STEM students create doggie wheelchair for ‘Nubbs’

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Chattanooga STEM students are coming up with a solution for a two-legged dog named Nubbs.

Nubbs’ owner, Katie Zwitter, contacted the school in need of a new set of wheels.

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“He was born without his front legs. The worry was that he would have internal deformities as well and he’s healthy as can be, just missing his legs,” Zwitter said.

While the two-year-old rescue dog can walk around without help, a wheelchair makes life a lot easier.

“It’s really hard on his achilles tendons to pull all the weight from the back and to keep him level, it would give him a better support,” Zwitter said.



Chattanooga STEM students are collaborating to give Nubbs that support.

Nubbs has outgrown his old mobility cart.

And, they’ve created a prototype of a new custom one students are building.

“It includes these caster wheels so that he can easily move,” student Marco Hernandez said. “We also made it to where you can detach it.”

“And since Nubbs has a bird friend we also made a perch for her,” Hernandez said.

A team of three students started the project earlier this month and are hoping to have it finished by March.

“We love taking on projects that have community impact and as soon as we saw the dog we were like, hey, we’ve got to do something to help out Nubbs,” The Fabrication “Fab” Lab teacher Ken Kranz said. “From the standpoint of the learning aspect. Students are learning skills of collaboration, critical thinking and innovation.”

As for Nubbs, Zwitter said a new set of wheels is crucial.

And if it wasn’t for a new cart, she may have had to rehome him.

“I’m just so grateful that I was able to find the STEM school. I’m so grateful for these kids and what they’re giving to Nubbs and the freedom that he’ll be able to have and get around more independently on his own. It’s really nice,” she said.

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