Donation Buys Duluth Zoo New Animal Dental Care Equipment

May 15, 2017 | News, Press Releases, Recent Events

DULUTH—A grant of $9,500 from the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry’s Make Me Smile Program (MMSP) is helping the Lake Superior Zoo purchase equipment and supplies to improve the dental health of zoo animals, officials announced this spring.

This year the MMSP received an additional grant from Petco, Inc which allowed us to consider the Lake Superior Zoo’s mission following the devastating flash flood that destroyed their equipment. Additionally, MMSP has covered the costs of providing a digital radiographic system that the Zoo didn’t have previously.

“Good dental care is vital to ensuring the overall health of our animals,” said Dr. Louise Beyea, the zoo’s veterinarian. “As with people, healthy teeth, mouths and gums enable our animals to eat properly and avoid illnesses and injuries that can start in or migrate to the mouth. We appreciate this gift, and it will begin immediately making a difference for our animals.”

Many of the zoo’s animals require regular dental checkups and care. The $9,500 donation has allowed the zoo to replace dental equipment and supplies for some items damaged by the 2012 Duluth flash flood that hit the zoo grounds particularly hard.

Among the new equipment is state-of-the-art equipment that allows the zoo to take computerized dental X-rays, Beyea said. Funding for the donation came, in part, from Petco Inc. Dentalaire Products International provides equipment to the MMSP at cost which allows grant recipients to get top of the line equipment.

Dr. Michael Overend of the Lake County Veterinary Clinics in Two Harbors and Grand Marais is on the foundation’s national board of directors and helped obtain the donation for the zoo. Overend also regularly donates his time and expertise to help the zoo with veterinary dentistry.

“The foundation is thrilled to be able to provide these funds to the zoo for its animals,” Overend said. “The zoo’s mission is to connect people in our region to nature and conservation through up-close animal experiences. This donation helps ensure the health and well-being of the animals so the zoo can deliver on its mission.”