In her five years of life, little Nona Dodd has accomplished some very big things. She has soothed the survivors of puppy mills, helped nurse sick dogs back to health, helped with the birth of new puppies – and she’s the youngest volunteer with the organization Wings of Rescue.
Nona has been helping her grandmother, Bekki Dodd, rescue and foster dogs since the day that she was born – and the animals have responded to Nona’s gentle presence. And now this "littlest rescuer" hopes to give back to the animals who have so enriched her young life.
“She has always had a special way with animals and such compassion for them,” stated Bekki. “She’s a calming comfort to our foster dogs. And now that Nona is older, she not only helps me foster, but she fosters at her own house, as well.”
Nona will be turning six this month. While most children her age have a long list of the toys, books, games, or clothes that they’d like, Nona has a very special list: one for the animals. Her one big birthday wish is to help those who need our help the most.
Instead of having a birthday party for herself, Nona wants to bring awareness for the animals who need our help the most. She’s having a party where friends and family will donate items for dogs and cats in need instead of receiving presents herself - and you can help.
“Nona fully understands the needs of homeless, abandoned, and neglected animals,” explained Bekki. “She has participated in adoption events, fostering, fundraisers, including Rescued Hearts Northwest's annual garage sale, and community events, such as Paws and Claws and Dog Days of Summer.
“She has also helped out at the airport when the Wings of Rescue flights come in. When we get dogs from California off the plane, Nona puts her head and hands down on either side of the dog's face. With her calm, innocent little presence, they just calm right down. She does everything from helping get the dogs off the plane to comforting them, taking them potty, and walking them. She also helps break down the crates and cleans up once the dogs have all be sent home with their foster families.
“Pilot and co-founder of Wings of Rescue, Yehuda Natanel, says that Nona is his youngest volunteer. And if you ask Nona what she wants to be when she grows up, she says that she wants to be an animal doctor. She’s had a good start, since she has already helped with the care of many dogs, including help giving medication to sick dogs and puppies, helping to remove a tick, assisted with puppy births, and helping vaccinate puppies.”
So why does Nona love to rescue animals? With wisdom far beyond her years, she stated: "Because all the animals deserve to be loved – especially the ones in the cages. We have to help get them out. Sometimes, people don't take good care of their animals, so we have to rescue them so they know they are still loved. When they get adopted, we are happy but sad, because we miss them, but there are still more dogs we need to rescue.”
Nona will be collecting blankets, brushes, combs, towels, bleach, dish soap, cat toys, and paper towels for the animals at the Skagit Valley Humane Society. While her birthday party will occur on Saturday, Aug. 30 in Washington State, those who would like to help the animals of the Skagit Valley Humane Society can also donate here.
In her five years of life, this "littlest rescuer" has already accomplished so much. Let’s help her continue to make a difference for those who need love and help the most. Donate if you can – and if you can’t, please share this article – because all animals deserve to be loved – especially the ones in the cages.
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