A Little Help Goes a Long Way at Kentucky Shelter
Ten-year-old Cameron Whitaker is enjoying a moment of local celebrity this month after organizing a successful dog food drive for Henry Trimble Animal Shelter in Sulphur, Kentucky.
This past spring, the ASPCA shared a letter about Coconut, a Maltese puppy who received treatment at the ASPCA Animal Hospital after being struck by a car and left for dead. The letter arrived at Cameron’s parents’ house, and when he read the story, he thought about his own dog—Penny. It was difficult for
Cameron to imagine Penny, or animals like her, without a loving home, toys to play with and food to eat. He decided to call his local animal shelter to see how he could help.
“I called the animal shelter and asked them what the dogs that live there need,” says Cameron. [They] said they need food and cleaning supplies like paper towels, bleach, dish soap, trash bags and toys.” From there, Cameron worked with his local bank to set up a donation and drop off space there.
In just 30 days, Cameron’s idea generated over 360 pounds of dog food for the animals at the shelter. Momentum behind his efforts has increased tenfold since Cameron’s elementary school and local library have added themselves to a growing roster of designated drop-off points for further donations. To date, 900 pounds of food have been donated, along with toys and other needed supplies.
When word of Cameron’s compassion and initiative reached the ASPCA, our grants department couldn’t help but join Cameron on his crusade, awarding a $1,000 grant to Henry Trimble Shelter in Cameron’s name.
"Cameron's heartfelt gesture, inspired by the story of a helpless and homeless animal, should be an inspiration for everyone," says ASPCA Director of Grants Management, Adam Liebling. “This grant honors Cameron's generous and philanthropic spirit while continuing to help homeless animals in his community."
Cameron’s local newspaper has also taken note of his dedicated efforts. When asked how he felt about his recent fame, Cameron said: "I kinda liked being in the paper. Now everybody knows about the dogs at our shelter."
Dan Flinkfelt, Director of Henry Trimble Animal Shelter, couldn’t be more pleased and grateful for the impact that Cameron’s idea has had. “Cameron's actions are spreading like wildfire,” he said. “The Trimble County Rotary Club is holding a donation drive to help the shelter. They are also buying replacement beds for the dogs at the shelter.”
As the shelter receives ongoing food and toy donations, the ASPCA’s grant funds will be used to add roofing and walls to the outdoor run space, so that the dogs can have cover during the colder winter months.
To learn more about shelters like Trimble and their partnerships with the ASPCA, visit ASPCA Grants.