2 killed, dozens injured when bus from Huntsville crashes in Mississippi

Little girl inspires the community to help Huntsville animals in need

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - One inspiring 9-year-old has made it her mission to help give animals in need a second chance for a better life.

Abigail Wilson explains her logic behind giving back.

“The world and a lot of people would be happier if people didn’t say, eh, who cares? They can save themselves," she said.

These words of wisdom come from 9-year-old Abigail, who spends her spare time at Huntsville Animal Services. Last year a shelter representative visited her school and told the kids about ways to help out at the facility. This soon became a passion for Abigail.

“She would always read books and study ways to help out,” said Abigail’s mother, Olivia Wilson. “I told her a lot of what they were going to need help with was cleaning kennels. She was all for it!”

Then volunteering quickly evolved into welcoming pets into their home. The Wilson family helped to fill the high demand in the Huntsville area for pet fosters. Young kittens and puppies cannot be left at the shelter for long. The young animals are vulnerable to kennel cough and other illnesses. In addition to health concerns, kittens must be fostered until they reach two pounds. After they reach that number they can be spayed and neutered, then adopted. As for pups, they must be eight weeks old before they can be spayed and neutered.

“You can tell how the animal was treated,” explained Abigail. “If they are sweet and cuddly then someone probably loved it and then didn’t care about it any more. They abandoned it.”

The Wilson family has fostered 18 dog and cats in the last year, even inspiring their friends to join in to help the need.

“We have had friends who have seen us do it and have gone on and done it as well,” said Olivia Wilson.

But the giving back doesn’t stop there. Every week Abigail and her mother walk the dogs. During the walk, they visit their neighbors and collect aluminum cans to drop off at the shelter. In a mile’s walk they gather one bag or so, and that wasn’t enough for Abigail.

“I decided that we might be able to get more if I asked friends and neighbors.” She did and they responded. The welcomed help is now bringing in more aluminum, and funds, to the shelter.

Each can gathered is just one more way Abigail and her community of helpers give at-risk animals a fighting chance.

“It makes me happy and it makes me proud of her,” said Abigail’s mother, Olivia, with a smile. “She makes me want to do more.”

Proving that little Abigail is making a big difference.

“It takes some work but I know I’m helping animals so it makes me happy,” said Abigail.

If you would like to collect aluminum cans for Huntsville Animal Services, you can drop them off at the shelter’s designated location on site at 4950 Triana Boulevard.  Here's more information on how to foster a pet.