Shaine Kilyun, a young Champlin, MN resident, has made a significant impact on animal welfare in her local community by creating miniature wheelchairs for dogs, cats and other animals with special needs.
Though only sixteen-years-old, Kilyun is passionate about animals and making a difference in the world. “I’ve saved a few lives,” the teen said in a FOX-9 interview posted by 98.5 The Cat. “I really hope to save more.”
Kilyun learned how to assemble the wheelchairs by watching YouTube videos and going through many rounds of trial and error. To date, she’s successfully constructed ten and is currently working on a specialty wheelchair for a duck.
Upon hearing of her project, many people reached out to the young Champlin high school student and offered support. Kilyun now receives donations to cover the costs of her wheelchair-making supplies.
The most recent beneficiary of Kilyun’s wheelchair project is a two-year-old paraplegic dog from Saudi Arabia, nicknamed Scooter for his need to “scoot” his paralyzed hind legs while walking.
Before receiving the wheelchair, Scooter had to contend with sores and lesions from scraping his legs on the rough ground. Fortunately, Scooter took to the new contraption immediately and was able to run for the first time in a long time.
Home for Life Animal Sanctuary, the non-profit organization that received two wheelchairs from Kilyun—including the one being used by Scooter—is thankful for the contribution.
Founder Lisa Verdiere notes how helpful the wheelchairs are in taking care of the charity’s disabled animals, especially in terms of offsetting costs. By Verdiere’s estimate, Kilyun’s donation of two wheelchairs has saved the organization almost a thousand dollars.
Caring for Dogs with Special Needs
There are dogs who have special needs that their humans need to accommodate. They may have a disability like blindness or paraplegia, or they may be dealing with a mental health condition like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Owners of these dogs can meet the latter’s needs by taking a page from Home for Life Animal Sanctuary and supplying them with special equipment. Some items that can help dogs with disabilities or mental health conditions include custom dog bandanas printed with messages like “I’m a Nervous Dog, Please Ask Before Touching Me” or “Rescue Dog, Please Give Me Space.” Personalized dog products like these will surely make the dogs’ lives easier and more comfortable.
For more interesting stories about animal welfare and life with pets, be sure to follow the PrideBites blog!