When a Dachshund was abandoned by his owner after he got a spinal cord injury, a volunteer at Kaohisung Concern for Stray Animals Association in Taipei stepped forward and rescued the disabled dog.
Knowing that the Dachshund would be euthanized after two weeks, the volunteer adopted him and named him Baozi. Prior to being rescued, Baozi had peeling skin and injuries to his stomach, hind legs and tail from having dragged himself around on the ground.
As part of his recovery, the rescue got him a wheelchair. They purchased it from a local manufacturer that has started making the devices. Now that he has a wheelchair, Baozi is mobile and can go on daily walks and answer "the call of nature" when he needs to.
Although he can only wear it for a maximum of two hours, Baozi can live comfortably again and the chair minimizes skin and internal organ problems that can arise from his injuries.
The Association is encouraging dog owners who may have disabled dogs to make similar invest in a wheelchair, now that there are affordable options available.
Several manufacturers in Taipei now make the devices. The dog wheelchairs cost anywhere from NT$4,000 (US$133) to tens of thousands of New Taiwan dollars, but still the costs are half of what it would cost to order one from overseas.
Unfortunately, despite the availability of such wheelchairs, disabled dogs still get abandoned when their owners don't want to put in the effort or expense.
Presently, the association takes care of 20 to 30 disabled dogs at any one time. Despite the extra time and effort in harnessing and unharnessing the dogs, volunteers say it is well worth it to see the dogs move about more freely and have a chance at a new life.
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