To date, two of seven tortoises treated after a fire destroyed their home Thanksgiving week have survived despite severe burns. The animals received treatment in the Companion Avian and Exotic Pet Service at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.
Up to 40 veterinary faculty, staff and students helped at different times with the animals' care, not to mention others who came by the clinic to learn more about the patients or happened upon the tortoises during an outing on the grass in front of the school.
The Modesto Bee quotes Dr. Marilyn Koski on the impact of this unusual case:
"Koski said treating the reptiles was an invaluable learning experience for her students.
'It's a sad story, but because of (the Benenatis') fast work and courageous effort, these animals were alleviated pain and they were given a chance,' she said.
'It also allowed us to learn so much to help future reptiles and future patients. [Mr. Benenati] is really to be applauded for all he's done for reptiles.'"
Read more at the Modesto Bee Web site (free registration required):
You can help exotic animals, too. The Adam Fund of the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine helps cover the costs of treating sick reptiles whose owners can't fully afford the needed treatment. To make a tax-deductible donation, write a check payable to "UC Regents." Specify "The Adam Fund" on the memo line.
Mail your gift to:
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Office of Development