When Samantha Flemming created invitations for her 12th birthday party, her mom was surprised at her gift list.
“I saw a strange list,” Susan Flemming said of her daughter’s wish list, which focused on dog toys and needs instead of typical pre-teen accessories. “I’m really proud of her. I didn’t have anything to do with it.”
Samantha made her list with the animals of Dog Town Canine Rescue in mind. She said she got the idea from a Girl Scout troop project that collected donations for rescued pets.
Samantha has a deep appreciation for animals and hopes to become a veterinarian. At home, the Flemmings have two Labrador/shepherd-mix dogs, Biscuit and Daisy. She is looking into how she can volunteer at a rescue, which she did when they lived in Canada.
“Lots of kids, they have everything they need,” she said. “Animals at shelters don’t have a family and don’t have anything.”
Her party guests also enjoyed the change.
“The kids at the party said, ‘I just loved shopping for this,’” Susan Flemming said. “It was fun. I wouldn’t be surprised if other kids start doing this.”
That would be great news for Dog Town Canine Rescue, which received the gifts Feb. 23. Along with other animal-rescue groups and shelters, Dog Town often makes do with hand-me-down toys, bedding and other equipment.
“Very, very rarely do we see anyone that generous, especially at that age,” said Lorayne Walser, founder of Dog Town. “She was thinking of something besides herself.”
As a thank-you, Dog Town sent Samantha a hoody with the rescue group’s logo.
“We were all very touched by her generosity,” Walser said. “She’s a great young lady.”