AMHERST — Today is the final day to vote for a local business that is hoping to get its product sold on Walmart’s website.
HandicappedPets.com, an Amherst-based company, has been selected as a finalist in Walmart’s “Get on the Shelf” contest. The public has chosen the local business as one of 20 product finalists, an honor for the company’s president, Mark C. Robinson.
“This is what we have been waiting for,” Robinson said.
Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair was created in 2008, and is now sold around the world with distributors in 22 countries. Still, Robinson said there are countless families who are not yet aware of the product, which he believes could save the lives of many dogs each year.
“People do not know that they have an option for their pet if it can’t walk anymore,” he said. “This product makes it possible for disabled dogs to continue living happy and healthy lives.”
Walkin’ Wheels was chosen as one of four finalists in the living better category of the contest. The public is being encouraged to submit their last votes by the end of the day today, and the winners could have their products sold on Walmart’s website.
“This is a huge opportunity for us and the many dogs that are going to be saved by this,” said Robinson, noting dogs are still being put to sleep once they lose their mobility. “The key to this experience is the exposure, and I think more animals will ultimately be put in dog wheelchairs. This is about families staying together, and keeping man’s best friend alive for at least another five years.”
Walmart’s Get on the Shelf program is a social, crowdsourcing competition that gives entrepreneurs a chance to get noticed and sell their products on Walmart.com, and potentially in select Walmart stores, according to a news release.
As the pet industry’s only fully adjustable dog wheelchair that is appropriate for both long-term and rehabilitative use, storage friendly and easily transportable, the Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair would be the ideal product addition for Walmart shelves, Robinson said.
The dog wheelchairs cost from $249 to $499 depending on the size of the canine and the type of tire selected. However, Robinson stressed that if his product is available on Walmart’s website or in stores, it will drive down the cost of the wheelchair and ultimately allow more people to afford the item.
“The dogs using these wheelchairs are thriving. They are not disabled — they are living their lives to the fullest,” he added.
To vote for Walkin’ Wheels, visit getontheshelf.walmart.com by midnight.