Turkey Produces Walkers From Waste to Aid Disabled Animals

The novel sustainable walking aids are a result of a collaboration between Turkish electronics manufacturer Vestel and the Manisa Metropolitan Municipality.
Jessica Miley

Turkish electronics manufacturer Vestel has teamed up with the Manisa Metropolitan Municipality to make a walking aid for animals with disabilities. The walker, a harness that straps onto the animals' bodies with wheels, is sustainably constructed from waste materials.

Stray dogs and other animals who suffer debilitating mobility injuries are given their mobility back with the walkers. They will be distributed throughout animal shelters across the country.

The company uses waste material garnered from the manufacture of electronic devices to make the walking devices. Commenting on the project, Manisa Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Cengiz Ergün said the city has an animal rehabilitation center specializing exclusively on paralyzed animals.

Dogs lose leg function due to cross breeding

It is not uncommon for dogs to suffer spinal injuries that affect the functioning of their rear legs. This can be caused by crossbreeding that results in animals with elongated spines, the long torso can cause nerve damage when the animal jumps or cause nerve deterioration over time. 

Once a dog or cat injures their spine, just like with humans, it is almost impossible to repair. Some dogs and cats find ways to help themselves move, but many become unable to traverse even the shortest distances.

Mobility aids are usually a set of rear wheels that are attached to rods which then strapped to the animal. The animals' injured rear legs are lifted off the ground and they can get movement by walking with their two front legs forward.

Dogs are everywhere

Estimates suggest that there are about 150,000 free-roaming dogs in Istanbul alone. Some of these end up in shelters if they are found in poor health or with the aforementioned disabilities.


The dogs that are brought to animal shelters are cared for by volunteers who feed, bath and exercise the animals before they are adopted back into homes or released back to the streets. Generally, Turkish people are against the euthanasia of dogs and cats for “population control”.

Some stray dogs are captured by shelters, given vaccines and medicines, neutered then released back into the city. It is hoped that by neutering and de-sexing the dogs the populations of free-roaming dogs and cats will reduce over time due to lack of breeding.

Vestel has a reputation as a socially conscious company and works to reduce its ecological footprint to as low as possible. The company manufactures a range of household appliance products.

The company is conscious of its role in contributing to carbon emissions through its manufacturing processes and dedicated a large budget towards creating products that are energy efficient and made from sustainable materials. It is also a dedicated supporter of local social justice issues.