ARLINGTON, Texas — Even though 27-year-old Hunter Finn has only been a veterinarian for a year, his patients already give him two paws up.
However, his most captivated audience isn’t in the exam room. It’s on the internet.
“I can’t believe this many people are interested in me or what I’m doing,” Finn said. “It’s incredible.”
He gained his fan following quite by accident.
About a year ago, when the pandemic began, Finn was affected with a serious case of loneliness.
After graduating from Louisiana State University, Finn got a job at Richter Animal Hospital in Arlington. He was more than 300 miles from home and anyone he knew, so he joined the social media platform TikTok.
“At first, it was just a way for me to decompress after work,” he said. “That’s all it was.”
Finn was hoping to connect with a few new faces, but over the past 10 months, he has amassed a kennel’s worth of fans.
“I am around 1.4 million last time I checked,” he said. “I started doing a few pet tips videos and they just literally took off.”
By that number alone, he’s already America’s most popular pet doctor.
He said he’s not doing anything spectacular.
Aside from some dancing, he shares insightful information about pets (mostly dogs). For example: why do dogs' feet smells like Fritos? Do dogs only see black and white? And the timeless question, why do dogs sniff butts?
Finn never expected pet tips would get millions of views, but believes, like him, people are looking for a way to connect and feel some sense of community.
Obviously, it’s working, and Finn said it’s helped him, too.
“With one social media post, I can reach hundreds of thousands of people,” he said. “It made me feel like I had more of a family on TikTok.”
Finding friendship during a pandemic is definitely a good reason to party like an animal.