LIFESTYLE

Florida high school kids design prosthetic leg for three-legged dog

Champ, a three-legged German Shepherd mix loves being the center of attention. Champ lost a leg in a car accident and was then adopted by Yaso Sandoval and David Zolondek. "The tendons and muscles do get tired, and also the padding on the paw gets warn out really easily," Sandoval explains. 

The shelter where they got Champ got them in touch with students from the Anatomy of Design program at Flagler Palm Coast High School. Their year-long project was to design and build a prosthetic leg for Champ. Using 3D printers, the students made their visions a reality and Monday was the big day, to see if their models would work on Champ.

One after another Champ checked them all out including one team’s “tank” model.

Student Rafael Santiago said, "Honestly, it was just from Kyle and I watching the movie 'Fury!' We saw it and liked it and thought, 'That’s a great idea. We should try it.' I’ve never had any projects relating to dogs, building a prosthetic leg, even 3D printing, so it was a unique and a huge learning experience."

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While students still have some work to do, they’re hoping one of the prosthetic legs is the one that will be Champs new leg. Everyone here is excited about the possibilities. 

"It’s pretty cool," Zolondek said. "I hope he can get something where his other leg doesn’t get too much wear and tear, so hopefully something works, and it works well."

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