Taiwanese Man Creates Homemade Wheelchairs for Disabled Dogs
Animal lover Pan Chieh is spending his free time helping disabled dogs become mobile again by making dog wheelchairs out of water pipes.
The 40-year-old Chieh shared that he first got the idea of making dog wheelchairs when one of his friends rescued a stray dog who was badly hurt to the point that it would no longer be able to walk again.
The animal hospital apparently offered a very costly wheelchair to help the dog but upon learning about it, Chieh convinced his friend that he would just make the wheelchair himself so that he would not have to buy the costly commercially-manufactured one.
“The first dog recovered completely after using the wheelchair, which gave me a lot of confidence,” shared Chieh in an interview with Reuters.
The success of his first homemade wheelchair inspired Chieh to continue making dog wheelchairs to help rescued dogs living in shelters.
Chieh initially used heavy wood for his first few wheelchair designs but after constant process improvement, he discovered that plastic water pipes were more cost-effective than other materials.
From then on, he had been using these pipes to create customized animal wheelchairs that are suitable to the specific requirements and needs of the disabled dogs. This approach means that the dog or cat who will use the wheelchair can better navigate.
Unlike commercially produced animal wheelchairs, Chieh’s design is much cheaper costing only $30 per unit.
Considering his mission, Chieh, together with his girlfriend, has been visiting shelters, homes, and pet owners all over Taiwan as well as making wheelchairs.
While he charges $150 for each finished product to fully cover materials and travel cost, Chieh has often worked for free especially if the animal patient has no sponsor.
Animal wheelchairs are in demand in Taiwan considering the country’s many stray cats and dogs who are constantly in danger of being hit by cars or being injured by traps.
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