Exotic Cats Receive Dental Care

Clay County, IN - Dentists and other professionals from all over the country visited the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Clay County to provide life-enhancing dental procedures and treatment to exotic animals in captivity.

Rebecca Brumfield has more on why exotic animals health matters too.

"I love Joe's facility," says Lourdes Cuervo, head tech at Hometown Animal Hospital All Pets Dental in South Florida. "I love his cats. I love that he knows every single cat and his back story. He has over 200 cats and he knows them personally."

Exotic cats are a completely different ordeal than your average domesticated best friend.

These cats sometimes come from damaged backgrounds.

Facing terrible living conditions or diets, which is why dental care is a must for these big kitties.

"To know that these cats come from such abused backgrounds and being able to help them is very rewarding," says Cuervo. 

While Lourdes Cuervo works with animals for a living back home in South Florida...

"It's fun for me," says Charles Dyer, a periodontist from Houston, Texas. "It's actually made me a better human surgeon."

Charles Dyer, a periodontist from Houston, Texas, says working on exotic animals is a lot like working on humans, besides the obvious differences of course.

"There's soft tissue differences," says Dyer. "There's bone differences. Anatomically there are differences. But the procedures themselves don't actually vary."

Willy and Samson are the first two tigers on the table Saturday.

Willy faced three root canals, and Samson actually had to have a couple extractions.

"Willy came in and I guarantee that he's going to come out a lot happier kitty cat then when he came in," says Cuervo. 

"Samson is a 19-year-old tiger," says Dyer. "And just with a cat that's that old there's just a lot of need. He had previous root canal treatments that he had worn through so we had to remove a few teeth..had to re-do some fillings he had worn through just from eating."

So while Willy and Samson may not be making any appearances on dental commercials, volunteers say knowing they are happier and well taken care of it why they do what they do.

"Being able to A) fulfill a life goal, cross that off the bucket list, and help these cats has been magnificent."

The Peter Emily International Veterinary Dental Foundation, a non-profit, is behind this initiative.

There are seven tigers and two servals getting dental treatments this weekend.

Everyone in the footage paid their own way here and is donating their time this weekend to help these animals.

So not only are these people changing the lives on these felines, they're doing it because they want to, not because they have to.

If you'd like to apply to volunteer or would like to donate, please click here.


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