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Dozier, a green iguana, is given anesthesia and (Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dozier, a green iguana, is given anesthesia and prepared for surgery by veterinary technicians Katie White, left, and Peggy Nardone at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics. (March 12, 2013)

Dr. Laurie Hess, exotic vet

Dr. Laurie Hess started the Veterinary Center of Birds & Exotics with the goal of educating the public on exotic pets, she said, and advocating their need for "regular preventative medical care just like cats and dogs." Her office, which performs checkups, surgeries and also boards animals, is the only all-bird-and-exotic-animal hospital in Westchester County and surrounding areas. It is also one of the few American Animal Hospital Association-accredited bird and exotics specialty referral hospitals in the country. (March 12, 2013)

Dozier, a green iguana, is given anesthesia and
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dozier, a green iguana, is given anesthesia and prepared for surgery by veterinary technicians Katie White, left, and Peggy Nardone at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics. (March 12, 2013)

Veterinary technician Katie White interacts with Stop, an
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Veterinary technician Katie White interacts with Stop, an eclectus parrot, at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Joe Schleicher, 4, of Poughquag, sits with his
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Joe Schleicher, 4, of Poughquag, sits with his mother, Jessica, as they wait with their rabbit, Thunderbolt, for an appointment at Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

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Dr. Laurie Hess is photographed at the Veterinary
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dr. Laurie Hess is photographed at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Veterinary technician Peggy Nardone prepares fluids before surgery
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Veterinary technician Peggy Nardone prepares fluids before surgery for Dozier, a green iguana, at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Rocky, a domestic ferret, is petted by Dr.
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Rocky, a domestic ferret, is petted by Dr. Michelle Ravich while vet-tech Peggy Nardone, right, holds him at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Rocky, a domestic ferret, bites down as he
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Rocky, a domestic ferret, bites down as he is inspected by Dr. Michelle Ravich while vet-tech Katie White holds him at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Dozier, a green iguana scheduled for surgery, sits
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dozier, a green iguana scheduled for surgery, sits in his cage before surgery on his dewlap at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

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Veterinary technician Peggy Nardone holds Roger, a Flemish
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Veterinary technician Peggy Nardone holds Roger, a Flemish giant rabbit from Woodstock, as Dr. Laurie Hess inspects him at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics. (March 12, 2013)

Veterinary technician Peggy Nardone holds Roger, a Flemish
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Veterinary technician Peggy Nardone holds Roger, a Flemish giant rabbit from Woodstock, at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Roger, a Flemish giant rabbit from Woodstock, is
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Roger, a Flemish giant rabbit from Woodstock, is held under an exam light as Dr. Laurie Hess inspects him at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics. (March 12, 2013)

Veterinary technician Peggy Nardone holds Roger, a Flemish
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Veterinary technician Peggy Nardone holds Roger, a Flemish giant rabbit from Woodstock, as Dr. Laurie Hess treats him at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics. (March 12, 2013)

Licensed veterinary technician Peggy Nardone weighs a fidgety
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Licensed veterinary technician Peggy Nardone weighs a fidgety rabbit brought by animal caregiver Vanessa Bonnin of Woodstock at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

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Owner Rich Santangelo, of Yonkers, keeps Bart, a
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Owner Rich Santangelo, of Yonkers, keeps Bart, a cockatiel, in a small carrier bearing his name as seen at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Veterinary technician Katie White holds Bart, a cockatiel,
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Veterinary technician Katie White holds Bart, a cockatiel, as Dr. Michelle Ravich diagnoses him at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Owner Rich Santangelo, of Yonkers, interacts with Bart,
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Owner Rich Santangelo, of Yonkers, interacts with Bart, a cockatiel, after his first appointment at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

An x-ray of Dozier, a green iguana scheduled
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

An x-ray of Dozier, a green iguana scheduled for surgery, hangs in the treatment room at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Dozier, a green iguana scheduled for surgery, sits
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dozier, a green iguana scheduled for surgery, sits in his cage before surgery on his dewlap at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

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Dr. Laurie Hess scrubs up before surgery for
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dr. Laurie Hess scrubs up before surgery for Dozier, a green iguana, at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Dozier, a green iguana, is given anesthesia before
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dozier, a green iguana, is given anesthesia before surgery at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Dozier, a green iguana, is given anesthesia before
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dozier, a green iguana, is given anesthesia before surgery at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Dozier, a green iguana, is prepared for surgery
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dozier, a green iguana, is prepared for surgery at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Dr. Michelle Ravich, left, and Dr. Laurie Hess
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dr. Michelle Ravich, left, and Dr. Laurie Hess perform surgery on Dozier, a green iguana, at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

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Dr. Michelle Ravich, left, and Dr. Laurie Hess
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dr. Michelle Ravich, left, and Dr. Laurie Hess perform surgery on Dozier, a green iguana, at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Dr. Michelle Ravich removes part of the infected
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dr. Michelle Ravich removes part of the infected dewlap on Dozier, a green iguana, at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Dr. Laurie Hess, right, and Dr. Michelle Ravich,
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dr. Laurie Hess, right, and Dr. Michelle Ravich, far left, perform surgery for Dozier, a green iguana, at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Dr. Michelle Ravich removes part of the infected
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dr. Michelle Ravich removes part of the infected dewlap on Dozier, a green iguana, at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Dr. Michelle Ravich removes part of the infected
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dr. Michelle Ravich removes part of the infected dewlap on Dozier, a green iguana, at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

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Dr. Michelle Ravich removes part of the infected
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dr. Michelle Ravich removes part of the infected dewlap on Dozier, a green iguana, as Dr. Laurie Hess assists at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Dr. Michelle Ravich removes part of the infected
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dr. Michelle Ravich removes part of the infected dewlap on Dozier, a green iguana, as Dr. Laurie Hess assists at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Dr. Michelle Ravich stitches up Dozier, a green
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dr. Michelle Ravich stitches up Dozier, a green iguana, after removing part of his infected dewlap at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Dr. Michelle Ravich stitches up Dozier, a green
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Dr. Michelle Ravich stitches up Dozier, a green iguana, after removing part of his infected dewlap at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

Veterinary technician Katie White interacts with Stop, an
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Veterinary technician Katie White interacts with Stop, an eclectus parrot, at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

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Animal figures adorn a fence outside the Veterinary
(Credit: Xavier Mascarenas)

Animal figures adorn a fence outside the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills. (March 12, 2013)

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