Archived Story

Technology helping pets

Published 7:00am Friday, April 11, 2014

As a young girl, I had a strong love for animals and often dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. This was the solution my 8-year-old-self came up with so I could take care of ALL of the animals (or maybe just take ALL of the animals home with me, that part’s a bit blurry).

I do know it was very important that I be able to spend my time caring for creatures that depended heavily on human support to stay healthy.

In years past, injured and disabled animals that were missing limbs were often euthanized. This occurred without much thought primarily because it was assumed that certain defects would be detrimental to the animal’s lifestyle and, therefore, decrease their quality of life.

At the time, perhaps this was considered normal protocol.

“Just put them out of their misery.”

That’s one I’ve heard thrown around a lot. However, with new advances in technology, this is no longer the case.

Well, perhaps, it should never have been the case — but it’s only now that people, as a whole, are beginning to understand our obligation to preserve that which has the right to be preserved.

PBS aired a new “Nature” documentary on April 9, called “My Bionic Pet” which touches on relationships between humans and animals, and how the first is the guardian of the latter. The documentary delves deeper into recent advances, which have led to creating prosthetics for disabled animals of both domestic and exotic species.

Dr. Len Lucero, who rescued a disabled pig and is a veterinarian featured in the documentary says, “I don’t think these animals realize they’re different. To them, this is the way life is, and they live life to the fullest. The great thing about animals is their ability to adapt and overcome, and I think it sends a great message to people.”

The documentary shows how even the smallest efforts on our part can provide a world of change for all living creatures.

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