“The 600-pound English Charolais calf known as Hero became what may be the nation's only double-amputee calf with prosthetics on Wednesday when fitted for a new pair of high-tech devices attached to its back legs. It's the latest step in a year-long effort that has taken Hero's caretaker, Kitty Martin and the animal from Virginia, where she rescued it last year from an Augusta County farm where it succumbed to frostbite that claimed its hooves, to Texas. Animal surgeons at Texas A&M University treated Hero for several months and affixed the initial prosthetics that the calf now had outgrown.
Martin figures she has spent nearly $40,000 to save the calf. “I don't know how to explain it”, she said. “I'm an animal rescuer. And he had everything against him”. Hero's hooves are custom made of urethane and titanium, the connecting components are titanium and carbon fiber and the sockets that attach to his legs are carbon fiber and acrylic resin. Martin and O'Brien declined to discuss the cost, but estimated that similar devices for humans go for between $4,000 and $8,000 apiece.