A Love of Rescue Pets—and Surprising Needy Shelters—Keeps Teen Cancer Fighter Going

A Love of Rescue Pets—and Surprising Needy Shelters—Keeps Teen Cancer Fighter Going


In March of 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic sent animal shelters throughout America scrambling to deal with the disaster, Avery Sontheimer wished to assist. So the teenager based Avery’s Pawsitive Change to lift cash for homeless pets.

“I noticed loads of animals wanted second probabilities and loads of shelters wanted assist,” the life-long animal lover informed The Canine Folks.

By way of donations to her GoFundMe web page, Avery began sending $5 present playing cards and private notes of help to animal shelters and rescue organizations from her dwelling in Curry, Pennsylvania. Her six rescue cats–Snuggles, Good-looking, Bully, TJ, Tee, and Poodah–helped preserve her firm because the challenge grew.

Then in July, Avery acquired robust information. She was identified with a uncommon most cancers referred to as Ewing sarcoma, which happens in bones or the mushy tissues round them.

Undeterred, she continued sending playing cards and notes from the hospital as she underwent remedy like chemotherapy.

“It retains me motivated to only preserve going,” she stated. “After I grow old, I additionally wish to personal my very own animal shelter. That’s my ardour. I see they want second probabilities, and so they’re simply so cute.”

Avery continues sending present playing cards to animal shelters from Avery’s Pawsitive Change even when within the hospital for most cancers therapies. Picture by Kim Chauncey

Can’t Cease, Gained’t Cease Serving to Shelter Pets

To date, Avery has despatched a whopping 3,295 present playing cards to quite a few shelters in all 50 states, totaling practically $25,000.

“We began this all due to the virus, after which it simply went viral,” she stated.

She and her mother seek for organizations on the web after which shock them with present playing cards if an tackle is listed on the web site.

Typically Avery, now 14, sends the playing cards to shelters specifically want, resembling organizations in Texas after February’s winter storm triggered widespread energy outages throughout the state.

“They had been having a tough time, so we simply figured we’d assist them,” she stated.

Avery holds her rescue cat, Snuggles. Picture by Kim Chauncey

Inspiring Others

Typically shelter employees depart messages of help on Avery’s GoFundMe website or her Facebook page, which has grown to over 8,000 followers. Many are animal lovers who share pictures and movies of their pets to encourage Avery in her mission and to assist buoy her spirits as she battles most cancers.

She loves the messages and is grateful to everybody who has donated and shared her web page with buddies.

“I couldn’t do it with out everybody’s assist,” she stated. “I’m very shocked by how massive it’s gotten. It’s very rewarding.”

Avery just lately launched one other challenge referred to as Avery’s Cans for Paws. For the previous 5 years, she’s recycled cans and bottles to fund-raise for close by animal shelters–and raised over $4,000 to spend on cleansing merchandise and different provides the nonprofits want. Now she’s inviting her area people to drop off aluminum cans and plastic bottles outdoors her dwelling.

Avery’s Cans For Paws invitations her neighbors to drop off recycling at her dwelling so she will purchase provides for native animal shelters. Picture by Kim Chauncey

“Maintain Going and Keep Optimistic”

Avery just lately headed to Pittsburgh to start out her 14th spherical of chemo. Then she’ll endure radiation on her lungs and would possibly want lung surgical procedure afterward. Scans on April 5 will decide subsequent steps.

By way of all of it, the eighth grader plans on writing extra playing cards to ship to shelters whereas she’s within the hospital. She hopes readers will take into account donating to her GoFundMe web page so she will ship as many present playing cards as doable whereas she undergoes this newest spherical of remedy.

Her recommendation to others battling most cancers: “Maintain sturdy and preserve going and keep optimistic.”

Avery’s mother, Kim Chauncey, stated she’s pleased with her daughter not just for combating most cancers, however for attempting to observe her desires of opening her personal shelter and “serving to all these animals.” She stated there was by no means a query that Avery would proceed Avery’s Pawsitive Change after her analysis.

“I feel it truly makes her wish to preserve going and combating this most cancers–simply the love of animals,” she informed The Canine Folks. “She has to maintain pushing so she will preserve following her desires.”

The proud mother hopes folks will observe Avery’s Facebook page to maintain present on upcoming information.

Avery plans to run her personal animal shelter when she grows up. Picture by Kim Chauncey

“She’s positively going to have some new issues arising,” she stated. “She will get to make a wish, and she or he loves operating, so we’re going to attempt to put collectively a digital 5K.”

Within the meantime, Avery continues to encourage animal lovers all over the world as she helps save homeless pets.

Sherri Franklin, founder and CEO of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco, California, stated she was delighted when Avery despatched a present card to assist older animals.

“We at Muttville Senior Canine Rescue are so honored to be chosen by this really exceptional 14 12 months outdated to be a recipient of her wonderful work. We’d like extra people like her on this world,” she informed The Canine Folks. “We’ve many tails wagging for her!”

To donate to Avery’s Pawsitive Change, please go to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/avery039s-pawsitive-change-spread-the-love

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