Hudson is an energetic 4-year-old pit bull mix. He has a great life—he loves going for runs with his owner, Richard Nash, and serving as a therapy dog for people in need.

It wasn’t always like this. Hudson survived a horrific ordeal: at the age just three months, he was discovered in upstate New York on train tracks, abused, all legs injured, with one paw nailed to a wooden railroad tie.

After adopting Hudson, Richard started looking for a way to improve Hudson’s mobility, such as a prosthesis that would help support the puppy’s leg and let him run again.

Then Richard found Derrick Campana.

An expert in veterinary prosthetics and orthotics, Derrick has grown his business, Animal Ortho Care, into a worldwide practice that develops advanced prostheses for a wide variety of animals—from goats to turtles to elephants

Thanks to some innovation and medical-grade polypropylene and polyethylene plastics, Hudson has a new plastic paw.

Prosthesis makes life better for countless amputees. Many of the advances in comfort, range of motion and durability come from plastics. See how artificial limbs are helping animals and humans alike here: