Having a pet is like bringing another member into the folds of your own family. It is understood (generally) that when you take on the responsibility of keeping a pet at home, whether it be a dog, cat, rabbit, or any other species of mammal (or reptile, we know some of you do), you bear the duties of caring for it, tending to its needs, and cherishing it for the span of its life.
But in some cases, unfortunate incidents may happen to our four-legged friends, which may render them handicapped.
In that case, what are we, as pet owners, to do? Are there viable alternatives to give our pets a second-chance at life again after such a traumatic incident? For a small margin of pet owners, this may lead to their pets being abandoned by the streets and left to fend for themselves, or being put into shelters.
Two inspiring Malaysians aim to give these animals a second-chance at life
For Che Wey and his wife, Yee Leng, a shelter was exactly where their drive and motivation for their little initiative, Dog Wheelchair Malaysia, took root.
On 22nd August 2017, the couple visited a local shelter and adopted a handicapped dog named Frosty. Given the fact that the shelter couldn’t provide any proper care for Frosty, he often relied on dragging himself on his hinds to get about, causing severe injuries to his skin.
After adopting Frosty, they now faced the challenge of having to care for him, which meant above all else, finding a suitable canine wheelchair so he can properly run about.
“As we were looking around for a dog wheelchair on the net for Frosty, we found that they were all expensive and even a practical one would cost at more than RM1,000.” said Che Wey.
Given how inaccessible the price-tags could be for these prosthetics, Che Wey and Yee Leng, who are both DIY enthusiasts, decided to try making a wheelchair for Frosty themselves, despite having no experience in building these wheelchairs. It took over a month of trial and error to come up with a viable design, but they did it!
Forget RM1,000 handicap chairs, they build them with PVC pipes for only RM450
And they haven’t stopped making wheelchairs for pet animals since. Taking advice from their customers, they have continued to upgrade and refine the designs of their pet wheelchairs. However for the most part, the components in making each wheelchair is relatively the same, requiring PVC pipes for the frame and cloth with padding for the straps.
Their designs are also varied, to help address the different disabilities that these animals may face. As such, Dog Wheelchair Malaysia currently offers a range of three wheelchair sizes that are all available in either two-wheel or four-wheel versions. Prices are thankfully much more affordable, starting from RM250 to RM450.
“Human wheelchair basically fits almost everyone regardless size or type of disability, as long you can sit on it. However as for pets are totally different; we need to consider their size, breed and type of disability.” Che Wey reminds.
In order for the wheelchairs to work with the handicapped animal as intended, Che Wey recommends that customers bring in their pets to them so that they can get the precise measurements done and have the wheelchair completed in under one or two hours. Otherwise, they’ll make the wheelchairs based off on measurements provided by their customers remotely.
For a good cause
The good stuff doesn’t stop there, though! Dog Wheelchair Malaysia also has a charitable initiative called #50shirts1wheelchair, where they will donate one completely bespoke wheelchair to a pet housed in a shelter for every 50 pieces of their tee-shirts sold. This charity was spawned out of the hope of raising the chances of handicapped animals in shelters being considered for adoption.
To date, Dog Wheelchair Malaysia has produced over 150 wheelchairs for dogs, 15 for cats, and even 2 for rabbits! How cool is that!
Che Wey told WORLD OF BUZZ that they will continue running Dog Wheelchair Malaysia, in hopes that more awareness will be raised among the public that abandonment or euthanasia will not be the only option for handicapped animals, and hope that more people will give these animals a second lease on life.
To Che Wye and Yee Leng, we wish you continued success in helping handicapped animals, and applaud you for your continued dedication in giving these animals a second lease on life!
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