Wisconsin nonprofit helps paralyzed pup walk again

Posted at 7:13 PM, Apr 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-09 20:13:29-04

Wisconsin nonprofit Gunnar's Wheels has helped a paralyzed dog enjoy life on four legs with the help of a special wheelchair designed to help make the pup mobile. 

At first glance, Hondo is your typical two-year-old pit bull. But his hind legs are paralyzed. Canine Cupids Shelter Foster Coordinator Monica Kaskey says that hasn't stopped him. 

"He gets really excited when he loves a person...And makes little growling sounds," said Kaskey.  

Hondo came to Canine completely paralyzed back in January. But through physical therapy and Gunnar's Wheels donation, that's not the case anymore, he's got his own chair. This good news puts him closer to gaining a forever home through Canine Cupids

The reason this lovable pup and more than 700 others from around the world even have wheelchairs is because of Gunnar's Wheels Vice President and Founder Jason Parker's pay it forward mentality, which started back in 2016.

Gunnar was Parker's best friend. In the winter of In 2014 Gunnar was hit by a truck and became paralyzed in his hind legs. Mounting medical bills caused their community to act and raise money for Gunnar's first wheelchair. 

Parker then began thinking about other dogs who may not be able to afford wheelchairs. He says costs can range anywhere from $200 to $ 500, and shelter dogs may not be so lucky. Thus, he created Gunnar's Wheels. 

"I saw a quote...Saving one dog won't change the world, but for that one dog, the world will change," said Parker.

Parker says he'll work with any shelter or family to make sure every dog in need has a chair. A handful of supporters are raising money on both Gunnar's Wheels Facebook and Go Fundme pages.

While the nonprofit Gunnar's Wheels was started and based in Wisconsin, it has an international impact. 

Parker says he's helped families in Italy, Ireland, and more. But, he says, there's nothing like the ability to see your help in action.