Happy Thanksgiving all ~ you too Jerry.
REHOBOTH –– Lyndsey Medeiros knows she’s asking a lot with her Craigslist posting seeking money to help pay for cataract surgery for Jerry the Turkey –– particularly this week, as most people are preparing to eat a pretty large turkey meal on Thursday.
But she’s persevering because she’s an animal lover.
“There’s a story you see every once in a while that pulls at your heartstrings,” she explains. “I just wanted to see what could be done to help him — if nothing more, to give him a good home so he can live out his days in a comfortable environment, not having to worry about being eaten.”
Medeiros and her husband, Jason, run a hobby farm out of their Rehoboth home, with 10 Nigerian dwarf goats whose milk the family drinks and uses to make cheese. And as a veterinary technician for eight years, Lyndsey spends a lot of time around animals. She’s had a menagerie of animals with problems, including a three-legged cat.
Jason enjoys scanning Craigslist’s farm and garden section, and it was there he came across a post from a woman in Foster with health problems who could no longer care for an ailing turkey. A week ago, the Medeiroses drove to Foster and came home with two turkeys –– 3-year-old Jerry and Penelope, the companion who has been with him since they were small.
A Narragansett turkey, Jerry is a cross between a wild and domestic turkey and could live to be 15, Lyndsey said. The docile animal has quickly become one of the family’s pets, even allowing the couple’s 17-month-old son, Aidan, to pet him and hug him. He can’t fly up to roost in high places as Penelope does because he can’t see — and he needs help eating, Lyndsey says.
Instantly, Lyndsey began seeking care for Jerry.
Her work place didn’t have an avian specialist, so she turned to Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in East Greenwich, where the veterinary ophthalmologist examined Jerry and said his cataracts look operable. The bird will now see the practice’s exotic animals specialist, who will help determine if he can undergo surgery, according to Linda Adams, the client liaison at Ocean State.
Facing surgery that could cost between $2,000 and $2,600, Lyndsey posted Jerry’s story on Craigslist sites around the country, asking for donations for Jerry. In less than a week, people have donated about $500, and media outlets from around the country have picked up the story.
But Lyndsey has also gotten about 60 e-mails — many from angry naysayers e-mailing to say she’s wrong to have taken up the turkey’s cause, but the most recent have been more supportive, she says.
“I’m not trying to take food off the tables of people who can’t afford it,” she replies. “Obviously, feeding your children takes precedence over surgery for a turkey, but there are people out there looking for a place to donate.”
Lyndsey asks people to respect the fact that she’s trying to save an animal.
“And if this had been a dog or a cat or a horse,” she says, “maybe people would think differently.”