WARNING: Some pictures may be disturbing
During the COVID pandemic, over 23 million American households adopted a pet.
It’s easy to see why – people needed the company as they spent endless months confined to their homes and juggling the pressures of working from home.
However, since then, with people returning to their everyday lives, they’re finding another obstacle to overcome – bills are piling up, the cost of living is rising faster than wages, and the state of the economy is a significant concern for many. That has resulted in people being unable even to afford to care for their families, let alone their furry friends.
That is where Free Animal Doctor, a non-profit organization, comes in. The L.A.-based organization is dedicated to improving the lives of animals in need.
Co-founder Ryan Boyd of Free Animal Doctor says that since 2016, they have rescued hundreds of animals, and post-COVID, there has been an unprecedented number of animals without a home.
“Right now, shelters are full, and many are not taking in strays,” he explains. “At the same time, abandoned animals have increased as well.”
Other factors are also at play.
“Illegal breeding appears to have increased,” he adds. “Dislocation from housing and moving into new housing that does not allow pets added with the cost of veterinary care, have left my animals without a home.”
The non-profit is committed to rehabilitating pets in need and saving the lives of animals at no cost to the pet owner.
Of their work, Ryan says: “We rescue strays that would not otherwise be rescued. We provide funding for vet care when owners cannot afford some or all of the costs so that the pet can stay in a loving home.
“Probably most interesting is the rescue work we do primarily in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, where animal control often doesn’t respond except to emergencies or threats to the public. For example, they don’t respond to stray dog calls, and the dogs are allowed to roam.”
Naturally, the team’s heartbreaking moments are witnessing an animal suffering. How long it takes an animal to heal and feel safe among humans again depends on each rescue.
“We have a severely abused Pug whose ear was cut off by a knife and his leg cut to the bone, but now LOVES people from the day we rescued him,” Ryan says. “Others can take many months and never be fully social.”
But there are also so many heart-warming moments that come from seeing an abused animal recover, becoming happy, healthy and, most importantly, loved.
“It’s great when we see stray dogs that we rescued, and then happy owners are found,” he adds. “Maybe a dog we have now is available to adopt, such as Roxy, who was given methamphetamine and nearly died, but now she is doing great.”
See how you can help them make a real difference in animals’ lives by clicking here.
To learn more about the organization, watch the video below: