Thursday, July 13, 2023

Review and Giveaway: The Vet at Noah's Ark: Stories of Survival from an Inner-City Animal Hospital


Book cover

When I read the description for The Vet at Noah's Ark: The Stories of Survival from an Inner-City Animal Hospital, I was immediately intrigued. If there are books out there largely focusing on exotic pets, I don't know about them. Most of the books I've read about companion animals are about cats or dogs. I thought it might be interesting to read about a veterinarian who not only treats cats and dogs at his hospital but emus, monkeys, skunks, snakes, foxes, and other exotic animals as well.

Book Description: In The Vet at Noah's Ark, Dr. Doug Mader shares his exciting account of his fight to protect his patients and his staff among the dangerous realities of inner-city life and the Los Angeles riots. 

A veterinarian's life is challenging - making difficult decisions regarding people's beloved companions and keeping up with the latest advances in veterinary care. Dr. Mader had the additional challenge of trying to navigate the social unrest in Los Angeles in the early 1990s. Dr. Mader was one of only a few exotic veterinarians in California at the time and was just as likely to treat a lion as a house cat. 

The Vet at Noah's Ark follows Dr. Mader and his staff over the course of a year at Noah's Ark Veterinary Hospital, an inner-city Los Angeles animal hospital that treats not only cats and dogs but skunks, emus, snakes, monkeys, and other exotic animals as well. The story is set against the backdrop of four police officers in the Rodney King case and the violent aftermath after their acquittal.

The story is about survival, not only of the pets Dr. Mader and his staff treat and try to save, but of the staff members as well. Living and working in an inner-city environment, Dr. Mader and his staff must  rise above inner-city realities, such as gangs, drugs, traffic, smog, violence, and deadly riots not only for their own survival but also for that of the patients that rely on them. 

My Thoughts: I was right. This was an interesting read. In fact, it turned out to be even more captivating than I had anticipated.

I loved following along as Dr. Mader told the story of a year in his inner-city Los Angeles hospital. I enjoyed reading about his long-term clients and following their progress throughout the year. Dr. Mader is a natural storyteller, and I felt like I got to know him, his staff, and his patients throughout this book. 

I've never met or even talked to Dr. Mader, but after reading his book, he's someone I'd love to sit down and have a chat with. I bet he has tons more interesting stories to share. 

I have to say that Dr. Mader and his staff are all brave and deserve to be commended for their dedication to caring for animals. The challenges they faced at their inner-city hospital were numerous; each and every day they put their lives on the line to help their patients. Dr. Mader's passion for helping animals is apparent in every page of his book.

I think anyone who likes animals would enjoy this book, following along with Dr. Mader in the year before he takes his specialty boards. You'll fall in love with the patients, like Cindy who comes in for a weekly allergy shot, marvel at Dr. Mader's ability to befriend everyone, including a prostitute and a drug dealer, and rejoice when seemingly hopeless cases turn around. 

I will warn you, there are a couple of places where Dr. Mader describes neglected animals that come to him for care. As someone who loves animals so much, it hurts my heart to read of these situations. At the same time, I realize that these situations, as awful as they are, are part of reality and shouldn't be swept under the rug. Fortunately, there are only a couple of places in the book where I think it might be difficult for animal lovers to read. In my opinion, this book is definitely worth reading. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves animals of any kind. It was a very enjoyable read for me.

About the Author: Dr. Doug Mader is a triple board-certified veterinary specialist who has been practicing for more than 30 years. He is an internationally-recognized speaker, has written three best-selling medical textbooks, numerous book chapters, and scientific publications, and has had long-standing pet columns in the Long Beach Press Telegram, Reptiles magazine, and the Key West Citizen. He is the recipient of several awards, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Award, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Achievement Award, and the Fred L. Frye Lifetime Achievement Award for Veterinary Medicine. He is also a seven-time winner of the North American Veterinary Community Speaker of the Year award and a four-time winner of the Western Veterinary Conference Educator of the Year award. Dr. Mader is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine in the UK. Dr. Mader practiced veterinary medicine in California for many years. He currently lives and works in the Florida Keys.

You can purchase The Vet at Noah's Ark: Stories of Survival from an Inner-Ciety Animal Hospital on Amazon


We are hosting a giveaway for one reader to win a copy of The Vet at Noah's Ark: Stories of Survival from an Inner-City Animal Hospital. 

Please use the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. One winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond with his/her address. Failure to respond within 48 hours will result in forfeiture of the prize, and a new winner will be selected. This giveaway is limited to those residing in the United States. Void where prohibited. 

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of "The Vet at Noah's Ark: Stories of Survival from an Inner-City Animal Hospital" by Dr. Doug Mader for a fair and honest review. Receiving the book did not influence my opinions. I only share content I feel will benefit my readers on Fur Everywhere. 

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  1. Have found books written by veterinarians to be eye-opening, informative, sad, and my admiration for them rises higher with each one.

  2. Great review. I definitely want to read this. I used to have a lot of rabbits so I guess they are my favorite exotic pet.

  3. My favorite type of exotic pet is probably a turtle.

  4. Good review! The book does sound fascinating!

  5. That really was a terrific review and the Vet sounds like an innercity hero to me!

  6. Wow, that book sounds amazing. I was living in South Central Los Angeles during the riots, and this would definitely be interesting to read.