A La Habra woman is hoping crowdfunding can get her what she says she desperately needs: a service dog.
In her GoFundMe.com pitch, Angie Babcock says she has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, major recurrent depressive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. These have made it difficult for her to leave her home without assistance.
Since 2013, Babcock worked with Rock Hill, South Carolina-based Psychiatric Service Dog Partners and a dog named Zeus, who she describes as "a smart boy."
"We started training and excelled at it," Babcock writes. "Wherever I went, Zeus went. I can't tell you what a comfort he was to have around. I was now able to leave the house to go grocery shopping."
Through Tackett Service Dogs in Orange, Zeus and Babcock became an official service dog team. "It was amazing and freeing to say the least," Babcock reports.
But in November, Zeus' health declined. Though only 6 years old, the dog was found to be suffering from chronic active hepatitis and Copper Storage Disease, which ravaged his liver.
"This illness is progressive and degenerative," Babcock says. "My heart was broken. I watched as my baby boy went from a healthy 85 pounds to a sad and disturbing 69 pounds. I put his jacket on him on several occasions so that I didn't have to look at his deteriorating body of skin and bones."
Zeus is now on a myriad of medications and seems to be feeling better, but Babcock says "he can no longer work and I've had to retire him."
For a short time, relief came from lab puppy named Yzma, but she was only loaned to Babcock and had to go back to her original owner.
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That has left Babcock in need of a new service dog, but unfortunately she cannot afford one due to the money she spent getting Zeus back to health.
"I was not prepared for the early retirement I've had to put him in and therefore, I have nothing in the way of money for another puppy to train," Babcock writes. "I am now in a hard situation and need help to be able to purchase a puppy to serve as my new service dog."
Losing the sense of freedom Zeus gave her has made it difficult on Babcock's marriage, she confides. "The sooner I can start training a puppy, the better off we will all be," she writes.
That's where the GoFundMe campaign comes in. As of Monday afternoon, $305 had been raised toward the $2,000 goal. Anyone who can help is encouraged to do so.