Nine-Year-Old Hero Honours a Best Friend

By Taylor Huestis

You’re never too small to make a big difference. Just ask nine-year-old Kianna!

Kianna has always had a strong passion for animals. Her pups, Rain and Lily, were more like best friends than they were pets. Kianna called Rain and Lily her brother and sister. They were inseparable.

But sadly, last year the family had a lifechanging and devastating experience.

Lily started to develop a lump. At first, they thought she must have bumped into something. It was very small, and Lily could be very goofy. But then nerves and fears began to sink in. What if something was wrong with their sweet Lily?

Kianna’s mum, Heather, was terrified. She reached out to their veterinarian to have the lump checked. The diagnosis broke her heart. “I was a single-mom, and I couldn’t afford the surgery that Lily needed,” Heather shared. “I didn’t look for help until it was too late. I have crazy guilt and PTSD about it.”

The family mourned Lily’s passing. To honour Lily, they were searching for a way to give back. After all, that’s what Lily would have wanted.

Fate stepped in.

Heather was on Facebook and saw a post from her friend about the Sunshine Fund. “I had never heard about it until that moment,” Heather grieved. “I got really emotional and moved by it. It made me think, if I can help others by raising awareness and donating then we can make a difference for someone else.”

The Sunshine Fund at the SPCA Veterinary Hospital was designed to help families in crisis with urgent medical care. Donations give dignity to loving owners and hope for hurt pets.

“My mom was telling me about it one night,” Kianna explained. “Mommy said she was going to donate to the Sunshine Fund. I asked her what it was, so she told me. So, I asked if I could give them some of my money and she said yes!”

“I was thinking about our dogs,” Kianna continued. “They couldn’t make it, but I want other people and their animals to be able to make it. I saved up money throughout the years from birthdays and holidays and kept it until I wanted to donate it.”

Kianna made a generous donation to help someone else’s best friend. She understands many families are embarrassed or unaware of what resources exist to help. So, Kianna wants to help families feel comfortable asking for support.

“If anyone is embarrassed, they should reach out for help,” Kianna encouraged. “It will help your dog or any type of animal you have.” Her mum added, “Our fur babies are just like our family members. If you can get to that place before something bad happens and remember you wouldn’t be embarrassed to ask for help for your child, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help for your pets.”

Kianna also hopes to inspire more people to donate and give what they can to the Sunshine Fund. Many families have been hit hard with the pandemic and can’t afford treatment or emergency care for their furry friend.

“I want to tell my story because people should help other people and their pets that need it,” Kianna smiled. “Help them have more time with their pets.”


You can grow our ability to help more loving families in need. Contribute to the Sunshine Fund today by clicking here

If you need help, please contact the SPCA Veterinary Hospital at or 902-706-4155 to discuss a solution that works for you and your pet. We’re here to help!

Taylor Huestis

Taylor is the Communications & Development Officer with the Nova Scotia SPCA and proud adoptive fur-mama to Bonnie and Boy. She is passionate about raising awareness and funds for local animals in need. Connect with Taylor at or 902-222-0378 today.