Romona's Kids: Little girl loves animals more than birthdays - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Romona's Kids: Little girl loves animals more than birthdays

Karlie Smick Karlie Smick

A local 12-year-old girl, with a very big heart for animals is proving it, by giving up birthday presents and a party every year to help local rescues.

"I've got 6 or 7 pets at the house, including fish, and I just absolutely love animals," said Karlie Smick. 

For six years now, instead of getting presents for her birthday Karlie Smick collects food and supplies for local animal rescues.

This honor roll student even staged a friendly competition between grades at Columbia Middle School and ended up with boxes overflowing with donations.

"Karlie's a special person, whenever you see someone as young as her kind of putting themselves on the back burner to help out others, it really hits you right here," said Principal Troy Bunner.

Add all that to donations collected at local businesses, and the Lorain County Dog Kennel, Cats Rescue in Oberlin, and Multiple Breed Rescue in Elyria -- each got a share of hundreds of pounds of food, blankets, grooming and cleaning supplies, toys and treats.

"We supply everything to our foster homes, dog food, collar, leashes, beds, toys, treats everything, we make it so our foster homes don't have to pay for anything for their foster dogs," said Amy Hunt.

And this year's collection added to a pretty impressive total over the past six years.

She's raised over $7,000, just in donations, and over 2,500 pounds of dog food.

Karlie says she has a big heart for animals and calls the rescue dogs she grew up with her "nannies!"

They're the reason she visits local shelters, and does what she can to help.

"They absolutely love it and it gives me a warm feeling inside that I'm helping all those animal shelters and animals and... It feels good," Karlie said.

Karlie was even able to give over $1,100 in donations to the rescue.

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