Local seven-year-old raises $400 to pay for homeless cats’ veterinary bills

BUCKHANNON – A local seven-year-old raised $400 to give to LUV 4 Animals, a group of volunteers that works to save the lives of cats and dogs housed at the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility.

Mia Park and her mother Kari Park organized a pet photo contest called the ‘Sit, Stay at Home’ pet photo contest. Money Mia raised through the photo contest entry fees will help pay the veterinary bills of cats housed at LUAC.

“It was run on Facebook, it was $5 per photo and we had three divisions,” Kari Park said. “We had out-of-state judges, so it was all very fair and then Mia put all the prize packages together herself – she picked out dog toys, cat toys and she donated three of her crowns to put in the packages.”

They had more than 28 pictures submitted in three categories including: ‘the cutest pet,’ ‘all-dressed-up-and-nowhere-to-go pet’ and ‘the best co-worker pet.’

“She won The Little Miss West Virginia Rhododendron Festival, and part of her prize package is that she gets her entry fee paid to go to the state Little Miss West Virginia Elementary America, so if she wins that one, she goes on to nationals,” Kari Park said. “Part of her application is what you do for community service, so you have to pick something you’re really passionate about, and she has always loved animals.”

Mia said she just wanted to help the animals at the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility.

“I really wanted to help the cats and dogs find their homes,” Mia said.

Kari Park said choosing a community service was easy because Mia naturally loves animals.

“It was actually a no-brainer. I do a lot of community service work, so she’s always seen us being very active with community projects all the time, and she’s grown up on a farm atmosphere, one of her grandparents owned horses, so she just has a passion for animals,” Kari Park said. “That’s how we got suckered into even having a cat at our house.”

Robin Keough, vice president of Luv 4 Animals, said the $400 will specifically go toward helping the cats at the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility.

“We’ve decided since we’ve gotten so many new cats in that we’ll just use it to vet the cats,” Keough said. “Tina Phillips, who is a volunteer, has been really helping a lot with cats and she’s got appointments in February. We’ll get them spayed or if someone comes in from the community that wants to adopt one of these cats, we will pay for the spay or neuter, which the voucher does not cover.”

Mia Park with one of the cats at LUAC who needs a home.

Find Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility online here or follow LUV 4 Animal’s efforts to rescue pets on Facebook here.

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