How a small 3-legged pony inspired a company now at the forefront of animal prosthetics and orthotics movement.
When Angela Boncz graduated from the Spokane Falls Community College in Spokane, Washington over 20 years ago, she had no idea where this field would take her. At the start of her career, Angela relocated to Virginia to work in the human orthotic and prosthetic field for several years. It was while she was there that an animal rescue contacted her employer about a baby 3-legged pony – Prince – that needed a home.
When Prince was born, his mother died shortly after giving birth and fell on his leg causing injuries that then required a partial leg amputation. He was sent to an animal rescue and was given a whiffle ball bat as a prosthetic. After hearing his story, Angela did not hesitate to adopt Prince and went to work immediately, building him a sturdy one-of-a-kind prosthetic for his stump. Prince was able to run, jump, buck and play immediately after receiving his prosthetic – definite step up from the whiffle ball bat. It was then that Angela realized creating custom devices for animals was her passion.
Specialized Pet Solutions was born once she relocated back to her hometown in Eastern Washington. With the single goal of helping to give animals their lives back, this female led business is quickly rising to the top in the prosthetic and orthotic fabrication field, specializing in solutions for pets and other farm animals. “We use easy-to-use casting materials,” explains Angela, “to create completely customizable devices to help with mobility — depending on the animal’s lost limb or deformity.” The importance of customization is the key to Specialized Pet Solutions’ success. “Some animals take longer to adapt especially if their injury is sustained later in life,” Angela describes. “Although most animals can learn to adjust, adapt, and overcome, the success Prince was able to experience was because of the amputation placement. There needs to be a sizable stump to allow the prosthetic to suspend from. If an amputation is done too high a prosthetic cannot properly be placed. However, technology has come a long way and we continue to do creative things in order to make prosthetics for animals when the stump is not at an ideal location.” Of course, every animal and situation are unique, a facet of the field that Angela loves. Specialized Pet Solutions is always happy to consult with veterinarians prior to an amputation surgery to ensure the best possible placement for the animal.
Since starting to work with animals 15 years ago, Angela has not only created an innovative company, but has helped many disabled animals get a new lease on life. “When animals start to run again, after having not been able to for weeks or months or even years, it means the world to us. It means we’re doing something right and we want to just keep doing it over and over again.”
To learn more about Specialized Pet Solutions and their custom-made pet prosthetics and orthotics, please visit their website at https://www.specializedpetsolutions.com/.