FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- A University of Arkansas brother and sister team won first place in the Governor’s Cup, which is a statewide business plan competition.
Cara and Grant Conner’s invention is called the Rover Round.
Cara first came up with the idea when she was in seventh grade. She met a Corgi at her parent's veterinary clinic that had bed sores and asked her dad why Priscilla could't have surgery.
“He was like well the surgery is actually $5,000 or more and here is the wheelchair she can use...it's just this ancient contraption and he was like you can see where the pressure is on her spine that would be worsened, and she would be even more immobile,” Cara said.
So Cara's first thought was to create something that was like a baby walker to take the pressure off the dog's spine and allow her to walk.
“I took PVC pipe put it all together and used a pair of jeans and just the leg of it and sewed it up to where it was kind of a swing. And my cousin has a little dog, so we tried it out with her and it worked out pretty well. She could kind of scoot around,” she said.
Cara and Grant said they went through a lot of designs before getting to the finished product -- an aluminum frame with nylon cloth for the sling.
He said it was great to see the dog go from not being able to move, to being able to walk in six months.
“Six years later she is walking around completely free. It's important to note that the RoverRound is not an iron lung and so after she spent her time in it rehabilitated she was free of the cart and that's been the case for every other animal that's used it and so that in itself is very fulfilling,” Grant said.
Cara and Grant both hope the Rover Round is something that will soon be available to any dog that needs it across the country.
They won $5,000 in the competition. They plan to reinvest in their company to allow them to manufacture their invention.
They said their dad has used dozens at his vet clinic in Mountain Home with great results.