By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Kylee Foster spends her Friday afternoons playing, but this playing counts as volunteer work.
Kylee, 9, is one of the youngest volunteers at the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society. She spends her Friday afternoons after school at the shelter, where she spends time with dogs and cats waiting to be adopted, giving them a bath, playing with them or just getting to know them. Her love for animals is what led her to help out at the shelter.
“I like to help people adopt dogs,” she said, “because I feel like I’m helping my friends find a new home.”
And that’s exactly what she’s done since she first volunteered for the shelter last summer.
She got her start by having bake sales and opening lemonade stands, and donating all of the proceeds – more than $170 – to the shelter.
Now she spends her time making life a little better for the animals.
“I put peanut butter in the cone things,” she said. “I look at the (animals’) tags to see how long they’ve been here, and the ones that have been here the longest, I take them to the bonding room and play with them. We play fetch or I take them outside.”
She also saves her newspapers and takes them to the shelter each week.
Kylee helps families adopt new pets, and so far she’s helped with 35 adoptions.
“I don’t think I worked that hard at that age,” said her father, Matt Foster. “She does it all on her own. That’s just the Christian in her.”
Kylee, a fourth grader at Tupelo Christian Prepatory School, has a busy schedule: she takes piano and voice lessons, is on the cheer squad, swims and plays basketball, in addition to staying on the honor roll at school.
She has her own critters at home – a cat and two dogs – and hopes to be a veterinarian one day. Her favorite animals, she said, are horses, dogs and cats.
Her father said he couldn’t be more proud.
“I’ve always liked dogs, but Kylee’s the one who really loves every animal,” he said. “She’s just got a big heart.”