Off Beat Stories

Nov 22, 2009 11:35 AM by Jamie Smith

Couple hopes animal lovers will help cover cost of pet turkey's cataract surgery

It's hard for most of us to look at a turkey, especially at this time of year, as anything but dinner.

But behind Lyndsay Medeiros' home, a half-domestic, half-wild turkey named "Jerry" waddles and gobbles. "We found Jerry on Craigslist. I have a soft spot for animals. I'm actually a veterinary technician, so we have a lot of handicapped animals and that sort of thing," she said.

Jerry's girlfriend, Penelope, was part of the deal. Her eyesight is just fine. The previous owners were having health problems of their own and couldn't take care of the two any longer.

It was a different story for Jerry. "It obviously looked like he had cataracts or something like that," Medeiros said.

A trip to a clinic confirmed her suspicions. "We did an ultrasound of the eye to make sure that there were not any other abnormalities that would preclude surgery," Medeiros said.

If a turkey can't see, it can't eat without being led to the food or force fed. That usually leads to an early death.

So as a pet, Jerry is the perfect candidate for the operation. The cost?-$2,600.

She knows it's a week before Thanksgiving, but Medeiros is looking for someone to donate money to help Jerry. "There are people out there that love animals and it doesn't really matter what type of animal it is," she said.

Medeiros separates her pet from the dinner plate. She said she's having ham for Thanksgiving. "I told my husband that anything that we have here that has a name, I will not eat," she said.




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