To date, Bickley has worked with surgical centers, zoos and veterinary teaching hospitals. The cost of an average prosthetic dog leg is about $1,500. This may sound expensive, says Bickley, but pet owners should consider the cost a wise investment compared with the potential cost of later surgeries and other treatments that arise in a pet with three legs.

For deBot, the reward is more emotional than financial. “Watching Maggie – a big black lab who wasn’t walking, eating or moving – put on her prosthesis, take off running and pull her owner by the leash was very gratifying,” he says. “We are making a difference in these animals’ lives.”