Shaine Kilyun, who hails from Minnesota, learned to make wheelchairs from YouTube tutorials and wants to help animals gain mobility.
A high school teenager has made it her personal mission to give animals a better quality of life. Shaine Kilyun, who hails from Minnesota, wants to give disabled animals the gift of mobility and learned to make wheelchairs for them from YouTube tutorials. The 16-year-old is perfecting the wheelchairs as she makes more of them and is also customizing them to suit the animals' needs. She has made customized wheelchairs for dogs, cats, even a hedgehog, reported Fox 9. She is now planning to make a mobility device for a duck as well.
Kilyun works on a trial-and-error basis and creates wheelchairs for animals of all shapes and sizes, ranging from a huge Great Dane to a minuscule hedgehog. The impact of Kilyun's work cannot be understated especially when you consider adding mobility can save animals from being put down. She's literally a lifesaver. “I just love animals, and I wanted to make a difference somehow,” said Kilyun. she said. “I’ve saved a few lives, and I really hope to save more.”
She has also started organizing her work, launching Wheelies Dog and Cat Wheelchairs on Instagram. She offers “custom, handmade, and low-cost wheelchairs for specially-abled dogs, cats & pets.” Kilyun main goal is to make wheelchairs accessible as opposed to making profits like some of the bigger companies on the market. The 16-year-old only charges for the cost of her materials. While one of her wheelchairs, on average, costs $300, the bigger companies offer the same for as high as $1,000. Kilyun is hoping it'll help pet owners who feel priced out by the more traditional brands.
She always likes to understand the animal's needs before starting work. She provides front-support, full-support, and back-support models depending on what the animal needs. She is currently working on a model for a duck. Kilyun is now reaching out to shelters to see how she can benefit pets there. One of her recent clients was a Scooter, a paraplegic pup who came to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia via the Home For Life Animal Sanctuary, an organization that offers a chance for life to pets that might be considered unadoptable. She posted images of scooter using her customized wheelchair and was overwhelmed with joy. "This is absolutely INCREDIBLE!! I gave Scooter, who arrived from Saudi Arabia a special custom Wheelies wheelchair! It means the world to me 💕" she wrote. The cute upper can be seen adjusting to the new wheelchair and overjoyed at gaining mobility. In another cute video of a dog named happy using her wheelchair, she wrote, "This is why I do what I do❤. Today, I gave Happy her first wheelchair. I feel proud and so so well...happy for her!!" That dog was certainly happy.
Many are pitching in to help raise funds so Kilyun can continue her good work. Lisa Leverdiere, who works with the nonprofit, said the financial crunch stemming from the pandemic has made it harder to raise money. “A lot of people have reached out and donated, which is just incredible,” she said. Leverdiere has nothing but praise for Kilyun and the time and effort she's putting into her work.