Orange County Students Hope Their Pet Project Gives Disabled Chihuahua A Leg Up On Life

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO (CBSLA)  Some San Juan Capistrano high school students hope their pet project will give a little dog a leg up on life.

Isabelle, the chihuahua-terrier mix, is missing a front leg.

On Wednesday, owner Bret Ellington took her to JSerra Catholic High School to be fitted with a prosthetic leg.

The artificial limb was designed and made by students, who are members of the 3D Makerz club. Its mission is to educate others about 3D printing and use the knowledge to help people, according to the school’s website.

“So far, we’ve been able to use the measurements that we took a few weeks ago and construct this prototype here,” said club President Isabella Sills, who showed CBS2’s Michele Gile the device.

It took about 24 hours for the teens to print the three-piece device, designed with a Velcro strap to help make the leg snug.

They tried the prosthetic leg on Isabelle for size, but it did not quite fit.

“We’re probably going to have to do a harness seeing how she retracts it so much,” Sills explained as she and her team had more work to do to make the artificial limb fit Isabella properly.

The dog’s owner was impressed by the students’ talent and willingness to help. “I was shocked. Actually, I thought it was going to be a university with a 3D printer lab, but to find out it’s high school kids – 14, 15  years old, who are just so on top of it and so motivated to help out a little dog,” Ellington said.

“It’s really great to play around with, too, learn the new technology and definitely be given the opportunities to help someone or an animal’s life,” Sills added.

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