by LINDA FRABL | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

The Animal Healer

student_krishnan3Nikita Krishnan, a 16-year-old Poway resident, founded Creature Comfort and Care, a nonprofit organization that provides prosthetics and assistive devices to animals, free of charge, via 3D printer technology. The seeds were sown seven years ago when Nikita took a trip to India. She recalled, “I often saw stray three-legged dogs. Living in America, I was not accustomed to seeing dogs in need being unattended to so carelessly. It broke my heart as an animal lover.”

That trip prompted Nikita to volunteer at the Lions, Tigers and Bears organization in Alpine, but Nikita admitted, “I felt I was capable of doing even more for animals.” The lightbulb moment hit when Nikita came across an article on 3D printers. She exclaimed, “I learned that the possibilities were endless because things could easily be designed and modified on the CAD software used to devise the prints, and the filament was bio-safe, so it was perfect for animals.”


Name: Nikita Krishnan (16)
School: The Bishop’s School
Grade: 11
Parents: Anitha Krishnan and Sri Gopal
Sibling: Sarina Krishnan (14)
Favorite Local Spot: In-N-Out Burger


When she took her 3D printer suggestions to the Greyhound Adoption Center, the staff encouraged her. Nikita said, “Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on earth, and are often exploited for their talents and unfortunately suffer injuries to their hind legs.” After dabbling, Nikita came up with a more lightweight splint that worked better than the usual heavy, cumbersome splints, and she is developing a “splint series” for all greyhounds. She is also creating solutions for three-legged dogs and dogs with leg/hip injuries.

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As a junior at the Bishop’s School in La Jolla, Nikita especially enjoys science, English, and Spanish. She also plays tennis and has taken piano lessons for 10 years. A volunteer at heart, Nikita assists at Villa Rancho Bernardo, a nursing facility for the elderly, and organizes its annual Christmas piano recitals. Nikita also tutors students with special needs in music theory, as well as plays hymns at the local Seventh Day Adventist Church.

When asked about role models, Nikita mentioned Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Borlaug. She attended a conference where he discussed using innovative technology to detect and combat wheat-related diseases while boosting wheat production in various countries. Nikita professed, “He showed me that no idea is too ludicrous and that technology can help change lives.” She added, “My success began when I stepped out of my comfort zone, and I encourage everyone to try new and challenging things.”