Tuesday, June 8, 2010

August in June

Here at the RISPCA, we take in any animal in need so long as we have the means to care for them, regardless of age, gender, health or even species. As the exotics caretaker here, I can attest to the numbers of homeless exotic animals that come through our doors; rabbits and ferrets, chinchillas and cockatoos, pythons and fish. In many of these cases the animal's specific care needs overwhelmed the caretaker, leading them to seek a new home for their pet. Exotic species are expensive, time-consuming and complicated to care for - but very easy to aquire. Many of the exotics that come to us suffer from poor husbandry or diet, the result of lack of proper information provided when the pet was first purchased. We do our best to rehabilitate these animals and find new, experienced homes for them. Some of these cases require extra care, needing medical care, a foster home and sometimes months of rehabilitation. This care can be expensive, so please consider sponsoring one of our exotic pets to help defray these costs. We plan to chronicle the progress of these animals here on our blog so that you can follow their stories first hand and see what we do to help these animals along to their new lives ... and hopefully you can learn a bit about these interesting and uncommon species along the way!

I would like now to introduce you to August, our newest exotic charge: a male Red Footed Tortoise. August was picked up by East Providence Animal Control on June 7th after being found near a pond. Initially suspected to be another report of a snapping turtle in someone's yard, Animal Control responded and searched the property. Just as they were calling off the search, August wandered out of some shrubs ... and proved to most definitely not be a snapping turtle. He also proved to be in poor health. They brought August to us at the RISPCA, and from there we promply took him to see Dr. Daly, the exotics vet at Riverside Animal Hospital. August, or Auggie, was placed on antibiotics, fluids and pain medication for evidence of a respiratory infection, dehydration and possible head trauma. His shell showed signs of pyramiding, possibly from poor husbandry. From the doctors, Auggie was taken into fostercare. I brought him home with me and set up a hospital tank in the only place we had room for it ... the bathroom! (As a tropical species, Auggie will benefit from the humidity.) He spent his first night getting bathed, medicated and settled in to his new diggs. He was very lethargic, and refused any food. After doing what we could for him, we sat back and crossed our fingers.
In the morning, August showed some signs of improvement. He was alert and more hydrated. After tempting him with a juicy piece of mango, we finally got him to start eating his food (a mix of dark leafy greens such as kale and collard greens, along with shredded carrot and tortoise pellets)! The resident cat was quite taken with his new signs of life, and enjoyed watching him eat. Please continue to check back for more information on Auggie as his health improves!

No comments: