There was once a time—before Facebook bought the Oculus Rift, before Zach Braff had a Kickstarter—when optimists hoped crowdfunding would change the world. It would democratize product development, change investing forever, and revolutionize the way we pay for tortoise penis surgeries. And now the dream is real.
Well, that last part of it, anyway.
A Bristol, U.K., man discovered that Cedric, the pet tortoise he had just adopted, had a painful inflammation of the cloaca—the catch-all utility hole of the animal kingdom—which tortoises use in urination, excretion, and mating. Without surgery, Cedric would be in serious pain, and possibly even die.
"I took him straight to the vets and they said he needed this operation pretty quickly," said Miles Jelfs, Cedric's owner.
But the operation cost a cool 150 quid—$251—and Jelfs didn't have the cash on hand.
"I'm not very well off and I don't come from a very affluent family, and I don't have a lot of disposable income. It will be causing him a lot of pain and you can tell when he walks that it is not very comfortable for him, poor little guy," Jelfs said.
So, he did what any responsible pet owner would do: Hit up the Internet for money to repair his tortoise's penis.
And apparently, tort-peen is an issue about which the internet cares deeply. In just 4 days, Jelfs raised £505, more than twice what he asked for.
Unfortunately, a full checkup found Cedric will need an amputation of "the affected area," but is too small to undergo the surgery right now. He's been put on a regimen of supplements so he can bulk up enough to go under the knife.
As for any excess money Jelfs raises after paying for the supplements and operation, he says it will go to charity.