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About Us

Meet the Thera-Paw team. We are always happy to help you and your pet with any questions or special needs.

Ilaria and “Sunder”

Ilaria Borghese, MS, MA, OTR/L,
obtained her MS in Neuroscience from the University of Connecticut in 1994, and her MA in Occupational Therapy from New York University in 2000. She is the President of Thera-Paw, Inc., a company that develops, manufactures, and distributes splints, braces, protective garments, and supports, as well as other assistive products for animals with special needs. Using her experience in human-based therapy and rehabilitation, she works closely with small animal practitioners to develop novel approaches in custom splinting and bracing.

Ilaria created the Introduction to Splinting in Veterinary Medicine CD-ROM, an instructional guide to custom splinting with thermoplastics.  She continues to teach new approaches to splinting and bracing at veterinary conferences and with The Canine Rehabilitation Institute.  Ilaria publishes and distributes Able Pet, a physical rehabilitation resource catalog for veterinary practitioners. Also, Ilaria has a special interest in Greyhound dogs and their specific medical conditions.  She has lectured and written articles on paw-related issues in ex-racing Greyhounds and, working with Dr. Steve Swaim, has conducted one of the largest epidemiological studies on the breed.  Ilaria has four Greyhounds, all with special needs.  When not surrounded by hounds, Ilaria likes to ride her horses, Kiefer, a dependable and clever QH paint, and Irial’s Dragonfly, an adventurous and inquisitive Trakehner.  She is on the board of the Tewksbury Trail Association and the Equestrian Committee.  
   

Maria and “Haley”  

Maria Denzer, BS-Business Administration, has been the General Manager for Thera-Paw since 2005.  Maria coordinates the development and manufacturing processes for new assistive products for animals with special needs.  She works with other developers, manufacturers, and distributors to consolidate efforts and maximize exposure in the veterinary rehabilitative market. When not behind the desk or on the phone, Maria enjoys spending time with her 6 year old lab, Haley.  Her medical experiences with Haley (2 ACL surgeries and mast cell tumor removal) have helped Maria to better understand the special needs of animals and their owners.

   
    
   
Martha and  "Foxy and Suzy"

Martha Symon is the daughter of a dressmaker who taught her to sew as soon as she was able to hold a needle.  Her high school graduation gift was her first sewing machine, which went with her to Green Mountain College in Vermont. While at college, Martha made most of her clothes and did sewing and alterations for classmates.  Martha earned her degree in retailing, in which she worked for many years.

 

In the late 1970’s, Martha opened her store called “The Sewing Bird”, where she did custom sewing and alterations.  After the birth of her daughter, she moved the business to her home.  She continued to work for JC Penny altering men’s suits and wedding gowns.  There, she worked closely with two Italian tailors whose tutelage was invaluable Martha has been part of the Thera-Paw team since January, 2007.

 She helped to develop Thera-Paw’s new indoor paw protector, the Cushy-Paw Slipper.  Currently, all Cushy-Paw Slippers are handmade with love by Martha.  Martha and Ilaria work side by side, designing and sewing custom carpal and tarsal wraps and other supportive or protective garments for animals with special needs.  She is also responsible for custom-modifying the Thera-Paw boots when needed. Martha lives with her husband and their two yellow Labradors, Foxy and Suzy, both 10 years old.  She often takes care of other Labradors and has started a Labrador Camp called “Hell Mountain Dog Camp”.  All dogs who attend the camp have their own camp T-shirts made by Martha (see photo).

 

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