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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Arcadia Weekly / Santa Anita-based ‘Free Animal Doctor’ continues to help pet owners with much-needed services

Santa Anita-based ‘Free Animal Doctor’ continues to help pet owners with much-needed services

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Now entering its second year, Santa Anita-based Free Animal Doctor, a non-profit that provides free veterinary services to dogs and cats, has paid out more than $300,000 in veterinary care on pets based in Southern California and throughout the United States. 

Additionally, Free Animal Doctor will have spayed or neutered approximately 825 dogs or cats by year’s end and will have vaccinated and/or micro-chipped more than half of them.

Free Animal Doctor (FAD), conveniently located in Santa Anita’s parking Lot 7, opened its doors to the public on Sept. 15, 2020. FAD utilizes Crowdfunding to raise monies for specific pets and provides itemized cost accounting which is directed by each animal’s attending veterinarian.

“During the past year, our relationships with the Pasadena Humane Society and the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society have blossomed,” said Sam Bernardo, FAD co-founder. “This is in large part due to the fact that our respective missions complement each other. Both of these organizations refer us to individuals who can’t afford their pet’s unexpected veterinary care. 

“We are also listed as spay and neuter alternatives on their websites. In return, we offer fundraising services to both PHS and SGVHS.”

Bernardo, a practicing attorney who is based in Sierra Madre, explained that through Crowdfunding, costs are limited to each specific veterinary procedure.

“Once the money is raised for each individual animal’s procedure, no additional money is accepted,” he said.  

Santa Anita’s backstretch community has also benefitted from FAD, as the clinic has twice provided special days on which spay and neutering is available for just $25 per pet.

“As we had hoped, our spay and neuter clinics have also become popular with (animal) rescues and other non-profits,” said Bernardo.  “For example, last month, we teamed up with a rescue sponsored by Kacey Montoya, a reporter with KTLA Channel 5, to provide a free spay and neuter clinic.  And we have agreed to have similar clinics with two other Southern California non-profit rescues early next year.”

For more information on Free Animal Doctor, pet owners are encouraged to visit FreeAnimalDoctor.org, or call (626) 487-7129.

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