Provider helps bring wheelchairs out of the doghouse

Friday, August 24, 2012

SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass. – Jay Turner is asking the mobility community to donate wheels for a different kind of HME customer: the four-legged kind. 

Turner, an ATP for National Seating and Mobility, stumbled across Eddie’s Wheels, which provides wheelchairs for paralyzed animals, on Facebook. 

He liked it.

“Being a dog owner myself, my wife and I wanted to help these people,” said Turner. “Eddie uses basically the same type of wheels we would use in a manual 


With the pet wheelchairs averaging between $300 and $600, Turner worried that some families, unable to afford a wheelchair, would be forced to make a hard choice: surgery that may not work, or putting their dog down. So he started soliciting donations of the wheels to offset some of the expense.

“It’s hard to put down a dog that isn’t in pain and is still looking forward to going for a walk,” said Leslie Grinnell, co-founder of Eddie’s Wheels.

Leslie and her husband, Eddie, invented the pet wheelchair when their dog was paralyzed from the waist down and they were unable to find a wheelchair appropriate for an 80-pound Doberman. 

Unwilling to lose their pet, Eddie instead built a wheelchair for Buddha, who quickly adapted to the wheelchair and started going on walks with Leslie again. 

Their vet began recommending Eddie’s invention to patients, and Eddie’s Wheels was born. 

The response from the mobility community has been great since Turner put the word out in July via the NRRTS listserv, Turner said. Permobil donated 30 sets of casters, and several providers have inquired about donating parts and money. 

“There’s definitely a correlation to what we do,” said Turner. “They just do it on the animal side.” 

Anyone interested in learning more about Eddie’s Wheels can visit