61ºF

Birthday girl asks for donations to shelter instead of presents

ORLANDO, Fla. – Kendley Anne just turned 5 years old and she loves animals. For her birthday, she wanted to have a party and invite her whole class. But then she realized she would have too many presents.

"My mommy said, 'You're going to get some from everybody else, from your family and friends,'" Kendley said.

Instead, she and her mom came up with an idea that will give back to pets at Orange County Animal Services.

"Because we love animals so much, it was just a nice fit for her, especially for her age," said her mother, Kelly Meloon.

"My mommy said they don't have toys to play with," Kendley said.

She told her friends to buy toys and treats for the shelter in place of her presents, and ended up with a whole basket full.

"Her mom came up to me saying that Kendley wanted to do this, so when I heard, I said, 'That's great.' And she came out to visit the shelter," said Carolina Devine, of Orange County Animal Services.

Workers said the toys will be used to help exercise the pets and give them much-needed play time. Kendley delivered the toys herself and got to visit the shelter for the first time, for her birthday.

"Knowing that Kendley Anne already has a big heart, wanting to donate to our shelter pets, I know she's going to be a big animal lover for the rest of her life," Devine said.

Kendley met some of the animals and told News 6 she even learned a couple of new things.

"That they were sick and they were hurt and you don't touch the ones that are sick, the dogs," Kendley said.

"I think it's a wonderful way to give back," her mother said. "Animals can't speak, they can't tell you what they need, but it was a very rewarding experience."