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Crash Fund, Inc. Pays Vet Bills To Help Thousands Of Pups In Need: “It Is Beyond Rewarding!”

Annie Torres was inspired to start the nonprofit to help dogs, and now, she makes a huge impact!

On an unusually hot summer afternoon in 1990, Annie Torres was driving near her home along an Oregon highway in a friend’s old clunky dark-blue Cadillac when she saw a terrified German shepherd running in the road, dragging his rear left leg and dodging cars.

Annie frantically pulled over, opened the driver’s side door and yelled, “C’mon baby, I’ll help you.” The dog jumped over her lap and into the car with every bit of energy he had left.

As Annie sped to a local veterinarian’s office, she tried to soothe the whimpering pup. “It’s okay, baby, it’s okay,” she told him, while thinking to herself, Please don’t let him die.

At the vet’s office, the dog underwent lifesaving surgery that cost Annie $2,200. Because Annie was an assistant to a realtor and didn’t have much money at the time, the vet let Annie pay off the bill in small increments.

I feel so good I could lend a hand and save a dog’s life, Annie thought. But there are many more dogs like him. I want to use my power for good, one animal at a time, she decided.

And indeed, she has.

“Saving animals is so rewarding,” says Annie, with three rescued pups
“Saving animals is so rewarding,” says Annie, with three pups she rescued through Crash Fund, Inc.Annie Torres

Spreading love

Over the years, in Oregon and then in her current home in Woodland, California, Annie continued to somehow find — or was given — homeless dogs desperate for medical care. She lived on hot dogs and macaroni and cheese to pay off the vet bills. I am not going to let an innocent dog get put to sleep because he couldn’t get vet care, she vowed. This is worth it.

At the same time, Annie worked her way up at a manufacturer of propellers for remote-control aircraft, eventually becoming its co-owner. The boost in salary allowed her to find veterinary care — including spaying and neutering — for 390 homeless dogs while spending $100,000 of her own money.

Annie with Tootsie, another dog she helped
Annie with Tootsie, another dog she helped through Crash Fund, Inc.Annie Torres

Word of her lifesaving project got out and people started bringing dogs to her. At one point, she had 12 pups filling up her three-bedroom ranch home. And still Annie wanted to do more.

So, in 2016, she created the nonprofit Crash Fund, Inc. to accept donations. Raising over $650,000 to date — while still contributing $15,000 a year of her own money — Annie and her dear friend Kristin Greene have aided another 1,000 dogs, some cats and even a handful of pigs with medical care and rehoming. The duo has even driven cross-country a few times to deliver an animal to the right adoptive home.

Annie (right) with her friend and woman who helped her launch the Crash Fund, Inc. to pay for vet care, Kristin Greene, with rescue dog Pickles
Annie (right) with her friend and woman who helped her launch the Crash Fund, Inc. to pay for vet care, Kristin Greene, with rescue dog PicklesAnnie Torres

“Annie is an amazing person, so passionate and very dedicated,” says Dr. Richard Thornburgh, D.V.M., a veterinarian who has treated all of Annie’s cases at a discount for 25 years, and runs her year-round spay and neuter clinics. “A lot of people talk about doing things they believe in. But she does it.”

Meanwhile, Annie continues to receive joy from every animal’s new lease on life. “Helping a dog dumped out in the country, mistreated and giving them baths, showing them love and watching them blossom,” she says, “is reward beyond money, beyond anything.”

For more sweet stories about animals, keep reading…

Animal Society Worker Provides Comfort To Senior Cats: ‘They Still Have A Lot Of Love To Give!’

One Woman Provides Service Dogs For Veterans: “They Help Save Lives!”

This Hero Teen Started a Charity to Get Service Dogs For Those in Need

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