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While most young kids are thinking about the upcoming holidays, what cool new things to add to their wishlist, and how they’ll spend their Winter break from school, one very special little girl is thinking about dogs.
Natalie is 9-years old and, like many girls her age, loves animals. However, Natalie is taking her love of animals – particularly dogs, her favorite are Pit Bulls – and making a difference. The precocious third-grader has started a campaign, which she’s calling Love a Pup, Help a Pup, to help shelter and rescue dogs in her hometown of Martinsburg, West Virginia and beyond.
“The reason I want to do Love a Pup, Help a Pup is because I really want dogs to have homes,” she explained. “It makes me sad when I see dogs in dog cages and they don’t have a home of their own.”
Natalie, along with her mom, Melissa who volunteers for several Pit Bull rescue organizations in her area, have fostered several dogs over the years, two of which found their forever home with the generous family. Last year, they fostered a pregnant Pit Bull and Natalie personally helped to deliver, care for, and find homes for her 9 babies! She has a special place in her heart for the misunderstood breed.
Love a Pup, Help a Pup is a mission that Natalie started all by herself. She came up with the name, is working on a logo and t-shirt designs, and is constantly jotting down new ideas for helping shelter dogs in her journal, all of which are being chronicled on her Love a Pup, Help a Pup Facebook page.
But, Natalie’s mission isn’t just about advocating for shelter dogs – she’s taking action, too! In addition to putting up donation boxes around her West Virginia town, Natalie started an Amazon.com wish list of items most commonly needed by animal shelters and rescue groups. The thoughtful wish list includes: dry dog food, dog treats, toys, paper towels, puppy food, blankets, towels, rugs, bones, and antlers for chewing.
When you buy from Natalie’s Love a Pup, Help a Pup wish list, the items are shipped directly to Natalie, who, along with her family’s help, will personally deliver to shelters and rescue organizations in her area. Her first drop off will be at the Berkeley County Humane Society.
“The reason why it’s called Love a Pup, Help a Pup is because dogs want love,” Natalie says. “And they want people that want to help them and get homes.”
While Natalie would love to see tons of donations pour in, she also understands that shelters and rescues all over the country need help, too. So, she says if you’d rather donate to your favorite local rescue, just take a photo or post about it on Facebook, use the hashtag #loveapuphelpapup, and spread the word to friends to do the same.
(Plus, if you remember to use the hashtag #loveapuphelpapup, Natalie will be able to see exactly how many people she and her amazing mission have reached – and how many dogs her efforts have helped!)
Meet this amazing little girl in the video below, where she explains her mission and how you can help.