The Wizard of Paws Is Back on the Road Helping Pets Walk Again and 'Making Families Whole'
Season two of the BYUtv show is premiering on April 28, and to prepare for its return, PEOPLE spoke with the "Wizard of Paws" himself, Derrick Campana.
In 2002, Campana started building orthotic and prosthetic devices for people. A few years later, he switched to making mobility devices for pets when he realized animals were underserved when it came to prosthetics. Bionic Pets, Campana's pet prosthetics company, started in 2005, has helped over 25,000 animals find freedom and happiness with their custom-made mobility devices.
The Wizard of Paws gives viewers a peek into the important work Campana does and the unique challenges he faces. In the unscripted series, Campana and his loyal canine travel companion Henry travel the U.S. in Campana's mobile prosthetics "limb lab," stopping in towns to create prosthetics for pets in need and help the animals get back on their paws.
"It's about making families whole again," Campana says of the show.
"I get to build these prosthetics at their houses. I get to experience the joy on the animals' faces and that families' faces as they walk again," he adds.
Campana hopes that The Wizard of Paws brings awareness to the options available to pets with mobility issues and clears up some misconceptions about animal prosthetics.
"We do these prosthetics very cost-effective," Campana shares, adding that many of the people he meets assume that the custom devices he makes cost thousands of dollars when really it's hundreds. Campana is also is starting a nonprofit called The Bionic Barn, which will help pet owners cover the costs they can't afford.
Another misconception Campana encounters is the belief that you have to be a U.S. resident to take advantage of his services. When Campana isn't on the road making The Wizard of Paws, he is back at home in his non-mobile lab, crafting prosthetics for animals all around the world using casts and information sent in by their vets.
And while many of the animals that appear on The Wizard of Paws are household pets, Campana is open to assisting any animal type. He is currently creating prosthetics for four elephants in Thailand and has already helped cows, ducks, tortoises, goats, foxes, and more.
No matter what kind of animal he is helping or how many years he has been in this job, Campana says the moment he sees an animal walk again always turns on "the waterworks" for him.
"I get to see them walk, and run, and play again," he says. "It's not sad, it's happy and awesome."
To learn more about Campana's work and how he changes the lives of animals, tune into Wizard of Paws. Season two of the show premieres Wednesday, April 28 at 9 p.m. ET/7 p.m. MT/6 p.m. PT, and all aired episodes of the show are available to stream for free on the BYUtv app and at BYUtv.org
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