Prosthetic Designer Finds His Bliss Helping Thousands of Animals Run Again

Derrick Campana is nicknamed “Dr. Dolittle” for his connection to animal friends of every kind.

By Catalina Barrios

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Credit: Facebook / Animal Ortho Care

It is always a heart break to see an animal injured.  Accidents do happen, though, and we are grateful that Derrick Campana, animals prosthetics expert, is on hand to help.


Credit: Facebook / Animal Ortho Care

Campana is the President and CEO of Animal Ortho Care, a company that creates braces and prosthetics for animals. He originally trained to build human prosthetics and orthotics, but always had a passion for helping animals. As a result, Campana shifted his talents to “give your pet a healthier life with the gift of mobility”. Over the past 12 years, this world renowned expert has designed and built over 25,000 prosthetics for animals.


Credit: Instagram / @animalorthocare

The devices are designed to suit the individual needs of a disabled animal or an injured pet. Campana has built prosthetics for cats, dogs, sheep, elephants, birds, horses, donkeys, turtles, and many more. The majority of his patients, however, are dogs. Compana’s most memorable fitting involved two Asian elephants in Thailand, each had lost front limbs to land mines.


Credit: Facebook / Animal Ortho Care

“They were actually better than any patient I ever saw. They just held their legs out, and the trainers did such a good job … I was able to cast them pretty effectively. It took a lot longer than casting a dog, but we got it done,” said Campana feeling emotional over this job, which he describes as a wonderful one.

Campana says that prosthetics change the animal’s life dramatically, and in some cases, even save it. There have been many dogs that would have been put down if Dr. Dolittle hadn’t agreed to help.  


Credit: Instagram / @animalorthocare

Hudson is one of Campana’s patients. This sweet boy was found in NY with his paw nailed to a train track. By the time his adoptive family found Hudson in this predicament, he has sustained injuries to every leg.  The New York family rescued Hudson and tracked down Derrick Campana in Virginia.  Campana was so moved by the story that he left for NY straight away. The first thing Hudson did when he got his new prosthetic was run!


Credit: Instagram / @animalorthocare

Animal Ortho Care’s devices cost between $500 and $1,200. They are crafted on plaster molds made from limb casts sent in from owners, veterinarians, and rehab facilities.

Campana says the most rewarding part of his career is seeing the animals walk again for the first time. He wishes 3D printing wasn’t so expensive so that he could help a lot more animals.


Credit: Instagram / @animalorthocare

You can help this Dr. Dolittle continue saving the lives of thousands of animals by visiting his GoFundMe page.