The “Wizard Of Paws” Hits The Road To Lend A Prosthetic Hand To Animals In Need.

man standing next to giant prosthesis next to fox with prosthetic legs

Derrick Campana of Sterling, Virginia, began his career back in 2002, focusing on creating orthotic and prosthetic devices for people in need.

A few years later, he realized there were others who needed his life-changing devices just as much as human beings: household pets and wild animals.

A major injury or a genetic difference used to mean certain death for most wild animals and even some household pets. Derrick set out to change those tragic outcomes by crafting handmade prostheses and producing mobility solutions for animals of all shapes, sizes, and species.

He even started a company in 2005 called Bionic Pets and Animal Ortho Care. Since he got going, he’s helped more than 25,000 animals get their lives back. He’s created custom mobility devices for creatures as small as a guinea pig and as large as a 6-ton African elephant!

Bionic Pets ships casting kits all over the world, and Derrick said the addition of low-cost 3D printing capabilities will help him expand his reach even further.

Every new prosthetic order provides him with a fresh challenge, along with a chance to help an animal in need.

“It’s always interesting, never boring, and I’m constantly learning,” Derrick said. “Being able to combine [my] passion for building with helping animals is just an awesome thing. I’ve created my own industry here, so it’s kind of living the dream.”

Many people are surprised to learn that his mobility solutions aren’t that expensive. People assume they cost thousands, but Derrick can usually help an animal for just a few hundred dollars.

He is also working on starting a nonprofit called The Bionic Barn, which he hopes will help pet owners who can’t cover the costs.

Another way Derrick is expanding Bionic Pets’ reach is by hitting the road for the second season of his show, “The Wizard of Paws.” The scripted series follows Derrick as he travels around the U.S. with his “wing-dog,” Henry, to help animals of all kinds get back on their feet.

“It’s about making families whole again,” Derrick told People. “I get to build these prosthetics at their houses. I get to experience the joy on the animals’ faces and [those] families’ faces as they walk again.”

As Derrick and Henry hit the road, Derrick hopes to raise awareness about mobility solutions and animal prostheses. He’s realized many veterinarians don’t even know what options they have these days, and he hopes to let everyone know that limb differences are no longer a death sentence for any animal.

Derrick never dreamed he’d be doing this work, but now he can’t imagine doing anything else! He said watching animals come back to life is the best part of the job.

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“Seeing dogs wag their tails; their eyes kind of sparkle again, that moment when they haven’t walked in the last couple of years or maybe they’ve never walked before in their lives…” he said. “You see them just run and get up and those are the moments that I kind of live for, and that’s why I do what I do.”

You can tag along on Derrick’s road trip to help animals by tuning in to “The Wizard of Paws” on BYU-TV.

We’ve featured Derrick’s work here at InspireMore many times, and we’re always blown away by his innovations! We’re wishing him the best of luck as he raises awareness and helps animals around the world!

You can help spread Bionic Pets’ mission by sharing this story.

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