Madelyn Johnson, 12, of Big Timber, Mont., a sixth-grader at Big Timber Grade School, has helped save the lives of many stray dogs and cats by fostering young animals in her home, volunteering and raising money for an animal shelter, and assisting with spay and neuter clinics. “Since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to save and care for animals,” said Madelyn. In late 2016, she took some stray kittens from her grandmother’s house to the Stafford Animal Shelter, and from that day, she has been a dedicated volunteer at the facility, traveling 30 miles each way most weeks to help out.
Since completing a training course at the shelter, Madelyn has spent many hours fostering kittens and a puppy in her home, and performing chores at the shelter, such as walking dogs and soothing cats. She has also assisted a veterinarian at four spay and neuter clinics. In addition, Madelyn raises money to buy animal food and pay for vet services at the shelter; she recently sewed a dog bed that was raffled off. Madelyn said she feels gratified that her work with animals is making a difference in her community. “I would tell people, don’t just walk by stray animals and leave them there,” she said. “Bring them to a nearby shelter. Animals need love, too.”