AMHERST, NH (February 18, 2021) – Sharon Donovan first met her skunk Teddy four years ago when he was a baby with severe respiratory issues. Sharon tirelessly cared for Teddy around the clock for months, unsure if he would survive. After two, long months he finally showed signs of recovery and they had formed an incredible bond. Sharon says, “Teddy has no clue he’s a skunk, he thinks he’s my baby.”
Even years later, Teddy still struggles with his health during the cold winter months. “Winters are always a challenge and last winter I wasn’t sure he would make it. We spent October through January at the vets and on antibiotics.” By March, COVID struck and Sharon started to work from home, she quickly realized Teddy was no longer walking on his own. Unable to see a Vet due to COVID restrictions, weeks passed with Teddy unable to walk. “I searched for a vet to get him help, but no one would listen to me. Teddy began to gain weight. I started with water therapy and diet. In November I begged the vets to take an Xray and they finally did it. The vet called me and said he had fractured his leg. At this point, it healed but left him arthritis in his hip and ankle.” Sharon was devastated, she felt she had let Teddy down.
Willing to do whatever she could to help Teddy, Sharon began researching online and joined wildlife Facebook groups to get their advice. Eventually she found Jason Parker and the Gunnar’s Wheels Foundation, a charity that provides wheelchairs for life to animals in need. Jason works closely with Walkin’ Pets, a NH-based pet mobility company who makes dog wheelchairs. Although the Walkin’ Pets team have helped many kinds of animals over the last 20 years, this was the first time working with a skunk. Offering their guidance and expertise, Walkin’ Pets worked with Jason to determine exactly what Teddy needed for his new wheels. Since skunks sit low to the ground and Teddy is wider than most Walkin’ Wheels dogs his cart was customized with shorter struts and a wider connector to better fit his body.
Teddy has a long recovery ahead of him and will rely on his wheelchair to support him as he rebuilds his strength, but he is ready to get rolling in the first ever Walkin’ Wheels Skunk Wheelchair. Sharon says that along his skunk wheelchair, Teddy will continue with water therapy in the spring and she is hopeful that by his 5th birthday this spring he will be walking on his own.
Watch Teddy Take His First Steps in his Skunk Wheelchair