They say we should not blame those who reject us because they do so out of their lack of appreciation of what we have to offer. Still, you cannot force anyone to see your value, but you can influence them into realizing their mistake. Thus, a 14-year-old girl is helping senior dogs find a forever home by encouraging people to see how much they can benefit from the old pooches. She believes that all that senior dogs need is a chance to show that they are ideal companions, especially during this pandemic. Let’s tell you more about how Meena Kumar is determined to impact the lives of senior dogs.
Why the empathy?
Michael Bolton sang that nothing heals a broken heart like time, love and tenderness and that is precisely what Meena Kumar needed to shift her focus to animals. She was only nine months when her parents put her in a basket and left her in a college campus in India. The baby was taken to an orphanage where she spent a year before a couple finally took her to their home in Mumbai. While in her new home, Meena fell in love with dogs and began catering to a litter, but the family had to move to California.
The attachment she had developed towards the canines was not severed; hence even in the United States, most of her weekends were spent visiting Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and The Human Society. However, she did not know the plight that faced the senior dogs until she heard a neighbor talk about how older canines were left behind because they did not get as much attention as the younger ones. Meena understood the feeling of wanting to be loved from her time in the orphanage. Yet, despite the eagerness, it took a year for her to find a loving home. Unfortunately, in the case of senior dogs, the young girl knew they most probably would never get to be as lucky; thus, she decided to change their fate.
The spark of a business idea
At only 12 years old, Meena wanted to start volunteering, but that would be against the shelter’s policy that only allows volunteers to be at least 17. That was a hurdle she had to jump, and jump, she did by finding an alternative; if she could not lend her time, then she would give them money to help run the facility. Consequently, a business idea was born. According to CNN. Meena began a pet-sitting service, advertising her new business, Pet Fairy Services on Nextdoor.
Still too young to rent her place and of course in line with keeping her expenses to a minimum, the girl offered petting services at her home. Neighbors and friend alike supported her, paying $35 daily, and after two years, Meena has accumulated $7,000 from her business. Luckily since her father is an Intel employee, he was eligible for a $7,000 donation from the Intel Matching Grant Program, bringing the total to $14,000. The money is only a motivation for the teenager to continue partnering with Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, and her goal is to encourage people to adopt elderly dogs. Regardless of age, dogs make great companions, and if ever there was a time we needed a pet’s love, Meena reasons it is now, during the pandemic.
Kindness has no age limit
Meena could have easily given up on helping the animal shelter after they said she had to be 17 to volunteer but that only fueled her passion for changing the fate of the senior dogs. She is not the only child who is determined to give a helping hand. Last year WRCBtv published the story of how a six-year-old, Colt Daniels makes toys, sells them and donates the proceeds to McKamey Animal Shelter. Although the fair he had set up made only $40, to Colt, no amount is too small to but make a difference, and he is happy doing something for the animals.
In Long Island, Matthew Hartmann realized the birthday gifts he was receiving were not going to be of much use. Therefore for his 7th birthday, he asked family and friends to make donations instead of buying him presents. They complied, and the young boy raised $1,600 which he gave to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center whereas for his 8th birthday he donated the $1,000 he received to Richard Brodsky Foundation. In 2019, Matthew’s charitable donations amounted to $1,325 for his 9th birthday, and he gave it to Guardians of Rescue, Smithtown.
The creativity observed in Colt is also evident in Pavel Abramov, a Russian boy who uses his talents to make animal portraits and obtain food for animal shelters through sale or barter exchange. Pavel even started “What Can a little Volunteer Do?” to help to showcase his work. With his big heart, the young boy spends time with the animals so that the paintings are further informed by the connections he gets towards them. According to Tank’s Good News, Pavel is the youngest volunteer at the only animal shelter in Arzamas.
Why should you reconsider adopting a dog?
Although Meena emphasizes on the need for having pets in our home during the pandemic, adopting one is not a decision to be taken lightly. Newsbeat reported that prospective pet parents should take care not to be in a rush to want a pet to serve them during the pandemic then abandon the animals once the lockdown is over. One main reason that causes abandonment is the failure to have enough money to cater to the dogs. For instance, taking care of a puppy costs around £400 while throughout the dog’s life you will have spent £4000-£13,000, which is quite a substantial amount.
Therefore as much as you want to help dogs in shelters find forever homes, you do not have to be the adoptive parent unless you are ready. You can instead offer your time or find ways to impact their lives as Meena, Colt and Matthew do.