Vassilis Tzigouras, a Greek plumber who loves animals, decided to use his knowledge and skills in order to help disabled dogs walk again, noted the website 3 Vita.gr.
Sometimes, dogs can get injured or suffer a serious illness that will leave them disabled. Other times, they are unable to walk due to old age. Now thanks to specially designed wheelchairs, or prosthetic limbs these dogs have a chance at a better life. This practice has been gaining popularity outside of Greece over the last years.
However, in Greece, stray dogs who are looked after by citizens or shelters that don’t receive subsidy from the state, cannot be helped since the cost of the specially designed wheelchairs is extremely high.
Vassilis Tzigouras provided a solution for this problem by using pipes, wheels and slings he builds these special “strollers” based on each dogs needs. After having measured the dog’s body dimensions, he needs up to three hours to make the wheelchair, helping the dog walk and rescuing the animal.
“I use materials from my work and combine them with some parts from bicycles or skateboards” he said about the project, called + 2feet. The cost of materials ranges between 70 and 200 euros. Tzigouras organizes fundraising campaigns through Facebook in order to raise enough money for stray dogs. However, the costs for pet dogs are covered by the owners and if the owner is willing then Tzigouras uses more expensive materials such as mountain bike suspensions or elastic straps to offer the dog ultimate comfort.
Tzigouras also consults a veterinarian before beginning the wheelchair construction, so that he will not cause any further orthopedic or anatomical issues to the animal, while a dog trainer is helping him by supporting the project and showing the disabled dogs how to adapt to the wheels.
The Greek economic and social crisis makes everything feel dismal and almost no one offers anything selflessly. However, Vassilis Tzigouras has brought hope, showing the Greek society that there are still people who care.