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San Luis High School engineering students build wheelchair for puppy

Puppy in need of wheelchair receives help from students

SAN LUIS, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - San Luis High School (SLHS) students built a wheelchair for a puppy at the Humane Society of Yuma who was in need of help.

Roo, the young chihuahua mix, was born with a rare genetic disorder that left him without front legs and other walkers haven't suited him.

“We were asked to design a walker for a little dog to make it walk,” SLHS engineering teacher Fernando Ramirez said.

The engineering class at LSHS often work with real-world project for its students.

“I felt very excited, but at the same time I felt that this was a big responsibility for the entire class and especially my team,” SLHS engineering student Alejandra Pasillas expressed. “First, we identified the problem. Then we did a little bit of research about how the dog will grow and asked for measurements of the dog. We were in a group of three. We each designed a different design and then combined the best parts of each one.”

Ramirez has his students design prototypes and different, with seniors Pasillas, Carlos Rodriguez and Chris Morales presenting a winning project.

The group then spent weeks building the fully functional wheelchair.

“The high school did an incredible job on his wheelchair,” HSoY Volunteer Coordinator and Foster Supervisor Trentie Oliver said. “He uses it. It’s probably the best one we’ve had that actually suits him. Roo likes to hop like a bunny. So, the problem was that he would hop with the wheelchair and would fall over and could injure himself really easy. So, we needed to find something that would work with him to not hop but also light enough where he could maneuver it around on his own. This has worked perfect. He loves it.”

Roo received the wheelchair in early November.

“We’re really grateful and thankful that [the students] came through and did such a fantastic job,” Oliver said. “I don’t know if they realize the impact they are having on his life and his future of getting around and learning to adjust and be a phenomenal puppy.”

“I feel really good about the project,” Rodriguez said. “I hope it will inspire a lot of people.”

YUHSD and HSoY have posted videos of Roo on their social media channels, which can be found here:
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Marcos Icahuate

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Mercedes Martinez

Mercedes Martinez joined the KSWT team as anchor/producer in October 2020. You can catch her on 13 On Your Side at 4:00pm.

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