Four-year-old celebrates birthday with Animal Shelter donation

For many children, birthday celebrations take place in pizza restaurants or movie theaters. For four-year-old Jackson Franklin, however, his time was better spent at the Carter County Animal Shelter.

Director Shannon Posada said they did not know he planned to spend his birthday there until he arrived.

“They just came over,” Posada said. “It was him and his grandmother.”

She said he wanted to make bow ties for all the various animals at the shelter, so they had a better chance of being adopted.

“He was the sweetest little fella ever,” she said.

Bow ties were not the only thing he brought with him, however. Franklin also brought toys and food for the cats and dogs so they had something to play with during their time there.

“We are very thankful [people like him] have an interest in the shelter,” Posada said. “They really mean a lot to us.”

She said community support from people as young as Franklin helps raise awareness, and by extension support, for the shelter and its financial needs.

Much of the shelter’s daily operations receive funding from community donations, which are often earmarked for specific purposes. For Franklin, the bow ties were meant for the animals to wear, and that is precisely what the shelter did. Posada said many of the animals are still wearing them, particularly during the shelter’s recent adoption event. She said the bow ties actually swayed more people to adopt.

“He wanted to dress them up so they could find a loving home,” she said. “His heart is bigger than the moon.”

She said actions like Franklin’s show how positive the community can be if they put their minds to it.

“They put themselves aside to think about the animals,” she said. “It is one of the more enjoyable parts of our jobs.”

She said she also wanted to thank Franklin’s grandmother, who helped him achieve his birthday wish.

“We are very appreciative of his grandmother. She had a big part in it,” Posada said. “He had an idea, and it meant something to him.”

Those interested in helping the shelter themselves can do so by contacting the shelter at 423-547-6359 for more information about volunteering or donations.

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