PENSACOLA — Scoot Reeves, one very lucky Florida tortoise, has been given a second chance at life thanks to his new, custom wheelchair.
Scoot was brought to Hillman Veterinary Clinic in rough shape. His back legs were paralyzed and his shell was cracked when he was hit by a front-end loader.
The doctor was concerned for Scoot’s quality of life, but veterinary technicians Sasha Corbett and Shannon Chavers knew there had to be a way to get Scoots back on his feet again.
Corbett is no stranger to working with handicapped animals. Her dog, Rosalie, was born with cerebellar hypoplasia, a condition that affects her motor movements and mobility.
When Rosalie’s owner wanted to euthanize her, Corbett offered to adopt her. She contacted the Gunnar’s Wheels Foundation to get her a new Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair. Corbett said Rosalie has been with her ever since and has made some amazing strides.
"Both Scoot and Rosalie came into Hillman Clinic with the possibility they would be euthanized," Corbett said in a press release. "Shannon and I have soft spots for the special babies and really advocated for both. And the amazing Jason Parker with Gunnar's Wheels stepped up to get them mobile.”
Corbett tagged Parker in a post about Scoot hoping that maybe he could help. Parker jumped into action and immediately contacted Walkin’ Pets. Parker has partnered closely with Walkin' Pets for years to donate hundreds of wheelchairs to dogs and cats in need.
The Walkin’ Pets team got right to work and made their first-ever specialized wheelchair for a tortoise. Now, Scoot is zipping around on his custom wheels.
Walkin’ Pets and Gunnar’s Wheels will continue to work with Scoot throughout his recovery and hope to be able to help more turtles and tortoises to regain their mobility.