Wheelchairs for dogs are a godsend for disabled pets, but several years ago I learned the price tag makes them out of reach for many families. At the time, frustrated pet owners would contact me to see if I knew of organizations that donate dog wheelchairs. It led me to research the problem and what I found was amazing.
There are lots of generous nonprofit groups whose mission is to get paralyzed dogs into donated carts when their families can’t afford one.
The list below includes all of these organizations and their requirements to apply. Some of the groups buy new wheels for paraplegic pets while others offer refurbished carts or loaners. When you find one that fits your needs, click on the highlighted link. It’ll take you to the group’s application page or where you can leave a message.
Why carts can be pricey
Dog wheelchairs are complicated devices and a lot of details go into building each one. The leading manufacturers use durable, but lightweight materials that won’t strain a paralyzed dog’s back. And many carts are custom-made to accommodate the physical disability of an individual animal. While this attention to detail is commended, it also drives up the price.
Organizations that donate dog wheelchairs
The groups who offer free donated carts, for the most part, are made up of animal lovers who have or once had a paralyzed dog in their life. They understand the obstacles pet families face and have taken it upon themselves to help.
Here are the groups:
Gunnar was a treasured pet who became paralyzed after truck ran into him. When his owners, Jason and Stephanie Parker, were hit with the cost of Gunnar’s veterinary bills and the price of a dog wheelchair, they started a GoFundMe page to help pay the expenses. The Parker’s were surprised by the generous outpouring of donations they received. When Gunnar was back on his feet, the couple decided to start another GoFundMe page to buy wheelchairs for other handicapped dogs. During its first year, Gunnar’s Wheels handed 40 carts to paraplegic dogs. Every year since, the organization has supplied Walkin’ Wheels carts for dogs around the world.
This is a loaner program to individuals and rescue groups. Animals use a cart free of charge until it’s not longer needed. The wheelchair is then sent back to Gunnar’s Wheels.
Hailey’s Wheels for Life
This special group is based in Australia, but they grant wheelchairs everywhere to individuals and rescue groups. Their vision is, “To encourage an alternative to euthanasia and to prolong the life of an otherwise healthy dog.” Hailey’s Wheels works with Walkin’ Wheels dog carts. The group is named in honor of a little Westie named Hailey who became paralyzed at the age of 12. Hailey contracted a parasitic disease of the spinal column called Neosporosis. She continued to enjoy life with her family until she lost her battle with the disease. Pet parents can apply for a wheelchair here: Hailey’s Wheels for Life.
Joey’s P.A.W. (Prosthetics and Wheels)
Joey is a dog whose rear legs were intentionally amputated when he was 6 weeks old. He was rescued and adopted to a loving family who decided to use Joey’s experience to help handicapped dogs in need. Joey’s P.A.W. is the only organization that funds custom prosthetics for dogs with amputation as well as dog wheelchairs. Pet families can apply for assistance by leaving detailed information on Joey’s P.A.W. Contact Us page. Applicants hear back in 24 hours.
Inspired by her wheelchair bound dog, Pugly, the founder of this nonprofit decided to give back to others. Wheeling Superheroes raises funds to buy new dog wheelchairs for pet families who can’t afford one. Applications need to be completed on the Wheeling Superheroes website. In addition, families are asked to send a letter from their veterinarian about how their dog will benefit from a cart. Click here to apply.
Mango on a Mission
Mango is an adorable Cairn terrier who was found on the side of a road with a broken back. The paralyzed pup won the heart of disabled Army veteran Judy Walter when she read how Mango became the first handicapped dog in a program that visited veterans in the hospital. Judy adopted Mango and started a Facebook page to mark her accomplishments. One of Mango’s followers contacted Judy about getting a wheelchair for her own paralyzed dog. Judy asked her followers for help and before she knew it there was enough money for several carts. The informal program has continued to grow. Mango on a Mission purchases new carts for dogs. There is an application available at the bottom of their website: Mango’s Freedom Wheels. Or contact Judy on the Mango on a Mission Facebook page.
CorgiAid Cart Program
This nonprofit organization specializes in helping Corgis and Corgi mixes. They started their cart program because Corgi’s are one of the breeds prone to developing Degenerative Myelopathy. Their dog wheelchairs are loaned. Pet owners must agree to return the cart, at their own expense, when their Corgi no longer needs it. There’s also a refundable $50 deposit required and $35 in shipping charges. Applications can be completed at: CorgiAid.
High Rollers Club HRC
This group started out raising funds for Pugs in need of a cart, but they now donate new wheelchairs to every breed. Cynthia Peraza is the founder and she’s a dynamo at raising money for carts via Instagram online auctions. You can contact High Rollers Club HRC by messaging them on Instagram.
Wheels to Help Me’
A dog wheelchair loan program sponsored by Finding the Cure for DM Foundation. The nonprofit group loans carts in the US and has a separate loaner program for dogs in the UK. The program is designed to get dogs with Degenerative Myelopathy into wheelchairs when their families have a fixed income. They also loan harnesses and boots. Carts are donated by individuals who no longer need them, so availability varies. Recipients pay a flat fee of $75 US for shipping. And once their dog isn’t able to use the wheelchair, pet owners are asked to return it. There’s a two-step application process. First people are directed to measure their dog using the diagram On This Page. And then complete the application form at: Wheels to Help Me’
Click here to read about how to keep your dog safe in their wheelchair. Accidents are on the rise.
Red Flyer, The Handicapped Pets Community
This amazing group is the longest running organization that loans dog wheelchairs. It was founded by animal lover, Harlan Weikle. Red Flyer changed their loan program so they could exclusively help rescue groups with a disabled dog in their care. Application instructions can be found in the About tab on the Red Flyer Facebook Page.
A nonprofit started by Michael Blott whose career is based in the chiropractic care of humans. After a visit to a shelter, Michael began building custom dog wheelchairs for pet families. PetAbility specializes in carts for dogs who weigh 15lbs. or less. Each wheelchair is constructed with the proper biomechanics to fit your specific dog. The best way to contact the organization is with a direct message on the PetAbility their website.
Dog wheelchair manufacturers that donate
Many of the retail dog wheelchair companies have programs to assist pets in need. Some are unofficial and don’t advertise unless a pet owner asks, but they do have carts for donation on hand.
Handicapped Pet Foundation
Eddie’s Wheels Donation Program
This is an unofficial program that Eddie’s Wheels is happy to explain. When people donate a cart back to them, Eddie’s Wheels holds onto it for dogs with financial needs. If you contact them be prepared to take specific measurements of your dog. Eddie’s Wheels will then do their best to match your pet’s size to a cart in their inventory. The people at Eddie’s Wheels are perfectionists so they won’t release a cart unless it works seamlessly for your dog’s height, weight and medical condition. That might mean waiting for the right cart to become available. Eddie’s Wheels will then refurbish the wheelchair for a nominal fee and donate it the family, rescue group and even veterinary practices. Owners are also asked to pay for shipping.
K9 Carts Donation Program
The first dog wheelchair company in the USA, K9 Carts, has a small program of donated carts that are sent to help rescue groups worldwide. rel=”nofollow” https://k9carts.com/donations/
If you know of another resource that donates dog wheelchairs, please leave their name in the comment section. I always happy to add to this list.