Meat Trade Survivor Gets Prosthetic Legs

Meat Trade Survivor Gets Prosthetic Legs

Rescued dog given new front paws by Loudoun County specialist.

This week Liberty, a dog rescued from a Cambodian meat trading slaughterhouse, received the gift of two front paws.  The dog’s new-found mobility could mean an even more important gift for millions more.

“For Liberty it means’s so much more because it could mean changing laws and saving millions of dogs going through these torture homes,” Derrick Campana of Sterling’s Animal Ortho Care said. “We want to make sure the word gets out that this is actually happening. People turn a blind eye to all these awful things.” Campana is one of just a handful of specialists in the world making custom prosthetics for animals.

He and groups like the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation (AHWF) are excited to help Liberty. They’re even more hopeful her story can inspire change for other dogs facing horrific torments.

Derrick Campana of Sterling’s Animal Ortho Care, is sought out for his expertise in animal prosthetics.

In Asia, millions of dogs are beaten, electrocuted and in other ways tortured in order to tenderize their meat before being slaughtered. Trade practitioners believe the dog meat helps them stay cool during the summer months, and governments in countries such as Cambodia, China and Vietnam have little oversight of the dog meat trade.

This April, AHWF founder Marc Ching went under cover as a dog meat trader and rescued a group of dogs, including Liberty, from a slaughterhouse in Cambodia. Before her rescue, Liberty’s front paws were cut off and she was routinely beaten with a pipe.

Derrick Campana fits Liberty’s prosthetic leg.

After three months of rehabilitation in an Asian hospital, Liberty was flown to California to live with Ching’s family. Following months of searching, the AHWF found Campana to fabricate Liberty’s replacement paws.

Liberty arrived in Loudoun County on Tuesday and was up and running, literally, with her new legs by Friday.

Liberty was able to walk previously, but the prosthetics make it much easier for her. Also the new front paws will help her ambulate and align her spine, assisting her physically as she grows older.

Ching is fostering Liberty before AHWF helps her find a full-time home. In the meantime, animal rights supporters like Campana and AHWF are using Liberty to spotlight government initiatives to aid the millions of dogs that weren’t as lucky. Already, elected officials like Congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida have worked on legislation to urge Asian countries to stop the dog meat trade.

“She could be the symbol of helping save thousands if not millions of dogs in the future,” Campana said.