VICTORVILLE, Calif. — When James Paniagua and his girlfriend found out that treatment for their dog’s sudden loss of the use its back legs would cost over $10,000, he sprang into action and built the most wonderful wheelchair for only $40.
Paniagua’s girlfriend, Briana Ibarra, had Benny, a Pomeranian-mix, since he was a puppy.
“He woke up about a week ago not being able to move his hind legs. It was just freakishly strange to us because he’s never had problems with that type of thing or been admitted to the hospital,” Paniagua told ABC News.
Ibarra and her family were told that surgery would cost over $8,000 and Benny also required an MRI that would cost $1,500. In addition, a wheelchair would cost over $1,000.
While the family was trying to figure out what they were going to do and how they could help Benny, Paniagua began researching doggie wheelchairs. Benny is only four years old and definitely deserved a chance a normal life.
“I saw some pictures online and thought,’I could do this.’ So I decided to try it out, ” Paniagua said.
The following day, Paniagua headed to the hardware store and picked up some necessary items such as PVC pipes, velcro straps and nuts and bolts. He also purchased a $20 scooter to salvage the wheels. Within no time, Benny and his new wheels were up and running.
“This was something I wanted to do [and] for now so he’s comfortable,” Paniagua told ABC News. “It’s a temporary fix until we can we get his surgery done and then he’ll be rocking and rolling again.”
Until the family figures out exactly what caused Benny’s sudden paralysis, Paniagua said he’s going to continue to improve on the wheelchair.