Disabled animals can now lead fuller lives thanks to retired veterinarian Dr. Lincoln Parkes.
“I invited myself to produce something that was worthwhile for disabled animals,” 92-year-old Parkes told In The Know.
Parkes founded K-9 Carts, a company that makes custom wheelchairs for dogs who don’t have use of their hindlegs. It all started when Parkes encountered a man whose dog had been hit by a car. The dog’s back legs were no longer functional, but when Parkes made a K-9 cart for the furry friend, the dog had a new lease on life.
“We took it out, in the field and he threw a frisbee,” Parkes told In The Know. “And the dog took off after it and caught it in the air. And landed with its cart still on.”
Parkes has been creating the patented custom carts since the early 1960s. He began when he was still a practicing animal surgeon and continued after retiring by working on the carts in a workshop near his home.
“It made a dramatic difference,” customer Amy Deisher, whose corgi suffers from a paralyzing degenerative disease, told the Washington Post. “Prior to going into the cart he was dragging his hind end, he wouldn’t do his normal activities. It made me very happy, that he could do what he used to do.”
The animal lover shows no signs of slowing down. Opting for supplements instead of medicine is one of his secrets.
“I retire every day, about midnight,” Parkes joked. “That’s the only retirement I get.”