Twinkles on Wheels


Little Twinkles arrived at our Beenleigh Animal Rehoming Centre as a gorgeous eight-week-old Shih-Tzu. Sadly, Twinkles was born without a radius or ulna in her front legs, severely restricting her mobility.

In a bid to improve Twinkles quality of life, AWLQ’s Beenleigh Animal Rehoming Supervisor researched the best way to support Twinkles in gaining more independence and improve her mobility.

Two volunteers at the AWLQ Beenleigh Centre, Pam and Rob, a senior couple fell head over heels for little twinkles and took her in to foster care.

Her loving foster parents took the happy-go-lucky Twinkles to attend a specialist facility where a number of examinations and tests were completed. As Twinkles lacked crucial support bones in her front legs, it was deemed her life would be adversely impacted if she underwent surgery.

Armed with this information, and knowing that surgery was not an option for Twinkles; our dedicated team at Beenleigh Animal Rehoming Centre decided that the most practical way to improve Twinkles life would be to acquire a wheelchair for her.

The team went about researching ways to purchase a custom-built Australian wheelchair. Unfortunately, a manufacturer wasn’t able to be located locally and the search broadened to locate an American based wheelchair manufacturer.

The ever handy Rob made a make-shift wheelchair fashioned from a dolls pram until a suitable replacement could be found.

Gunner’s Wheels – specialists in mobility equipment – agreed to make a wheelchair specifically designed to suit Twinkles size and needs.

Jason Parker, founder of Gunner’s Wheels, provides wheelchairs to animals requiring assistance. The inspiration behind Gunner’s Wheels came about when Gunner – Jason’s own dog – was hit by a truck in 2014. The dog suffered two broken vertebrae and was given a 50 percent chance in recovering mobility. Jason made a promise to ‘pay it forward’ and to provide wheelchairs to animals in need. The chairs have been provided to shelter and rescue pets who might have otherwise been euthanised without the assistance of a Gunner’s Wheelchair.

Our team at Beenleigh worked with different time zones to communicate with Gunner’s Wheel’s to ascertain Twinkles needs for a wheelchair. Under the direction of Gunner’s Wheels, the Ruff Rollin Company designed and built a wheelchair to precision specifications. Gunner’s Wheels very generously paid for Twinkles wheelchair to be produced and subsequently shipped to Australia.

Twinkles adapted to her new wheelchair and now enjoys life as a dog-on-the -move.
We take this opportunity to sincerely thank the incredible kindness of Gunner’s Wheel’s and Ruff Rollin for their compassion and support in helping Twinkles to have a second chance at life. Thank you to our dedicated staff at Beenleigh for persisting in seeking out ways to offer Twinkles a second chance at life.

When it came time for Twinkles to find a new forever family, her foster parents decided that Twinkles meant to much to them to give up. With all the work they put in to raising this little girl, taking her to appointments, training her to use her new wheel chair, and how to live a normal happy life despite living with a disability, Pam and Rob decided they were up for the challenge of giving Twinkles the life she deserves.