35-year-old Abdulmenaf Çelik works as a hydraulics technician in Kocaeli, Turkey. Çelik makes walkers using various materials and has managed to ‘mobilise’ 38 disabled animals over the last 2 years.
Çelik explains that he was a long time member of a local animal welfare organisation and was encouraged when friends at the club requested for him to make a walker. Çelik states that he first made walkers using water pipes. Soon after, other animal lovers outside the city reached out to him through social media and he then began to customise the walkers to fit varying sizes.
After several attempts, affordable models started to emerge. There are other models out there and some come from overseas at a very high cost. Currently, the cost of a walker ranges between 100 to 200 Turkish Liras (15-25 USD). We aim to keep things at minimum cost. We only charge owners the cost of materials such as wheels, trolleys and other materials. We aim to spread goodness.”
Çelik also mentions a time when he had fractured his leg playing football and was on crutches for a while empathising with paralysed animals. He spends his free time working on the walkers and says on average he can produce a walker within 2 days.
Stating that he is very happy with his work, Çelik adds “helping a dog walk gives me great joy and a sense of satisfaction. I involve my children and nephew to instil love for the animals”.
Knowing that an animal cannot run or play because they are paralysed is absolutely heartbreaking. The story of Çelik and others alike show that compassion and love can go a long way in contributing to a functional life for animals in desperate need.