutions are available. It takes compassion, community and a little resourcefulness. If you would like advise on how you can build a wheelchair or start a network like this, contact us at PAWSitive Purrposes.

And always remember, stay PAWSitive! Take a look at Snowball now.

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