Every year the Walkin’ Pets calendar contest helps raise awareness for special needs animals and raises money to help pet’s in need. This year’s contest featured almost 300 special needs animals from all around the world.
Cover Dog Bo from Hong Kong
Our cover dog Bo is a Degenerative Myelopathy warrior from Hong Kong. He has been fighting DM for over 2.5 years! He may be paralyzed from the chest down, but he still enjoys life with the help of his four-wheel wheelchair!
Filou from France
Filou is an 8-year-old “big giant” Yorkie that became paralyzed at the age of 1 following an accident. His former owner then took him to a shelter, where he was adopted in 2016.
Today, Filou is very happy and crazy about life and lives with his mom and his three dog sisters, Skully, Pepper, and Jade.
Holly from Illinois
Holly was found in someone’s front yard, unable to walk, at only two months old. She was later diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia, aka Wobbly Cat Syndrome. The clinic tried for four months to find a rescue that would take her or an adopter for her. Finally, a clinic staff member shared Holly Hun’s story in a Facebook group where her new mom fell in love! Holly cannot stand or walk, but that doesn’t stop her from living life to the fullest.
Holly got her wheels about a year ago. Her full support cart has changed her life by giving her the ability to get up off the floor and enjoy cruising around like her feline siblings. Holly gets excited when we get her cart out for her. Her Walkin’ Wheels cart has brought a new level of enjoyment to her life; for that, her family will be forever grateful!
Bay Lee from Texas
Bay Lee has always been an incredibly active dog. She began to have trouble walking and was diagnosed with IVDD. Once she got her Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair, she was unstoppable from the first moment! She had back surgery in February. Following surgery, Bay Lee had retained motor function in both of her hind limbs, but required support. Two weeks post op, Bay could walk…with help… and very little knuckling.
Now eight months post-op. Bay Lee has come a long way, and her prognosis continues to be positive. She has bad days and she has great days. On the bad days, she is stiff and has issues walking. She sits down, and her back right leg flies up. When she is pottying, the leg thumps the ground uncontrollably. Some of this is the arthritis… and some of it is the IVDD as she still has several disc protrusions in her spine. On the great days, she is able to walk quite normally with the help of her Walkin’ Wheels and is her energetic self.
Best Friends Rio and Alfie from England
Rio and Alfie were both diagnosed with stage 5 IVDD in 2021, which left them both paralyzed. Not knowing each other before, Rio and Alfie bonded through sharing tips, tricks, and lots of support through the hardest times. Almost a year later, these IVDD Warriors are living their best lives, visiting their favorite place, the beach, and making lots of wheelie good friends along the way!
Antonia from Germany
Antonia was an agile and athletic German Shepherd who loved swimming in the sea or lake. Before a series of health problems, Antonia was going to be trained as a rescue dog for the German Red Cross.
As she got older, she developed hip problems and two vestibular syndromes that left her unable to walk on her own. Her wheelchair allowed Antonia to be in the middle of everything, spend time with her family, and enjoy long walks. With her wheelchair’s support, she was able to live a happy and active life.
Donnie from Arizona
Donnie, a Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd mix, was diagnosed with DM at 8 year old. His family was devastated when Degenerative Myelopathy took away the use of his back legs. His Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair made all the difference. “The wheels helped Donnie to walk better and it made it easier to care for him. Donnie loved to play fetch with his tennis ball and the wheels helped Donnie to do that again! For an additional 8 months Donnie was able to live life closer to how he used to before DM. Using the Walkin’ Wheels, Donnie got a chance to hike with us and play in the snow for the first time too! And best of all he was able to get comfortable again while using the bathroom outside. His wheels have given him so much more time, independence, and happiness.”
After battling DM for close to two years, Donnie crossed the rainbow bridge in September 2022.
Mily from Florida
Mily was born in 2005 on the street in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. She has had numerous health scares over the years, including epileptic seizures, cancer, and mobility loss as she got older. Her adopted mom told Mily that she would never be alone again and promised they would always be together. Mily’s mom promised to be faithful in good times and bad, in sickness and health, and thus love and respect her every day of Mily’s life.
