Check out these cool kids helping animals! We are so pleased to showcase the winners of the inaugural Pawsitive Impact Kids Awards.
The awards recognize and celebrate kids who do special things to help animals in their own homes, their communities or the world.
Kids today dictate how we’ll treat our animals in the future. We loved hearing from kids across the U.S. about how they are helping care for their own animals or animals in need and we hope that, by sharing their stories, we can inspire others to take action.
The awards are open to kids in grades K-12 in the United States. Four total winners were selected: one in grades K-3; one in grades 4-6; one in grades 7-9; and one in grades 10-12.
Each winner will receive a donation of 5,000 bowls of natural Halo pet food to the shelter or rescue of the winner’s choice, courtesy of Halo, Purely for Pets and Freekibble.com. Winners will also receive a $100 gift certificate to Petco and a prize pack of great pet products from Planet Dog, Worldwise, Solvit Pets, Groom Genie, and Nupath Supplements. Special thanks to our promotion sponsors Pets Add Life and LoveAnimals.org.
Meet Our 2015 Winners!
Bella Vista, AR
The “ultimate animal lover,” as her mom Jaci describes her, Holland recognizes at a young age that giving feels better than receiving. When she turned seven, she asked that, in lieu of gifts, she wanted everyone to bring donations for her local animal shelter instead of for her.
When she’s not caring for her own three cats and one dog at home, Holland and her mom visit the shelter as often as they can to walk the dogs and play with the shy cats to help them come out of their shells so they might find homes.
“I love animals,” Holland said. “I would like to open up my own store for animals and give them baths and let them stay over. I want to walk them and if they are skinny I’d let them work out, like run and play with their toys. I want to have a mirror so they can see themselves and I want to give them nice cozy beds. I also want to make my own creek because I want them to learn how to swim.”
Holland selected the Bella Vista Animal Shelter, where she helps out and where she also adopted her own “pound puppy,” Luka, to receive her gift of 5,000 bowls of Halo pet food from Halo, Purely for Pets and Freekibble.com.
Since she was a baby, Elena has had a special love and connection for animals and her own pets, says her mom, Julia. When she was in elementary school, Elena’s family adopted Addison and Wrigley, two dogs from Pike County Pound, located in a rural area near Waverly, Ohio.
After Addison came home, the Fernandez family realized just how withdrawn and anxious she really was. But Elena sat outside her crate each night and read to her, hoping to gain her trust little by little.
But the unthinkable happened when Addison ran away for 12 days soon after the family adopted her.
Things looked grim but Elena was confident. “We have to find her,” she told her mom. Elena helped hang up 500 signs, setting and baiting six humane traps, leaving her scented clothing, checking them hourly and hours upon hours of searching. At last, they were able to track down the frightened dog and catch her.
Elena also started her own homemade pet treat business called “Treats for Pups- Bone Appetit,” to develop recipes for safe, homemade organic and holistic treats that contain herbs to help dogs with anxiety. She hopes to use the proceeds for veterinary school someday.
Elena shared both her experience with finding Addison and with her home made pet treat business with her 4H club and has won ribbons at local fairs for her projects.
“Helping animals is important to me because they can’t speak for themselves and we owe it to them to help them,” Elena told us.
Oak Park, CA
In addition to being a vegetarian and a loving, responsible pet owner of two dogs and two cats, Atticus has taken it upon himself to create a club at his school called the S.P.A.E. or Students for the Protection of Animals and the Environment.
The club already existed at the high school, but there wasn’t anything available at the middle school. Atticus contacted the superintendent of the district (as he was already affiliated with the high school club) and asked him to be the adult advisor for the club—he agreed. The club had 28 members sign up on the first day.
The SPAE brings events like a movie/documentary night or a dog walk for charity, guest speakers and awareness to students, staff and the community. In addition, they participate in Big Sunday (cleaning up the campus and surrounding streams/open areas) and other social events to promote animal and environmental conservation and stewardship, respectively.
Atticus has created a space for kids to take action for the social good they believe in—a passionate group of kids inspired and determined to make a better future for the planet. That’s definitely Pawsitive!
Why is he so dedicated? “It is important to me because I love animals, and I think that in many places animals need to be treated much better than they are already,” Atticus told us. “I love my pets and I have a great appreciation for farm animals, too.”
Sabrina started volunteering for The Forever Home Feline Ranch (FHFR) because she was interested in making a difference in the community. She wanted to help be a part of making the world safe and more humane for ALL living creatures.
Sabrina has also helped foster tiny three-week-old kittens, which is a round-the-clock commitment that she was happy to do. She learned a lot about what needed to be done to keep the little guys alive and healthy. And, she ended up keeping those little kittens for her own!
“I’ve very much enjoyed my time helping save the lives of those who cannot protect their own life,” Sabrina told us. “Spending time volunteering for this shelter has been amazing. These people that I have worked beside spend many hours fostering and taking care of sick animals.”
This past March, Sabrina made the decision to organize a 5K run/walk in the memory of her grandparents who were also passionate about helping animals. Sabrina raised a total of $2,460 for Forever Home Feline Ranch!
“I think my grandparents would be proud that I can continue helping animals even if they are not here,” she said.
Congratulations, kids! You are an inspiration to us all!
If you have an awesome kid who’s doing great things for animals, let us know! Email us here.