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Walter, a bulldog who lives in Connecticut, and has never been to Lone Tree. But thanks to local Girl Scout Troop 59, he will be receiving a state-of-the art prosthetic leg and paw, to replace the front leg he is missing. Walter is a rescue dog who was used for “bait” for dog fighting, and his violent past has left him missing his front right leg and right ear.
The troop reached out to Justin Finesilver, owner of Pawsthetics Animal Prosthetics, a nonprofit in Centennial, and wanted to raise money to help pay for Walter's mobility devices. Pawsthetics works with animals around the globe to help them get mobile and healthy, using 3D printing technology and a network of volunteers.
“We've been overwhelmed by how much work these girls have done,” said Finesilver. “It really speaks to a number of different things about being a part of a Colorado community. I would have never imagined in a million years how much effort they have put into it. We are just thankful to say the least.”
The girls presented Finesilver with a check for $865, which will cover most of the costs associated with creating a prosthetic for Walter.
According to Finesilver, they seldom meet the animals they're helping, and instead rely on volunteers and remote work.
“We send them a cast kit, and they make a cast of the part needed for the animal, they return it to us, and we use a 3D printer to create the prosthetic,” said Finesilver. “We send it back to the volunteer. Sometimes it can take several tries to get the perfect fit, or the animal grows and their needs change. It can be costly, and donations like these help us keep the cost free.”
Girl Scout Brie Baker said she presented the idea to the troop to help Pawsthetics after watching YouTube videos of pets getting makeovers, and the troop decided to undertake the project to earn their Bronze awards.
“I saw them giving neglected animals makeovers, like cutting their hair and bathing them,” said Brie. “I thought we could do that and more, like a body makeover.”
The troop of 14 girls decided to hold a craft fair and sold dog beds, treats, magnets and Christmas ornaments to raise money. Rylie Hinkhouse, Diana Baker, Julianna Porter and Alana Carter made dog treats for the sale, and tested them by feeding them to their own pets. Taylor Mabley made ornaments, and Isabella Amaya asked for donations in lieu of birthday presents. Ashley Gorski and Vanessa Kendall made dog beds using pillows and discarded fabric from neighbors, and Emily Anderson created posters pleading Walter's case.
Walter is only one of dozens of animals waiting for prosthetic mobility devices, and Finesilver said they have created parts for dogs, cats, chickens and a tortoise.
If interested in donating or volunteering, visit www.pawsthetics.com.
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