KING 5 did a story yesterday on a Whidbey Island company that has made wheelchairs for dogs for 55 years.
Barbara Parkes started K9 Carts when she worked as an administrative assistant for a veterinary hospital in Pennsylvania where her ex-husband was one of the first orthopedic veterinarians in the country. She moved the company to Freeland, WA 40 years ago.
K9 Carts was the first company in the US to make wheelchairs for dogs.
Parkes told the Whidbey Island Times that she founded K9 Carts because “there is a time limit for doing back surgeries on animals, particularly dogs. Otherwise, they lose their mobility and have to drag themselves from place to place in a miserable stupor.”
K9 Carts will make wheelchairs for any animal, including sheep, turkeys, and cats, that have ambulatory disabilities.
The company also donates wheelchairs to dog rescues like Valhalla Rescue, which got 3 dog wheelchairs from K9 Carts in 2012.
Although it’s in a small town, K9 Carts is not a small company. It employs 8 people and ships 50-70 wheelchairs per month all over the world.
I had no idea the preeminent manufacturer of dog wheelchairs was located in Western Washington. I hope to pay them a visit soon and learn more about their operation.
Here’s the story from KING 5: