Thera-Paw invents, designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes splints, braces, soft orthoses, protective garments, mobility aids, and other rehabilitative and assistive products for animals with special needs. At Thera-Paw, we know difficult it is to see an animal in pain; we all have pets, many with special needs. It can be a confusing, frustrating, and heartbreaking experience. This is why we are dedicated to helping you find the best solution for your pet, whether it is one of our products or that of another company. We know most people in the industry and you can count on us to give you advice on the best product(s) for your pet. With your feedback and assistance from veterinary professionals, we continue to develop new ways to improve the function, mobility, and comfort of pets. So check in with us periodically for updates.
Meet the Thera-Paw Team
Ilaria Borghese, MS, MA, OT
Ilaria obtained her MS in Neuroscience from UConn 1995 and her MA in Occupation Therapy from NYU in 2000. She began her career as Clinical Coordinator for the Brain Research Center of Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC, challenged with assessing new drug treatments for use in children with autism. She continued her research at Yale University School of Medicine and published several articles in peer-reviewed medical journals.
Ilaria used her research and therapy skills to work with canine patients. In 2001, she started Thera-Paw, Inc. She spends the majority of her time designing, developing, and custom-fabricating devices for animals with special needs. She teaches nationally and internationally, and has contributed to the 2013 publication Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (J. Wiley & Sons).
In 2010, Ilaria and Thera-Paw, Inc. organized and hosted the first Symposium on Therapeutic Advances in Animal Rehabilitation (STAAR), a conference for veterinary specialists and professionals that brings together the rehabilitation community and offers advanced, continuing education courses in comprehensive animal healthcare taught by leaders in the field.
Ilaria has a special interest in Greyhound dogs and their unique medical issues. She has lectured and written articles on paw-related conditions in ex-racing Greyhounds and has conducted and co-authored one of the largest epidemiological studies on the breed.
In her spare time, Ilaria loves skiing, hiking, and riding her horses. When there's time, she enjoys traveling and immersing herself in foreign cultures. She has a passion for theatre and loves attending random, off-Broadway productions and uncovering new talent.
COO, General Manager
Maria joined Thera-Paw, Inc. as a General Manager in 2005. Maria coordinates the development and manufacturing processes for new assistive products for animals with special needs. She works closely with other developers, manufacturers, and distributors to consolidate efforts and maximize exposure in the veterinary rehabilitative markets. Maria helps to organize and orchestrate the Symposium on Therapeutic Advances in Animal Rehabilitation (STAAR), an annual conference for veterinary rehabilitation practitioners sponsored by Thera-Paw. STAAR is a leading continuing education forum in veterinary rehabilitation and medicine.
When not behind the computer or on the phone, Maria enjoys spending time with her dogs. Her medical experiences with her Lab, Haley (2 CCL surgeries, mast cell tumor removal, and pacemaker) and her pocket-pittie, Asher (patellar surgery and cerebellar ataxia) have helped her to better understand the special needs of animals and their owners. At home, Maria enjoys softball, volleyball, cooking, gardening and hanging out with her horse, Inferrous. She loves to dance and has a passion for Latin music. In her spare time, she loves to travel and sail.
Customer Service Manager
Sharon grew up surrounded by animals. At a very young age, she volunteered full-time summers and weekends after school at a local animal shelter. She was a member of the 4-H Dog Club in her area where she participated in dog obedience training. She was instrumental in developing the first 4-H Cat Club.
An avid equestrian, Sharon has competed in the hunter/jumper divisions throughout most of her life. She trained as a veterinary technician specializing in equine reproduction and managed Pleasant Hill Equine Clinic for 10 years. She also has years of experience as a small animal veterinary technician.
Sharon resides in Califon and has 2 grown children, Jesse and Kaitie. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her horse, Irish, her 4 Pomeranians (Girlie, Frizzle, Tabby, and Weasel), and her 4 cats (Willis, Lexie, Whiskers, and Frisky).
Sharon has a special gift for attracting wild animals who feel safe and comfortable around her. She often shares stories and videos of foxes and squirrels eating from her hand.
Product Development Assistant
Martha Symon, is the daughter of a dressmaker who mentored her as a seamstress, since she was a young girl. Martha attended Green Mountain College in Vermont. While at college, she began her own dressmaking and tailoring business, while earning her degree in Retail Management.
She worked at JC Penny national department store as a tailor for men’s suits. There, she received one-on-one tutelage from two renowned Italian tailors. Then, Martha opened “The Sewing Bird”, her own tailor shop specializing in custom-sewing and alterations of wedding gowns.
Martha joined Thera-Paw in 2007. Her extensive experience and attention to detail makes Martha an outstanding talent and an invaluable part of the Thera-Paw team. When not behind a sewing machine, Martha enjoys traveling, wine tasting, and theatre. She is active in her local church and sings in the choir.
Johanna Gaber, BA, Graphic Design
Marketing, Art Director
Johanna began her career as a graphic artist then changed course in 2005 when she started designing, manufacturing, and selling jewelry to numerous major retailers and department stores, nationwide.
Johanna studied at Parsons School of Design then graduated with a BA in Graphic Design from Western Washington University. She joined Thera-Paw Commercial Team in 2016.
Johanna has traveled extensively worldwide, and has lived and worked in India, New York City, and Arizona. She is a staunch supported of animal rescue and the proud owner/parent of two amazing dogs - "Willow", a gentle soul, blind from birth, and rescued from a surrender situation in New Orleans and "Mojo", a French Bull Dog with an exuberant personality that fills (and often dominates) a room.