Kind Kids Nationally Recognized During American Humane 2009: Kids Awarded

Kind Kids Nationally Recognized During American Humane

Top Kids Awarded $1,000 Prize DENVER–()–Six kind kids from across the nation who are devoted to helping animals now have one more thing in
common: they are all winners in the American Humane Association’s Be Kind to Animals™ Kid Contest. Congratulations are in order for grand-prize winners Annie Lee Vankleeck of Shokan, N.Y., and Abby Jungers of St. Peters, Mo., and runners-up Monica Plumb of Powhatan, Va., Rylie Sullivan of Herndon, Va., Shelley Johnson of Lake Stevens, Wash., and Casey Mills of Mt. Airy, Md. These budding “humane-itarians” have gone above and beyond to help animals and have dedicated much of their free time to helping animals in any way they can. From volunteering at animal shelters to collecting blankets, these youngsters have proven they are role models in humanity. “These children are examples of the power of the human-animal bond and demonstrate values that help create a more humane and caring society,” said , president and CEO of American Humane. “We are proud to recognize their accomplishments with a prize and we hope that they will be viewed as role models for other children and adults about the importance of treating animals with compassion and respect.” is being observed May 3-9 this year. First observed in 1915, it is the oldest event in the nation to celebrate the companionship, friendship and love that animals bring into people’s lives. Animal shelters throughout the country hold special events during this week to raise awareness about being kind to animals and to teach people about the benefits of the human-animal bond. Be Kind to Animals Week is a great time to promote the wonderful work being done by the nation’s animal welfare organizations and to encourage everyone to get involved to make a difference for animals. Here’s a brief look at the grand-prize winners: Grand-Prize Winner (ages 6 to 12) Annie Lee Vankleeck, age 6, Shokan, N.Y., daughter of Sharon McInerney and Ralph Vankleeck Wanting to do something to help animals, Annie and her family went online to look at their local shelters’ websites. After finding out that , a nonprofit pit bull rescue in Albany, needed gently used blankets and towels, Annie made it her mission to fulfill that need. Annie applied for a spot at the town’s annual Olive Day festival, and sat there all day, collecting used blankets and towels. She went to yard sales and persuaded people to donate their blankets, or she bought them. She collected blankets and towels at school. And she is still going strong. For her upcoming 7th birthday party, she is asking her guests to forego bringing her gifts, and bring towels and blankets for “the doggies” instead.
Grand-Prize Winner (ages 13 to 17) Abby Jungers, age 13, St. Peters, Mo., daughter of Michelle Jungers Abby has clocked over 700 volunteer hours at the . Abby is there every day and can hardly be pulled away. At the shelter, Abby can and will jump in anywhere. She cleans kennels, walks dogs, feeds and waters animals, sets up beds and helps with heartworm tests. She goes to new volunteer orientations and helps train the new recruits. She even fills in for staff members when they call in sick. And outside of the shelter, she goes to shelter events and fundraisers, distributes fliers about the shelter and participates in mobile adoptions. Abby will take on even the least desirable tasks at the shelter, all in the name of helping animals.

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