Since she was a toddler, Bella Iarrapino has loved animals – from worms and bees to dogs and cats to the squirrels and rabbits in her yard. Now, the Pittsburgh six-year-old has found lots of ways to help them, too.
Bella is Crayons and Collars’ latest Pawsitive Impact Kid. The Pawsitive Impact Kid program, sponsored by the Petco Foundation, Petco and World’s Best Cat Litter, recognizes kids in grades K-12 who go above and beyond to help animals. Selected kids are invited to designate their favorite animal welfare organization to receive a $1,000 grant from the Petco Foundation and a donation of 300 pounds of cat litter from World’s Best Cat Litter. The pet-loving kids receive gifts from Petco and other sponsors. Bella’s choice is Humane Animal Rescue in Pittsburgh, Pa.
One of Bella’s favorite ways to care for homeless and injured animals is by participating in her local animal shelter and wildlife center’s wonderful reading program, “Animal Tales.” Two or three times a month, Bella packs her owl-shaped backpack and excitedly heads to the Humane Animal Rescue to read to animals so they feel a little less lonely in their cages.
On Mondays, Bella carefully chooses books about cats to read to homeless cats at the shelter. On Sunday afternoons, she packs books about porcupines and groundhogs and excitedly goes the Wildlife Center to read to the Animal Ambassadors there – Irwin the Porcupine, Ray the Crow, Martha the Owl, and Peaches the Opossum, to name just a few of her animal friends.
Bella has also made a spare change collection jar for her house and was sure to display it prominently on the snack table at her birthday party, raising money for the shelter.
This young animal lover even hosts charity parties where she and her friends work on projects to help others. The latest involved a gaggle of first graders making homemade catnip toys for the shelter cats. How did Bella come up with the idea to make the toys? “I wanted the cats to have nice toys and so the animal shelter would have more toys for the kitties.” The next will focus on no-sew fleece blankets to keep the homeless pets cozy in their cages.
Now that the weather is warmer, Bella is busy planning her lemonade stand, which will benefit the animals at Humane Animal Rescue.
Working with Humane Animal Rescue and helping homeless pets brings Bella a lot of joy. “It makes me happy!” she says.
Thanks to Bella’s dedication to animals, Humane Animal Rescue will receive a $1,000 grant from the Petco Foundation and a 300-pound donation of cat litter from World’s Best Cat Litter. Bella even made the local news! Check out the KDKA-TV story here.
Way to go, Bella!