Derrick Campana is a certified orthodontist who has worked in orthotics and prosthetics for many years. He started the company Animal Orthocare. He made prosthetic legs to help disabled animals walk better and, in turn, improve their lives.
Derrick found out 15 years ago that he was passionate about this. He worked at a place where animals could get better.
There, a vet told him to build artificial legs for a dog. That’s something he’s never done before. He saw this as a great chance to show off his skills. He did well there, though. He started a business making prosthetic legs for animals because so many animals need them.
Derrick has made prosthetics for about 25,000 animals around the world in the past 15 years. He has made fake legs for different kinds of animals. He has helped a lot of animals, like elephants in Thailand, sheep in Spain, goats, sheep, and llamas.
Animals that have been hurt so badly have been able to spend time walking normally after getting prosthetic legs. This is a very rare and miraculous event.
It was a big deal for Derrick to help a dog named Hudson in New York. Hudson’s family asked for a prosthetic leg to be made and put on their dog, Derrick Hudson. A Surprise! Hudson began to run again after the leg was fixed. At that moment, Hudson’s owner began to cry with happiness. The new artificial leg fits him just right.
The American Humane Society even named Derrick a Hero Dog Therapist for 2015! He said that even though he treats about 200 animals every month, a lot of pet owners still don’t know about prostheses. If they had known about this therapy, it would have been a great place for thousands of animals to live better lives.
“Maybe 20% of the population knows that prosthetics and orthodontic devices like these are available. If all dog owners knew, we could treat and save the lives of tens of thousands more dogs. You don’t need to put them down.” He said.