Caring Teen Builds Wheelchairs for Pets

Sharing the gift of mobility.

Oct 23, 2021


Pet, Innovation
Caring Teen Builds Wheelchairs for Pets | Sharing the gift of mobility.

Shaine Kilyun is not your average 16-year-old. In fact, this Champlin, Minnesota teen has turned her love of animals into a mission to make a big difference in the lives of disabled pets.

In her spare time, according to Fox News, Shaine makes wheelchairs for dogs, cats, and even a hedgehog. She told Fox that she learned how by doing research and by watching videos on YouTube.

She said this was her mission because, “So many dogs get put down because people just don’t think they have a life because they’re disabled.”

What's a dog wheelchair?
Shaine makes various types of chairs including front support, back support, and full support depending on the needs of the pet. The chairs are made of PVC plastic.

For many pet owners, the cost of buying mobility equipment is not affordable. Wheelchairs usually go for more than $1,000 but Shaine only charges for the parts. She does this through the nonprofit called Wheelies that she opened in 2020.

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“I really had to like kind of beg her and insist that she took the money for the supplies,” Jennifer Latham said. Latham’s Great Dane Cypress was born with front legs that were shorter than her back legs and needed a way to be mobile before and after corrective surgery.

“She’s a giant dog," Latham said. “If she is not mobile we are going to have to put her down…and that is not an option.”

Shaine  is taking a pre-vet animal science class in her high school and when a class discussion focused on exploring careers,  she was originally unsure what direction she wanted to go in.

She told CCXMedia, “Yeah I definitely always wanted to work with animals. I’m not really sure what exactly I want to do, but I know that I want to do something with them.” She thought about starting her own animal rescue before she discovered animal wheelchairs and the idea took off.

What's new for this animal rescue star?
Shaine is currently building a wheelchair for a paraplegic dog named Scooter from Saudi Arabia reported Fox News in a follow up article. He received his name because of the way he scoots to get around. Scooter was at risk for developing sores on his back legs that could have led to infections. Now, he is getting a new lease on life.

“I’ve saved a few lives, and I really hope to save more,” Shaine told Fox News. And, she has already made 10 devices that have given the gift of mobility to disabled pets. Her goal is to be able to donate wheelchairs to animal shelters.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.