Reuse wheels from toy cars and children’s bikes to build mobility devices for disabled dogs and cats, helping them walk, run and play again despite the lack of specialized prosthetics. This is the idea put into practice by the volunteers of the Sulala Animal Rescue Society, an animal shelter in the Gaza Strip, intended for 32 dogs and cats who will be given wheelchairs or armchairs with artificial limbs made of wood and metal. recycled.
“Animals wear out when they’re paralyzed, so let’s create something that allows them to walk so that they feel normal. Animals have feelings too, ”said Al-Aer, who helps run the shelter.
One of the dogs, Lucy, whose hind legs were paralyzed in a car crash, was given a wheelchair built using the rainbow-colored rubber wheels of a bicycle for children found in an abandoned street. With the help of the volunteers, Lucy slides her upper body into a harness that connects a metal frame to the wheels.
“They are adjustable according to the size of the dog,” said Ismail Al-Aer, Said’s uncle, who designed the device. Ismail created a similar device for cats using the small wheels of a toy racing car.
Although there are two prosthetic centers in Gaza, both are committed to providing artificial limbs to some 1,600 amputees in the Strip. But the centers do not offer animal services, which makes the shelter initiative even more important, Gaza veterinarian Bashar Shehada said. “Amputated animals” are decreasing, “as are ulcers and injuries from crawling animals,” Shehada said.
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