ANAHEIM Michael Diehl has had Osiris since the pit bull was just a pup. Diehl, 46, suffers from sudden seizures and Osiris helps keep him safe, alerting him before they happen, he said. “He means everything to me,” he said. “He protects me from everything.”
As one of hundreds living on the riverbed of the Santa Ana River Trail, Diehl was among 60 people and their pets who took advantage of free veterinary services offered on Sunday, July 30.
The services were offered by two groups, the Healthcare Emergency Animal Rescue Team out of Yorba Linda run by veterinarians Debra and Dr. Todd Kopit, and Dr. Mark Malo, vice president of the Animal Health Foundation, a nonprofit that is a charitable wing of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association.
The veterinarians did wellness checks, vaccinations, de-worming and parasite treatment.
"We launched this program because we know there are many services for homeless people but not for their pets, ” said Malo, who also works at the Garden Grove Dog and Cat Hospital. “These people are dedicated to their animals. They would go without their own meals to feed them.”
Angel Nole, 32, brought his dog Bandit, a Dalmatian pit bull-mix, for shots and flea control. He also brought Robin, a six-week-old pup for his first puppy shots.
“It helps out a lot,” said Nole said, adding that he can’t afford any veterinary care.
TJ and Chance Ivey were thankful for the opportunity to get their pit bull-Labrador-mix Daisy checked out.
Daisy has helped make life bearable for the couple, they said.
“She brightens everybody’s day,” TJ Ivey said. “If they’re disgusted with life, she walks up to them and it’s a blessing.”