My dog, Gunnar was hit by a truck on Feb 16, 2014, which left him a paraplegic. We incurred many vet bills during his recovery. He now requires a wheelchair cart to get around, which helped him regain his mobility and live life to the fullest. We received a ton of help during his recovery... and decided to give back.
We started a foundation called Gunnar's Wheels. Our goal was to have a fleet of loaner carts for shelter dogs and animals whose owners cannot afford them. As of April 2017, we now have 501c3 non-profit status with the IRS!
The rules of Gunnar's Wheels are as follows:
1) The animal gets to use the cart free of charge until the cart is no longer needed, or the animal passes away.
2) At that time, the cart will be sent back to Gunnar's Wheels for a quick once over and sent out to the next needy animal.
This is Hope, the first recipient of Gunnar's Wheels. She came into BARC in Houston, TX. Social media alerted us to her and we provided a cart for her. After Hope, we were able to increase our fleet to 3 carts, with the goal of hitting 50. We were overwhelmed with requests for carts, and are getting to fulfill our dream of helping these otherwise unadoptable animals see their dream of finding a forever family and enjoying life to the fullest!! Hope has actually made a full recovery and can now run, fetch, and hop. Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/kimberlee.sofka/videos/10154996331205977/
From the summer of 2016 until now, we have sent out 114 carts. We have helped 130 animals, as some carts are on their 2nd animal.
Just to give you an idea of our expenses: The carts cost between $125.00 and upwards of $700.00 for specialty carts. Specialty carts are 4-wheeled carts, front-wheeled carts, and amputee carts. The cost to repair a cart varies. If the cart just needs a harness, it could be $25.00. If the cart needs a side frame, it could be right around $50.00. The wheels vary in cost from $10.00 to $45.00 depending on the size and composition. We also turn over about 20 chairs annually due to recover or death, which does help keep expenses down.Our goal for this year (2017), and every year afterwards: We want to help every animal that is in need of a cart.
We tend to spend about $10K per year, so raising $50,000 to $60,000 would keep us covered for the next couple of years. We've set the goal at $30,000 for now, but hope to go far beyond that. We'll continue to raise the goal as long as donations are coming in so we can plan for the future.
Thank you in advance for considering your donation to Gunnar's Wheels!! Any contribution helps us work toward our goal of seeing all these animals mobile and happy.
We are also currently nominated for the National Hero Dog Award. Check it out here, and send us a vote any day you can up until May 3, 2017: http://herodogawards.org/dog/gunnar/
Check out the links below for some great news features about our animals:http://www.wqow.com/story/27259016/2014/11/Monday/new-set-of-wheels-osseo-man-helps-right-hand-hound-recover-from-paralyzing-accidenthttp://www.leadertelegram.com/Features/Lifestyles/2014/09/21/Couple-dedicate-themselves-to-paralyzed-Labrador-retriever.htmlhttp://www.leadertelegram.com/News/Region/2016/07/03/Dogged-determination.htmlhttp://ecweb.libercus.net/News/Front-Page/2016/08/28/Help-on-wheels.html