Local fifth-grader donates money, supplies to local animal shelter

A hundred dollars is a lot of money for a child; that money could pay for a lot of candy. One ten-year-old, however, decided that money was better spent on someone else, and so she set out to do something many adults struggle to do.

Kailey Furches, a fifth-grader at Harold McCormick Elementary, raised almost $150 and bags of dog and cat food and other items to donate to the Carter County Animal Shelter last Wednesday.

Furches said the inspiration to make the donation came from her interactions with a wounded dog several months prior.

“We saw a dog with a broken ankle,” Furches said. “It made my heart melt.”

After seeing that, she said she wanted to save up money to donate to the animal shelter. Working almost entirely on her own, Furches gave up her allowance money and started putting as much money as she could save in a piggy bank. She also had to give up other things in order to save up even more money.

“I had to give up my ice cream money,” she said.

In total, Furches managed to save up $147 to donate to the shelter, but money was not the only donation on her mind.

Her parents helped her pick out toys for the cats and dogs at the shelter, in addition to bags of cat and dog food.

On Wednesday, Dec. 28, Furches and her parents made the drive to the Animal Shelter. After making the donation of money and supplies, Furches got to interact with many of the animals there.

“I kept hearing the animals barking and meowing the whole time,” she said with a smile on her face.

Furches described her experience with one of the cats there, who was suffering from a condition that made it walk as if it was dizzy or drunk.

“It acted like it was going to scratch me,” she said. “When I picked it up, though, it was really calm.”

Furches said the experience was heartwarming.

“It made me feel great,” she said. “I worked hard for it.”

The experience is one of many Furches hopes to see in the future. Her parents said she is already planning to begin saving up money for another donation to somewhere else in the future.

The experience is an indicator of her life goals as she grows up.

“When I grow up, I want to be a veterinarian,” she said. “I want to work with animals.”

Furches made a challenge to the people of Elizabethton, saying there are many animals in the city and county that could use their support, however that support may appear.

“Many shelters do not have supplies, meaning the animals are in danger,” Furches said. “A penny can save an animal’s life.”

For her next donation, Furches said she plans to save up until her piggy bank cannot hold anymore.

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