A Hero to Animals Award is on its way from PETA Kids—PETA’s youth division—to 11-year-old Kaden Simpson, who has raised over $8,000 for 12 dogs and cats who survived a fire at a nearby home that killed their guardian and five other animal companions.
After seeing photos of the injured survivors, Kaden, who is autistic, immediately told his mother that he wanted to help them. He started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the animals’ veterinary care and food—a move that was in character, as he’s donated his birthday money to the Duplin County Animal Shelter for years.
“Thanks to Kaden’s thoughtfulness and huge heart and the kindness of everyone who contributed to the fundraiser, cats and dogs who survived a terrible tragedy are being helped,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “PETA Kids is recognizing Kaden for showing that young people can be the biggest heroes to animals in need.”
PETA Kids—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—thanks Kaden for being a proponent of animal adoption and for supporting his local shelter. He and his family are guardians to five adopted animal companions—lucky ones in comparison to the approximately 70 million dogs and cats who are homeless in the U.S. at any given time. PETA Kids urges everyone to help combat this crisis by following Kaden’s lead and never buying an animal from a breeder or pet store.