Inspiration Report

Ellen DeGeneres isn’t the only one raising awareness for pets; four kids and teens are being awarded for their humanitarian efforts to help animals.

As part of “Be Kind to Animals Week” (May 2-8), the American Humane Association sponsored a contest to award kids for their kind and compassionate gestures toward animals.

Hannah Blaze, 11, of Independence, OH and Justin Strawser, 13, of Grantville, PA were chosen as grand prize winners while Janis Lin Brehler, 10, of Asheville, NC and Christina George, 15, of Santa Monica, CA were chosen as runners-up. 

After attending a city council meeting on her own, Hannah helped raise awareness for shelter animals in cramped situations.  Her efforts lead to the mayor’s personal attention and a new dog run and new cat shelter that increased adoptions.

When Justin adopted a dog from a rescue organization, he learned most of the dogs (like his own) had never received personal attention or play time.  To help pets get the affection and love they need, he spent $600 of his own money to provide toys and food for all the dogs at the rescue organization.

Before she became the junior representative of the Asheville Humane Society, Janis spent her after-school and weekend hours volunteering there.  She did everything and anything from cleaning cages to helping at adoption events and now spends her days helping animals become adopted.

As the owner of four pets, Christina knows the importance of understanding pets and communicating with them.  To teach other kids how to be responsible with pets, she helps teach a Red Cross animal first aid course and volunteers as a camp counselor at Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter’s summer camp. 

Read more about these extraordinary, pet-loving kids at

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