Pets in Motion is Giving Injured Pets a Second Chance
Monday, August 19, 2019
Terry Kufner has been treating people for 39 years. As an orthotic and prosthetic technician at Winkley Orthopedics, a family-owned business since 1888, he has specialized in helping people to recover from injuries and to avoid surgery whenever possible. Twenty years ago someone called the office asking if they could make a leg for a goat. That’s when the idea for Pets in Motion was born.
Pets in Motion gives injured pets a chance to live in comfort and run freely after suffering an injury.
Terry’s typical patient is a dog who has suffered an ACL-type injury on their back leg. When owners visit the veterinarian they may be given the option of surgery or using a brace. Unless the dog is young and competitive, surgery is unlikely to be the best option. It can cost upwards of $5,000 and comes with a 6 - 8 week recovery time. By comparison, a Pets in Motion stifle brace costs $450, comes with a lifetime warranty and a dog will begin feeling better right away. For many pet owners, purchasing a stifle brace versus scheduling surgery is simply the more humane and more affordable option.
During the first appointment, a casting done with a negative model filled with plaster. This allows for each brace to be custom-made for the individual dog right there in the shop. Afterwards, it takes less than a week for the brace to be casted and the completed brace being fit to the dog. When the dog and owner return to Terry’s shop, adjustments are made on the spot to ensure that the dog’s leg is fully supported before heading home. “Some dogs come in and can barely touch their toe to the ground. After a 30 minute fitting appointment, they are playing and putting weight on it. Within 30-seconds of wearing the brace Fido is running in the yard and chasing bunny rabbits. It’s incredible to see,” said Terry.
How It Works
Pets in Motion braces support the legs and make it possible for scar tissue to develop, which in turn makes it possible for pressure to be placed on the leg without the brace being worn. This works because there is a crucial ligament that goes across the kneecap on the dog and it can have a partial or full tear. Once braced, scar tissue builds around the ligament so while the tear never goes away, the scar tissue holds the ligament in place.
Pets in Motion is Building a Following in and out of Dunn County
As of 2019, Terry has created a couple hundred stifle braces. Happy pet owners are spreading the word and new pet owners are contacting Pets in Motion for help. People are coming from in and out of Dunn County. For example, a couple came up from Milwaukee and had an artificial leg made for their dog. Since everything at Pets in Motion is custom, they came up with the idea together and Terry created the solution.
Veterinarians are also referring to Pets in Motion - something that’s important since he relies on their diagnosis when making braces for front legs and back legs. For vet’s whose patients cannot afford surgery, offering a more affordable treatment solution is a benefit to their practice.
Perhaps one of the reasons people are happy to recommend Pets in Motion is because of the approach Terry takes to the business. He said, “I do it because I like doing it – not to get rich. There’s other companies charging twice as much for the same brace. I do it because I like doing it.”
Pets in Motion also warranties their braces and will replace straps or pads that wear out. “I don’t want anything for it. I want the dog to wear the brace and be happy. I want to see it working for people,” said Terry.
Terry plans to retire from his day job at Winkley Orthopedics and focus on Pets in Motion full-time. This will create further growth opportunities as he expands the company’s reach out towards the Twin Cities. “I plan on working with more veterinarians to grow the business but want to grow in a way that keeps it personal. One of the benefits for pet owners of working with Pets in Motion is that the brace can be created and fitted quickly. This requires face-to-face appointments, so proximity is important. Fortunately, Dunn County is a convenient base to branch out towards the Twin Cities,” said Terry. Currently, we get a lot of referrals from Dr. Margaret at the Wellness Center in Mondovi, so I know that people are willing to drive thirty minutes to an hour for their pet.
Pets in Motion is an Example of Businesses Succeeding in Dunn County
Dunn County is full of entrepreneurs who are innovating, creating and developing solutions for local and regional customers. Dunn County EDC encourages local entrepreneurs and interested businesses to contact us to learn more about how we, and our regional partners, can support their business growth.