It’s hard to believe 2017 is coming to a close. We don’t know about you, but it’s been one wild year for us here at Animal Ortho Care.

We continue to be so grateful to our clients for entrusting the care of their beloved pets to us. The animals we treat both educate and inspire us to continue to make advancements in the field of animal orthotics and prosthetics. Each dog that walks through our door offers lesson after lesson in resilience, compassion and unconditional love. And every owner or rescuer who contacts us with the hope that we might be able to help their goat or pony or camel or elephant live a fuller, more comfortable life grows our faith in humanity. So a tremendous thank you goes to you first and foremost for your role in our incredible year.

About that incredible year. We were just pursuing our Instagram feed to get our arms around all the amazing animals we’ve met and the adventures we’ve taken. We thought it’d be fun to do a roundup of the highlights. Check it out:

Buddies from the barnyard and beyond

The bread and butter at Animal Ortho Care is dogs, of course. But frequently, we get approached to help out critters that baa and bleat rather than bark. This year, we’ve had a blast creating prosthetics and braces for the so-called robogoats rescued by our friends @goatsofanarchy as well as devices for Nimbus the Llama and Bogart the Camel. We also caught up with our old friend Felix the bionic Ram in Spain and hung out with Angel Marie the Pony who made the long trek from Maine to our office in Sterling, Virginia. While he might not be hoping around a farm, another one of our more unique clients was Junior, the largest bunny in the U.S., who came in seeking help for ulcers growing on his feet (he’d wear a size 5 in women’s shoes!). And speaking of big critters, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the trip we just took to Botswana to fit a brace we made for Jabu the elephant.

TedXHobokenWomen

We are so proud of Animal Ortho Care founder Derrick Campana, who had the opportunity to share the story of how he went from building braces for human legs to designing devices to help animals walk at a TedX event in Hoboken, N.J. There, he told the story of one of our favorite (and maybe most challenging) patients, Hudson the Railroad dog. Here’s an excerpt from his talk that we thought encompassed so much of our reason for doing what we do:

“Hudson is a thriving dog now. He has a purpose in life to help others as a therapy dog. He actually won therapy dog of the year. This is one of the greatest transformations from injured pet to bionic pet I can think of – a real-life superhero. I like to think he trusted people again and his faith in humanity was finally restored. Hudson is such a comeback story how a dog who has suffered like this in the hands of humans still has confidence in other humans how. How you can overcome what life does to you what other beings do to you just with love and affection. It's such amazing thing to witness. When I first started Animal Ortho Care people thought I was crazy. ‘Prosthetics for pets?’ I want to tell you I had a vision a vision to help animals unlike many had ever thought of or had done before our vision to give animals the same kind of treatments that people have I would have never expected my dream to become a reality like it is today and I want to thank you all the people out there all the animal lovers for bridging the gap between people and animals for caring for animals like you do and treating them like family members.”

Animal Ortho Care in the Media

We are so thrilled that the work of founder Derrick Campana, technician Angela Boncz, head of operations Jennifer Reitz and the folks at our parent company, Caerus Corp. has garnered national attention. Sure, it’s fun for us to chat with Jenna Bush Hager for the Feel Good Friday series on the Today Show, mug for cameras on Mashable’s Pawsthetics series, and serve as “The Face” of The Dodo, but the real joy comes in being able to showcase the wonderful animals and compassionate owners we’ve gotten to work with. Dogs like Chi Chi who lost all four legs after being rescued from a South Korean meat market or bone cancer survivor Chili Pepper. We really do have the most amazing clients– people who have a heart for animals and who challenge us to be more innovative and to open our hearts a little wider with every case that walks (or hobbles) through the door.

A Year of Innovation

From the moment a dog ended up in Derrick Campana’s human orthotics practice, Animal Ortho Care and Caerus Corp. have embraced problem solving– striving to find solutions for animals no matter what type of injury, deformity or mobility problem they come to us with (just look to Derby the dog who received the world’s first 3D-printed prosthetics for animals or building prosthetics for two elephants who’d stepped on land mines). As proud of we are of these larger-than-life projects, we’re also excited to be able to create products that help regular old household pets overcome the aches and pains of getting older or suffering from common injuries like ACL tears or fractures. This year, we’ve built an affordable line of off-the-shelf braces as well as the one-of-a-kind P.A.W. PEMF Active Wrap, which uses pulsed electromagnetic fields to treat pain associated with hip dysplasia and arthritis. And we’re excited to have joined forces with ‘Lil Back Bracer, offering back support for pups who suffer from IVDD and other back ailments.

Thank you for all the support and encouragement you’ve shared with us on Facebook and Instagram this year. We’re wishing you and your families (the two-legged and four-legged varieties!) the happiest of holidays and hope 2018 brings you health and happiness.