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Animal Rescue

WATCH: High School Students Build ‘Chariot’ for Former Puppy Mill Dog

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When Oriskany High School teacher Chris Lallier asked his engineering students if they wanted to build something to help a disabled dog walk, their response was a no brainer.

The New York students put their heads together to build what they’re calling a “chariot,” a custom wheelchair that helps a 2.8 lb. Havanese named Claire get from one place to the other, according to, who reported the story.

The project began when Lallier heard about the pup, who was born with a birth defect that rendered her back legs useless. She was also the suspected victim of abuse at the Amish puppy mill where she once lived. In October, a group called Angels of Fur K-9 Rescue saved the now 5-month-old from a grim fate.

“Her condition was deplorable,” Melissa Jones, founder and director of Angels of Fur, told

Our angel Claire got her new wheels on Friday! A HUGE THANK YOU to the students of staff of Oriskany Central school district, Rome Daily Sentinel, WKTV NEWSChannel 2, Mr. Lallier and everyone else involved in getting Claires chariot. ALSO for all the children who raised all the wonderful items off our wish list for AOF. We are so grateful to be a part of such a wonderful community. We are so overwhelmed with joy. Claire will meet with the Dr. of Physical Therapy in Latham Wednesday to prescribe a protocol for Claire's appointments locally. Funding is still needed for her therapy and all of our other cases. If you are able to help please go to our gofundme link located in our bio, donations are also accepted by mail at Angels of Fur PO Box 586, Westmoreland, NY, 13490, and by paypal at Remember AOF is a 501c3 non profit and all donations are tax deductible. Look how awesome her chair is. Complete with customized wheels and a license plate too. #thankyou #greatstudents #oriskany #ny #puppymillsurvivor #puppymillrescue

A post shared by Angels of Fur K9 Rescue (@angelsoffur) on

While Claire may still face amputation of one of her legs, the adjustable wheelchair-like device the students created — using a 3D printer — is most definitely helping her get around better. After several visits by the pup to try out prototypes, the young engineers presented “Claire’s Chariot” to her on Friday, said — and it looks like she likes her new wheels (which came complete with a license plate).

A custom wheelchair like this would have been pricey to buy  — and, clearly, you can’t put a price on a classroom learning experience of this nature.

“She couldn’t walk at all,” said 10th grader Dylan LaSalle, who was involved in the project. “She’s just so cute, and it feel goods to be able to help her.”

To learn how you can help fund Claire’s continuing therapy, visit the rescue’s website.