Think wheelchairs are just for people? This young man is giving disabled animals free rein to run and play again with the prosthetics he makes.
A young Turkish man from the southeastern Mardin province is working selflessly to give a new lease of life to disabled animals and help put them back on their feet.
22-year-old Hasan Kızıl has been building prosthetic and orthotic devices for animals for free with only his own means.
Speaking to Bahar Ünlü from Turkish daily Hürriyet, Kızıl said he’s been on a mission to give disabled pets and animals the opportunity for more mobile lives.
Kızıl said he uses any material in his vicinity, including washing machine pieces, aluminum pipes and bike wheels, unlike engineers and vets who have all the right equipment and can even make plastic prostheses with a 3-D printer.
However, his lack of opportunities and means has not held him back, and using unconventional materials and everyday items has clearly helped boost his creativity. For example, he has made a prosthetic leg out of a hose for a one-legged eagle, and even used cabinet casters for a turtle with no back legs.
“No matter what animal it is, just give me one week and I’ll design it [a prosthetic], build it and send it.”
But as much he likes a challenge, Kızıl said that he occasionally asks for help and advice from his vet friends in Istanbul and Mardin.
Kızıl described watching the animals walk for the first time as a ‘beautiful’ and incredible moment.
“At first they are scared of walking, but in five minutes they start running,” he said.
Kızıl also said he wants to develop bionic legs for animals who cannot use any of their four legs, making it a historic first in animal health. He plans to incorporate biosensor technology into his designs with the help of engineers.
The young man said he missed the registration deadline for the nationwide university entrance exams last year because he found a wounded cat on the streets and took it to the vet for treatment. If he manages to get enough points, Kızıl said he wants to study veterinary science and medicine.