Three legs, big heart

March 11, 2017
Portia Stewart, Editor, Team Channel Director
Portia Stewart, Editor, Team Channel Director

Portia Stewart is a pun-loving editor who spends her days arguing the differences between cats and commas (commas are a pause at the end of a clause, while cats have the claws at the end of the paws). She is a minion to two cats and a dog.

Tripawds Foundation provides support for pet owners when their canine and feline companions are facing amputation.


Be calm. Hop on. It's one of core messages of the nonprofit Tripawds Foundation. Tripawds' goal: to provide support for pet amputees and their human companions-but mostly their human companions, because, quite frankly, dog and cat amputees often adapt much more quickly to their new reality than their people do, says Tripawds cofounder Jim Nelson. Their slogan: It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.

Do you know clients who could use support before, during and after a pet's amputation? Tripawds, a 501(c)(3) public charity, supports the canine and feline communities through

> Free patient education materials your practice can use to educate pet owners about amputation

> A 24-hour toll-free helpline for lifestyle questions, like, “How will my newly three-legged dog pee?" Note: They remind pet owners they must consult their veterinarian for answers to any medical questions. 

> The Tripawds Rescue Fund that offers adoption fee reinbursement

> The Maggie Moo Tripawd Rehab Fund that provides up to $200 in financial support to qualified pet owners to provide rehab for new pet amputees through a qualified veterinarian.

> The Amputation Surgery Assistance Program (ASAP), which offers veterinary financial aid for pets requiring an amputation. From the first to the fifteenth of each month, the organization accepts applications from pet owners who meet federal income qualifications. One applicant is chosen to receive the award each month. (Learn more about the ASAP fund at

The founders, the dynamic duo of Jim Nelson and René Agredano, started the foundation after their own life-changing amputation experience. Their canine companion, Jerry G. Dawg, was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer in 2006. His doctor amputated his leg to give his family a little more time, and the family sold everything to hit the road and travel 30,000 miles across the country, trying to make Jerry's life-which extended another two years-an amazing journey. In the process they made movies and blogged about their experiences to show how three-legged pets can live a fulfilling life.

When Jerry earned his angel wings in 2008, the couple knew they still had more work to do. And they continue their education and support efforts for the amputee community through the Tripawds Foundation. Their robust online community provides support for owners of three-legged dogs and cats. For your own free client education materials or to learn more about the community and partnership opportunities, visit Visit the online community at