I love being able to share new resources for pet parents of paraplegic dogs. Here is my latest find. Gunnar’s Wheels is a small nonprofit that provides free wheelchairs to dogs in need. They started raising funds in August 2016 and have already placed carts with 40 paralyzed pups.
Gunnar’s Wheels was created by Jason and Stephanie Parker as a way of paying it forward for the generosity people showed their dog. In 2014 their black Labrador retriever Gunnar, was hit by a truck. Gunnar was rushed into surgery at the University of Minnesota to repair his spine. The 110lb dog went through months of rehab with an underwater treadmill, laser therapy and acupuncture. He regained partial use of his back legs, but struggled to walk.
Gunnar needed a dog wheelchair to make him whole again. Mounting veterinary bills made it impossible for the Parkers to afford one. A relative started a GoFundMe page to help them financially. The Parkers were shocked at the number of contributions that poured in from strangers who wanted to get Gunnar back on his feet. Soon the Lab was wheeling around on his own.
In August, Jason started another GoFundMe page for other paralyzed dogs in need. Again he was surprised by the generosity of people who wanted to help. The money raised has benefitted paraplegic dogs around the world. Gunnar’s Wheels has shipped a cart as far away as Portugal to get a paralyzed dog walking. They also gave a set of wheels to a retired therapy dog, an injured military dog and a rescue group that took in a dog with a broken back. Altogether they have placed carts with a total of 40 paraplegic pups.
Jason asks recipients to do two things in return for getting a dog wheelchair:
- Send a photo of their dog in the cart so he can share it with donors.
- Return the wheels when it is no longer needed.
I’ll ask one more thing for pet parents to do:
Be generous to Gunnar’s Wheels and the other great organizations who get paraplegic dogs moving again. Consider a small donation.
Learn more about Gunnar’s Wheels on their GoFundMe page.