The Lake Humane Society is continuing to care for an iguana that was injured when it was thrown by a man inside a Painesville restaurant, and the latest news appears to be good!
Officials say the female iguana, known as "Copper," was seen by a veterinarian back on May 7 for a re-examination of a fractured leg. After initially believing surgery would be required, doctors now believe the leg is healing well enough that it may not need surgery after all.
"With the continuation of care, the leg will continue to heal on it's own and Copper can maintain the use of this limb," the humane society said in a statement. "Copper will remain under intensive care here at LHS, needing splint changes every 2 weeks along with medications and good nutrition until the leg is fully healed."
Volunteers are more than pleased with the progress, as a lack of surgery would also mean a lack of a need for anesthesia, which can be dangerous for reptiles. The humane society also recently received permission from Copper's owner to continue providing her with vet care, up to and including possible surgery.
Copper's owner is also the suspect in the case that saw her injured. According to authorities, 49-year-old Arnold J. Teeter entered a Perkins Restaurant and Bakery last month and pulled the iguana out of his shirt before swinging it above his head and throwing it at a manager.
The lizard then skidded across the floor before Teeter picked it up and fled. He was later arrested and has been charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and cruelty to animals.
Since then, Copper has been in the protective custody of the Lake Humane Society, who diagnosed her with not just a fractured leg but also a missing part of her tail and a metabolic bone disease and poor body condition. The organization had asked for donations for Copper's care, and says the response has been extremely positive:
"Copper continues to recover thanks to donors, like YOU! We cannot provide Copper with this extensive medical care without you. While surgery is not needed, your donations will help cover visits to an outside veterinarian, x-rays, food, heat lamps, pain medication, and medical care and observation. Copper is safe in our care and will continue to recover."