The following was written by Sydney Chun, special to the Outlook
Holly Green’s dog, Willy, is blind in both eyes and had a painful glaucoma in one eye, so she took him to get the eye removed. However, she didn’t have the $1,000 to pay for surgery, anesthesia and bloodwork, so she reached out to Ryan Boyd at Free Animal Doctor for assistance.
In 2014, Sam Bernardo and Ryan Boyd founded Free Animal Doctor, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to aid animals in need of care. If an owner cannot afford to pay for his or her pet’s medical bills, Free Animal Doctor puts the pet’s biography, picture, diagnosis or prognosis and estimated cost of care on its website, where people can donate.
Once the goal is reached, funding stops and the charity donates the funds to the health care provider.
The money, 100% of it, goes directly to the veterinarian, never to the owner, so the donations always benefit the animal’s care. This prevents the owner from profiting instead of using the funds to care for the animal. If the goal is not reached, then Free Animal Doctor uses some of its general funds to make up the difference. Furthermore, if the animal suddenly recovers or passes away, then the donor can donate to another animal, contribute to the general fund or receive a total refund.
“We thought that a nonprofit is a much better way to do it. When you donate to a group, it isn’t always clear about where the money is going,” Bernardo commented.
Free Animal Doctor has helped about 70 animals, including 20 this year alone.
“We have helped iguanas, cats, and a horse. We’re not opposed to any animal; we are just trying to help animals,” Bernardo said.
Free Animal Doctor follows up after the procedure and then informs the donors about how the animal is doing.
Because Free Animal Doctor is a nonprofit organization that is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)3 company, all donations are tax deductible.
For more information, visit freeanimaldoctor.org or call (310) 613-5633.