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Update: BSU Students Design A Wheelchair For One Lucky Dog

Boise State University
Leroy the dog and his group of BSU engineering angels.

Update: March 18, 2016

Our original story said that Leroy was up for adoption. Sadly, Leroy took a turn for the worst and passed away on Thursday.

Leroy suffered from abuse and neglect before he was rescued by Boise Bully Breed Rescue. On their Facebook page, the group said Leroy took a turn for the worst after the last few days. The group says Leroy spent the last four months with a better quality of life and a chance to “be a happy dog again.”

His name is Leroy. He’s a two-year-old dog with a spinal deformity that affects his back legs. But he’s about to become mobile, thanks to a special wheelchair designed by engineering students at Boise State University.

The Boise Bully Breed Rescue group approached the five students and asked for their help.

BSU student Kane Venecia says the group hadn’t tried anything like this before, but he was more than willing to help.

“That’s one of the greatest things in the world is that you make a difference in an animal’s life, just by spending a few hours putting together a wheelchair,” Venecia says.

They took apart a baby stroller and started working with PVC pipe and other metals to make an adjustable wheelchair.

The first design had some flaws. Venecia says it would tilt forward and put pressure on Leroy’s shoulders. But the students are tinkering with the design and plan to have him up and running as soon as possible.

Leroy responded right away and is ready to start walking with wheels. Leroy was neglected before he was rescued, so he’s still in his puppy stage, says Venecia.

“He wants everyone’s attention and he really is the cutest thing in the world.”

Venecia says this was a chance to get some hands-on experience outside of the classroom. But mostly it was a chance to help Leroy.

“So many things can be accomplished just by giving time to an animal. And if that time wasn’t there, they would most likely not have opportunities such as Leroy’s.”

He says the group wants to keep designing systems that are cheap and affordable for animals.

Leroy is up for adoption from Boise Bully Breed Rescue. Find out more and follow Leroy’s progress at their website.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio

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