October 19th, 2016
Cat has dedicated her life to rescuing and caring for abused and neglected animals. So when she heard that Sammy, an 87-year-old desert tortoise, needed a new home, she couldn’t turn him away. Although it’s difficult to know exactly what his life has been like throughout his many years, the damage to his shell was clearly an indication of abuse.
This all changed when he came to live with Cat and her husband. It didn’t take long for everyone to fall in love with Sammy. The dogs would walk the property with him, and the chickens could be seen hitching a ride on his shell. Cat planted a garden so he would always have fresh vegetables, and they even turned a portion of their yard into a desert oasis just for Sammy.
All was well for Sammy until a cold winter night when the heat lamp in his enclosure broke. Exposure to the cold weather caused Sammy to become very ill very quickly. On top of all this, there was only one veterinarian within an hour of their home who could diagnose and treat exotic species. Cat and her husband were able to get Sammy seen right away, but unfortunately he had already developed an upper respiratory tract infection. This condition can be fatal for tortoises as they are unable to cough and can drown in their own mucus. He needed to be treated immediately, but the cost of medication and treatment for a 100lb tortoise was more than Cat and her family could afford.
Cat was heartbroken – she couldn’t imagine losing Sammy. She reached out to family and friends for help, but it wasn’t enough to treat him. That’s when she applied for our RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant. With the help of Julie Thomas, one of our On-Call Angels, Sammy was able to get the medication and treatment he desperately needed. He is now back home, happy and healthy!