Brace Your Pet

Valley businesses provide prosthetics to keep critters on their feet

Caitlin Boyle, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Mike Antonson of Embrace Orthocare.
Mike Antonson of Embrace Orthocare.

If you’re a pet owner, your pet is your world. And when that world is shaken by an injury to your pet, you want to get them the best care possible to heal. Two businesses in the Chippewa Valley – Pets in Motion in Elk Mound, and Embrace Orthocare in Chippewa Falls – cater to pets (and their parents) who have a significant injury by offering custom-made braces and artificial limbs so those animals can heal properly and get back to their active, happy lives.

Pets in Motion
E9898 County Road M, Elk Mound

Terry Kufner of Pets in Motion has built human artificial limbs for a living. When people began asking him for help with their animals, he decided to make what he made for humans for those with four legs. Kufner says it takes him about three to four hours to make a brace and about 10 to 12 hours to make artificial limbs. He typically creates prosthetics for dogs, but he did make a leg for a goat once. Local veterinarians recommend Kufner’s services to pet owners who need help with their pet’s care.

“Many people don’t go that route because of the cost,” Kufner said. “But I recommend the braces and artificial limbs as a strong option, and I will work with the owners with the cost of services.” He has crafted more than 200 braces, and really likes working with people and pets.

Embrace Orthocare
10688 State Highway 178, Chippewa Falls

Owned by husband-and-wife team Mike and Sara Antonson, they have helped a variety of animals over the years. Mike, a certified orthotist for more than 30 years, began receiving calls from people asking if he made braces for animals. When the calls become more frequent, Mike decided to branch out and give it a try. After designing a brace that was very successful, it was an easy transition to start the business and help injured animals. As the interest grew, Sara came on board, and the couple is excited to grow the business together. 

Every type of animal has a chance at Embrace Orthocare. Sara says each brace Mike makes is custom-designed to each animal: “There have been many interesting cases, from pets needing carts due to a loss of limbs to a sheep that wasn’t able to stand on its front legs and needed stabilization.” 

Sara says they encourage pet owners to maintain communication with their veterinarians. She adds that an injury that is not addressed can cause other limbs to be compromised, so it’s important to get professional advice. Embrace Orthocare is more than happy to consult with local veterinarians as well. 

For more information about the services these businesses offer, check out Pets in Motion on Facebook or by emailing Embrace Orthocare has a website ( as well as their Facebook page