A Go Fund Me site raised $2,765 in two hours Tuesday for an Upper West Side veterinary practice after a heating system accident killed 10 animals there.
Staff arrived Monday morning at The Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine at 562 Columbus Avenue, to discover a "heating coil had split and all the hot water leading from the building poured into our business," flooding the facility and killing the creatures, recounted manager Lorelei Tibbetts.
Two rabbits, a parakeet, two Pionus Parrots, three African Grey Parrots, a Conure and a hedgehog were killed.
The owners of the dead pets, most of which were being boarded, "are absolutely bereft and horrified ... It's awful," Tibbetts said.
The surviving 20 animals are being boarded next door at a sister practice, Animal General, but the massive damage to the practice, its computers and medical equipment rendered it unable to treat the lizards, rabbits, snakes, turtles and birds it usually sees.
The "Help Us Rebuild" Go Fund Me campaign was commenced to cover insurance deductibles, payroll for the 12 full-time instantly idled employees and to help re-start the damaged private practice. "There were so many people showing us support who wanted to help," Tibbetts said. "I've been besieged with text messages, phone calls and emails."
Damage to the clinic was so extreme, "I don't know how the animals who didn't' die survived," though they appeared to be doing well, Tibbetts said.
"Birds and rabbits are very susceptible to heat and fumes. The respiratory tracts of birds are just so sensitive," Tibbetts said.
Tibbetts wants people with HVAC systems in their homes "to be aware these things can break," resulting in tragedy.