For more information: https://hpets.org/index.php
*See above link for great photos! [Rich B]
Lovable Pooch Gets a New Leash on Life
When Helen DePinto of Buffalo, N.Y., tuned into the nightly news, she had no idea that she would find her new best friend. The local reporter was recapping a story of a dog found abused and wandering in the streets of downtown Buffalo -- normally not a breaking news story, except that this dog had been born with no hind paws. Sometime later, when Helen went to the local animal shelter where she volunteered, to her surprise, there was this special dog.
"He had the face of an angel and the strength of an ox," says Helen DePinto. "It was unbelievable, he just tucked his hind quarters under and carried his full body weight on his front paws." DePinto knew that she had to adopt him -- this dog she now calls "Footsie."
Prior to the adoption, the director of the SPCA in Erie County, N.Y., where Footsie was staying, and a local vet, had decided to find a specialist to create new paws for the pooch. Together with a local prosthetist, Tom Everett, the group set out to create a set of specialized prosthetics so Footsie would eventually walk on all fours.
"Having a patient that can't talk makes this job very difficult," said Everett of Everett Prosthetics in West Seneca, N.Y. "In order for a prosthesis to fit comfortably, it is important to know where the pressure points are, but with a patient like Footsie, it wasn't easy to determine his comfort level." As a result, the initial prosthetic paws left Footsie sore and bleeding.
At this point, Everett and DePinto, who had now made a home for Footsie, found Briana Wilson, research and development technician at Silipos, who is used to helping "human" amputees walk comfortably. Silipos is a leading manufacturer of prosthetic gel liners, used to maximize comfort and condition skin.
Wilson headed up the crusade to make Footsie's new "legs" more comfortable. "Special considerations needed to be taken in order for the prosthetic legs to fit properly. At the same time, we needed something that Helen could easily put on the dog," says Briana. For extra cushioning, added comfort and high compliance, the Silipos team created small gel liners (link to O & P product page) to fit over Footsie's remaining hind legs. After a few attempts and some extra gel, the liner and prosthetic were a success.
"It really didn't take Footsie long to get used to his new paws," says DePinto. "He instantly began to run around and play with the neighborhood dogs like he had these legs his entire life." DePinto is grateful for the efforts of those at the SPCA, Everett Prosthetics and Silipos. "Together, they have given Footsie a new 'leash' on life," she adds.
Today, Footsie is doing well in his new home in Dexter, Michigan, a suburb outside of Ann Arbor. DePinto is working on getting Footsie into a pet therapy program, where he will help inspire children and adults with special needs.
© 2007 Silipos, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Footsie had been a therapy dog for 3 years at the time of this 2004 news article (cached).
http://cache.search.yahoo-ht2.akadns.ne ... 1&.intl=us
7:46 PM EST March 11, 2016 | Outgoing Erie Co. SPCA executive director reflects on 23 year career
For 23 years, the animal rights community has had a fierce advocate leading the SPCA serving Erie County, but now Barbara Carr is preparing to retire.
"I had sort of a bucket list for the SPCA serving…and I've done all those things, they're all finished, you know?" said Carr, in a sit down interview with 2 On Your Side.
Hired in 1993, Carr is retiring on March 18 after 23 years as executive director of the SPCA.
Her bucket list included a bigger building, humane education, and reducing the number of animals euthanized.
Today, the SPCA will not put down a healthy animal.
In her early years, achieving that goal started with a dog that had no back feet. It was, otherwise, healthy.
Carr arranged for him to get prosthetics.
"We named that dog Footsie. Footsie went on to work in a veterans’ hospital in Detroit for all of his life with amputees,” she said.