Duke from Lincoln, UK
Duke became paralyzed very suddenly in January 2022 due to IVDD. As soon as Duke was put in his wheels he took to them straight away. He ran in them the first time he wore them. It was at this moment his family knew we had made the right decision for him. He loves his Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair and has an indoor scooter too!
Duke’s family says, “The wheels have totally transformed his quality of life he loves getting out and about in them, he makes everyone smile when he’s out and gets a lot of attention from people who like to stop, give him fuss and ask about his wheels. It is surprising to hear lots of families who have animals who would benefit from wheels for all different reasons.”
Eli from Alabama
Eli is a Boykin Spaniel who overcame swimmer’s syndrome as a baby. Seven years later Eli suffered from a spinal stroke overnight and lost the use of his back legs. After three weeks of hospitalization, Eli received his first Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair and never looked back!
Now, almost 11, Eli is here to help, inspire and give hope to people and animals everywhere. If you can’t do things one way, do it another. Eli wants the world to know that different is just the next adventure. Never give up! He wakes up with a smile and is ready to go on some great adventure every day. He lives his life to the fullest and does ALL the things his 4 siblings do.
Rita from Plymouth, UK
Rescued from Romania, Rita had been hit by a car and suffered spinal injuries. Later, Rita returned to veterinary care after further injuries caused by dragging herself around. Sirius Animal Rescue and Miracle’s Mission both played their part in Rita’s new happy life. She is now settled in her forever home and loves whizzing around in her wheelchair.
Rita helps promote awareness for disabled pets as an ambassador for Peppa’s Place, which is a UK-based charitable organization that loan out wheelchairs to other disabled dogs, Rita has helped raise money and we now have over 60 wheelchairs helping others.
Kardi from Texas
This marks Kardi’s sixth time being featured in the Walkin’ Pets Calendar! Kardi was an amazing little girl whose smile brightened the world. Kardi became paralyzed from IVDD in January 2015 and received her Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair the following month. She loved to run around and play with all her toys and was the happiest little dog despite her disability. Kardi was a therapy dog for several years and brought happiness to all who met her. Heartbreakingly, Kardi ran across the rainbow bridge on 2/20/2022 and is incredibly missed by so many.
Ferg from New Zealand
At 10.5 months, Ferg began having unexplained mobility issues. By 14 months, he had lost the ability to stand or walk. Now, with his wheelchair, he can play outside independently and gets into all sorts of mischief. Ferg is living proof that having a disability should not hold you back, and he has proven the vets that suggested the best option for him was to be euthanized wrong.
Ferg lives life at top speed! He loves to go fast in his cart and even drifts around corners! His parents say, “the purchase of his Walkin Wheels wheelchair was the best decision we ever made. Without his Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair Ferg would no longer be here.”
Pumpkin the 2023 Walkin’ Pets Hero
Pumpkin wasn’t born paralyzed; her spine was broken, leaving her paralyzed from the shoulders back. Adopted at 8 weeks old, her new family fell in love with her.
Inspired by Pumpkin’s spirit, her family created Pumpkin and Friends Charity, whose mission is to raise awareness for special needs pets, advocate, fundraise, and donate wheelchairs to families in need. Pumpkin has already helped over 30 disabled dogs in just a few short months! Pumpkin’s family works 24/7, advocating for these beautiful animals, showing the world just how amazing special needs animals are!
The 2023 Rescue of the Year: SFT Animal Sanctuary
Located in Tangier, Morocco, SFT is currently home to over 450 dogs, including 25 wheelchair dogs. Among their wheelie dogs is their mascot, Lucky Puppy. Lucky Puppy loves life and is the fastest dog on wheels at the sanctuary! She is an example for all of us to follow. Pure joy, naughtiness, playful, and cheekiness. The sanctuary works tirelessly to save lives, change attitudes, teach love, and compassion and help their community. Since its start in 2012, the sanctuary has helped treat, vaccinate, and neuter 3,200 strays in Tangier.