You Have to See the Wheelchair a Man Made for A Goldfish

posted: 03/24/17
by: Amanda Mushro

Animal lovers show their dedication when they come across an animal in need. It might be helping find the owner of a lost dog or rescuing a kitten that is stuck in a tree. But what do you do with a goldfish that can't swim. Well if you are Derek Burnett, a manager at Aquarium Designs in San Antonio, Texas, you make that fish a wheelchair.

Burnett, who also studied marine biology, created a buoyancy device made out of aquarium-safe materials for a fish that couldn't swim upright due to a bladder problem. Since the fish spent most of its time at the bottom of the tank, couldn't eat properly, and had one side of its body being rubbed raw because of its issues, Burnett knew he needed to jump into action.

"I just knew I had to try something," Burnett told NBC News "Next thing you know, I had the goldfish wheelchair."

The backstory on this little fish is almost as sad as its inability to swim. According to Burnett, This Ranchu goldfish was brought to Aquarium Designs with other fish. Their previous owner was unable to care for them any longer. The other fish quickly found new families, but this one fish remained at the aquarium.

"No one wanted to take him in," said Burnett.

After a couple of tries and changes in construction of the wheelchair, the fish was able to swim upright.

When Burnett shared the story with a friend and she tweeted a picture of the goldfish with its new wheelchair, the internet immediately fell in love with the story.

Since the pictures of Burnett's fish wheelchair have gone viral, other fish owners have are reaching out in hopes to receive help for their fish. Burnett says he hopes he might be able to help their fish as well.

"To see a fish suffer, it just hits me in the heart," he said. "There's not many things I wouldn't do for a fish."