This Rescue Pup Could Soon Have a New Paw Thanks to a High School Engineering Class
A rescue pup could soon have a full set of paws thanks to the creative minds of a high school class.
The dog, formerly named Forrest Stump, came to Wisconsin from Texas at 4 months old with a missing paw, WDJT reported. The puppy was rescued by the Texas Rescue Riders, a rescue group that saves pets in rural Texas and transfers them to foster homes and adopters in the Midwest. Forrest, along with his mom and siblings, were found living under a camper, according to TMJ4.
Jessica Lietzke, the foster and adoption coordinator at Texas Rescue Riders, told TMJ4 that they often work with special needs pets because they're willing to take on challenging cases that can incur high costs.
Sara Gauthier, an engineering teacher in Racine, Wis., decided to assign her class a unique and valuable project. She challenged her students to design and create a prosthetic paw for Forrest, who was living with Lietzke.
Gauthier told TMJ4 this project is more meaningful to the students than a typical assignment.
"It's empowering for the kids to try way harder than if it was just something that I came up with in the classroom and said, 'Here make this, I'm the only one that's going to see it.' Now, it's really putting the pressure on them in understanding that this is really going to be used and what I'm doing really counts, really matters," Gauthier said.
WDJT reported on the students' process for designing their prosthetics. They first measured one of Forrest's paws, and also took photos of it using a 3-D laser. After these first few steps, the students worked in groups to create custom paws for Forrest.
Gauthier told WDJT in a later interview that one of the challenges students faced when designing their prosthetic paws was the fact that because he is a puppy, Forrest had grown since the class had measured him.
Even with this challenge, one of the designs seemed to be a good fit for the pup, and Gauthier told the news station that "he actually got up and walked on it for a minute or so."
It's been an exciting month for Forrest. He was recently adopted and now goes by his new name Harvey, and WDJT reports his new family is hoping his final prosthetic will be ready to go by March.