Some of the smallest people have the biggest hearts when it comes to animals. We wanted to celebrate two of these pint-size super-heroes – Jayden Messom and Chloe Simms. Although both girls are only 10 years old, they’ve shown more kindness, selflessness and generosity to homeless animals than many of us can claim for a lifetime. Here’s how they’ve been making a big difference in the lives of Nova Scotia SPCA animals.
Jayden’s mom, Janice, says Jayden’s love for animals was apparent from a very early age. “In fact, one of her first words was “kitty,” though it came out more like “kkkkeeeyyy,”‘ chuckles Janice. “From our Lab Max and cat Kodak to the 2 stray kitties who found their way into our home, Jayden’s bond with animals has always been special,” she adds. “We also fostered a sweet dog named Luna from the Colchester SPCA so Jayden experienced caring for an animal until they found their forever home.”
Jayden relates that she’s a “kitty cuddler” at the Colchester shelter. “When we got Luna, I saw all the kitties in their cages and thought it was so sad that they were alone. I try to give them all cuddles and play with them.” Her favorite part of volunteering? “I love seeing the different personalities and am happy that they don’t stay long at the SPCA before finding their families,” shares Jayden.
Jayden really missed seeing the animals when the shelter was closed due to Covid-19. “I wanted to make sure that the cats and dogs had enough food to eat. I wanted to raise enough money for 3 bags of food for the SPCA”’ she says. And talk about creative??!! Jayden decided to “dance for donations.” “I made up signs and posted them in my neighborhood with the time, date and purpose of what I was raising money for. We downloaded some good dance music like Who Let The Dogs Out.” While Jayden’s goal was $20… she raised a whopping $510 for SPCA animals. Way to go Jayden!
Chloe’s mom Aimee echoes that Chloe has always loved animals. “Chloe has shown an interest in and affection for animals since she was a toddler, and her love and passion for them has only grown since then,” relates Aimee. “Chloe is the proud fur-mom of 3 lucky cats – Flip, Bubbles and Mya – and spends lots of time playing with them.”
Chloe shares that she is also a ‘kitty cuddler’ at the Dartmouth shelter and walks dogs alongside her mom. “I like going to the SPCA to meet all the furry faces and to show them kindness and love. I feel good knowing that the animals are well cared for and that they receive individual attention. I’d like to bring them all home with me if I could,” says Chloe.
Chloe and her mom regularly drop off donations, supplies and presents for animals at the shelter. “One of my hobbies is to go around with my brother Carter and collect bottles that people have thrown out of their vehicles. Then I use the money to buy things that the SPCA has posted on their Wish List,” shares Chloe. Talk about initiative!! You rock Chloe!! And her advice to other kids who’d like to help? “Even a small donation of supplies or your time can make a big difference to animals who are waiting for their forever homes.”
Let’s give a huge round of “a-paws” to kids like Jayden and Chloe who are doing amazing things to help homeless animals. Let’s encourage other kids to become heroes for homeless animals too.
Each year, thousands of homeless animals cross the Nova Scotia SPCA’s doorstep. There are lots of great ways for kids to help them. Here are some favorites:
Ask for birthday donations
Kids can ask family and friends to bring donations for homeless animals instead of birthday presents.
Organize a fun fundraiser
Kids can host fundraisers like lemonade stands, bake sales and car washes in their neighborhood or at church or school to raise money for homeless animals. They can also collect recyclable cans, take them to the local recycling center and donate the proceeds to a shelter or rescue.
Conduct a Wish List drive
Kids can ask their teachers if they can lead a donation drive at their school to collect items that shelter animals need, like food, toys, beds, towels and blankets. Or they can get creative by hosting a movie night or ice cream party for friends, with a Wish List item as admission. The SPCA’s Wish List for animals can be found here.
Have a friendly competition at school
Kids can hold a pop can or coin drive with a catchy name such as ‘Pop Cans for Pets,’ ‘Cans for Cats’ or ‘Dimes for Dogs’ and make it a competition between classes, grades or the entire school. Winners can receive awards such as ‘Top Crusaders for Cats’ or ‘Dogs’ Best Friends.’
Educate friends and family
Kids can play an important role in helping people understand that spaying/neutering their pets can help reduce the number of homeless animals. They can make bookmarks, posters or write a report for class about the importance of spaying/neutering your pet.
Adopt pets from the SPCA or a registered rescue
Kids can lead by example by adopting a homeless pet from a recognized rescue.
Foster an animal
Kids can ask their parents to help them foster a homeless animal. They’ll be helping two animals – the one they foster and another one who will get a place in the shelter.
Lead by example
Along with their parents, kids can make sure their family’s pets are spayed/neutered, have up-to-date vaccinations, ID tags and a microchip in case they get lost.