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Man makes wheelchair for girlfriend's dog

By Daniel Uria   |   Feb. 17, 2016 at 11:43 AM

VICTORVILLE, Calif., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- A California man built a makeshift wheelchair for his girlfriend's dog after the pet lost use of its back legs.

James Stewart Paniagua, 22, found a cost effective way to help his girlfriend Briana Ibarra's dog by building a wheel chair out of PVC pipes.

Ibarra's family faced thousands of dollars in medical expenses when the three-year-old Pomeranian suddenly began acting strange.

"A couple of days ago Benny started acting very weird and skittish. The following morning he woke up dragging his hind legs. This scared everyone and my girlfriend's mom ended up taking him to the animal hospital. They informed her that the surgery would cost beyond $8,000," Paniagua told Victor Valley News.

After learning that a custom wheelchair for Benny would cost at least $1,000 Paniagua told CBS Los Angeles that he began to search for ways to make one himself.

"I started off by Google searching 'dog do-it-yourself wheelchair.' I said, 'you know, that looks simple enough and you only need a couple pieces to it so why not? Let's try it out,'" he said.

While certain parts were hard to come by, Paniagua wound up spending $40 in total to create his own fully functioning dog wheelchair.

"I had a ton of trouble finding wheels and ended up just buying a $20 scooter from Wal-Mart and salvaging the wheels," he said. "$5 on Velcro straps, less than $5 on nuts and bolts and close to $8 on PVC pipes, joints and PVC cement."

Benny has been more mobile since receiving his homemade wheelchair and Paniagua hopes to make a few changes to further improve the wheelchair.

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