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Humans of RAPS: Dr. Joseph Martinez

We can humbly say that every doctor at the RAPS Animal Hospital is an outstanding, beloved and compassionate individual devoted to animals and their people.

But then there is Dr. Joseph Martinez.

A fatherly figure who is adored by staff and clients, Dr. Martinez’s wealth of experience treating animals allows him to provide guidance to the rest of the team.

He is also tireless, providing innumerable hours of pro bono care like spay and neuter procedures and whatever other medical treatments are necessary for animals from other rescue organizations, like Rabbitats, and for households with low incomes. He gets other doctors involved to donate their time, too!

Thanks to Dr. Martinez, the RAPS Animal Hospital now offers care to exotic animals – and we are upgrading our equipment and facilities to open the door to more exotics than ever before.

We asked Dr. Martinez a few questions …

What is your role at RAPS?

I started my involvement with RAPS Animal Hospital in the early stages of its creation. At that time, I worked part-time as a vet until a newer team of vets joined. I left to pursue other prior commitments, and always remained connected, making myself available on call or as needed.

Recently, I have been investing thoughts and energy in creating the new Exotics Department at RAPS. To have a new department that specializes in Exotics is a dream, as this is my passion.

What makes you committed to RAPS?

At RAPS, we are a dedicated team of compassionate animal lovers with one goal in mind, that is to help animals, whether they are owned or abandoned orphans.

No one is left behind!

Tell us about yourself

I was born to Italian immigrants from Sicily. I grew up in an isolated farm in the harsh wilderness of the Negev desert in the south of Israel. We had no electricity or running water and life was difficult, but my family knew the secrets of desert faming, and we were able to manage well.

Growing up in isolation one appreciates the surroundings and I developed interest and love for desert creatures, from bugs and reptiles to mammals.

I love to implement those childhood experiences into helping animals and their guardians.

What is your favourite / least favourite part of your job?

Being a vet is a multi-task challenge, not only dealing with multitude of issues: medical, surgical, nutritional, behavioural … but also public health and psychological assistance to owners in distress.

As science and medicine evolve continuously, we can succeed as vets if we love these challenges and remain engaged, curious and in an ongoing state of learning.

We feel ecstatic when we deliver newborns and devastated when we have to terminate lives of terminally ill and suffering creatures.

What do you do in your spare time?

I share my spare time between volunteering in non-profit organizations and shelters, fostering sick animals prior to adopting them out; answering calls of pet owners in distress (always late at night ….) I have also an organic garden and I enjoy travelling.