Israeli Student Helps Disabled Dog
Two-limbed Israeli dog Hoppa has a very good reason to be happy. An advanced prosthesis provides a useful substitute to his missing front limbs, allowing him to lead a more normal life.
The device was invented especially for Hoppa by an animal-loving art student, who hopes his wheeling device will improve the lives of pets born with abnormalities, or with amputated limbs.
Hoppa's owner, Avi Kuzi, says that his pet was born four years ago without front legs. A Veterinarian in the dog's birth town of Tiberias said the chances of survival are very low and recommended that Hoppa be put down. But Kuzi ignored the advice.
[Avi Kuzi, Society for the Protection of Animals]: (Hebrew, Male)
'' He lived quite well for four years despite his disability, but today I am in contact with a student who is actually building a special device in order to allow Hoppa to live a much better life."
Various injuries or birth defects can commonly cause a dog's rear legs to be disabled, the absence of two front legs is quite rare. It was difficult to find an aiding device that meets Hoppa's special needs.
During the years, Hoppa taught himself to jump around as a way of moving, but lately he gained the ability to move with almost no restriction. Using a special training device developed for him by Jerusalemite art student Nir Shalom, Hoppa wheels himself around and enjoys the new feeling of freedom of movement.
After mastering his balance using the training device, Hoppa will receive the latest development by Shalom, which is described as the Mercedes of dog-prostheses.
[Nir Shalom, Art Student]: (Hebrew, Male)
"Its wheels are separate, something that can solve the problem of inclines and potholes on one side or the other. It can also allow the dog to sit and rise using a simple move of leaning backwards."
The device also has an attachable training wheel that can be used by dogs that can't master their balance.
The prototype was tailored for Hoppa's size, but in the future, Shalom hopes to offer the dog-prosthesis in several other sizes, to reduce costs and make it more affordable for pet owners.
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