PHOTOS: Vets Treat Kids' Stuffed Animals For Charity

Veterinarians treat ailing stuffed pets at the second annual Stuffed Animal Vet Clinic.

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Ailing Teddy Bear
Smitt/Thinkstock

My bear once lost an eye, the thread (stuffed animal veins) was hanging from his face. My brother's bunny had a hole in his ear, the blood (stuffing) spilling out. One of our parents would kiss it, put a bandage on it. But we both knew our stuffed pets needed veterinary attention. What if they developed a fever or tummy ache? They had to be taken to the vet immediately.

Thanks to the Sacramento Zoo, children with ailing stuffed animals were able to do just that.

On Saturday, May 24, 2014, the zoo held its second annual Stuffed Animal Vet Clinic. This year, they raised money for the Sacramento Police Canine Association. The $600 raised at the event benefitted Bodie, a police dog in need of veterinary services and recovery.

Stuffed Animal Vet Clinic
Photo Courtesy Sacramento Zoo

A reception table for check-in was set up on the Veterinary Hospital Lawn. Checkups, at a fee of $3 per animal, were held at vet stations. The vet stations were manned by two docent volunteers, a zookeeper, a vet resident, a vet tech and a veterinarian. They were well-supplied with gauze, stethoscopes, bandages and syringes for "shots" to cure any ailment the children claimed their pet had.

Stuffed Animal Vet Clinic
Photo Courtesy Sacramento Zoo

Physicals were conducted on the various stuffed animals as the owners watched. Sathya Chinnadurai, DVM, MS, DACZM, DACVAA — and one of the top stuffed animal veterinarians — listened to Piggy's heartbeat as 5-year-old Kiera watched. Kiera and her brother Koen donned protective covering while Piggy underwent nose surgery, according to Sacramento Press. Five-year-old Chloe did the same during her pet snake's neck re-stitching surgery. The veterinary team also treated two cuts on a beaver, a Corgi's ear trouble and 156 other stuffed pets. Pet carriers were on hand for the pets that needed longer recovery times after their surgeries.

shelter was on-site for children who wished to rescue a stuffed pet. There was a $1 adoption fee for each rescued pet.

Stuffed Animal Vet Clinic
Photo Courtesy Sacramento Zoo

"The Stuffed Animal Clinic is a great opportunity for Zoo staff to interact with some of our smaller guests. The kids can relate what is happening  to their stuffed animals to what their pets may [go through]," said Alison Mott, veterinary technician at the Sacramento Zoo.

The children may use their stuffed animals to help deal with family events, too. "I had one young guest who brought in her bunny for a wound repair on its chest; her grandfather had just had open heart surgery the day before…I told her now her bunny will be just like her grandfather."

Stuffed Animal Vet Clinic
Photo Courtesy Sacramento Zoo

The Sacramento chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers produces the annual event.

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