Birthday girl's gifts are for the dogs
Animal-loving 7-year-old gives birthday haul to Powell shelter
Lauren Nguyen, 7, is pictured with Bernie from the Powell Animal Welfare Society and some of the items she is donating to PAWS. For her 7th birthday party, Lauren asked friends to bring items for PAWS. The Nguyens soon may add Bernie to their family. Buy This Photo
For her 7th birthday, Lauren Nguyen didn't want a Barbie doll or a new bike.
Toys were the last thing on her mind after she learned about the dogs kept as foster pets by volunteers with the Powell Animal Welfare Society.
Lauren, who lives in Powell and attends Indian Springs Elementary School, asked for dog toys, dog food and other pet supplies for her birthday earlier this month.
She donated it all to PAWS last Thursday, June 6.
"I love dogs so much," Lauren said. "Instead of presents, I decided I should do donations for the dogs that don't have anything.
"Lots of dogs got sick or lost their homes and I felt really bad for them," she added. "I felt like they needed something."
Lauren's family -- parents, Tom and Jeanette, and 8-year-old brother, Mason -- hosted a birthday party sleepover, and five friends brought dog toys and supplies for PAWS.
She used her extra birthday money to buy a gift card to a pet store, which she also donated.
Mrs. Nguyen said her daughter has always had a soft spot for animals.
"She's pretty much been an animal lover since birth. She's taken to just about every dog in the neighborhood," she said.
Before she could have a dog of her own, Lauren's family wanted her to show some responsibility. For the past year, she's helped her parents around the house and learned about caring for a dog.
"This year, she decided she wanted to help out at an animal shelter," Mrs. Nguyen said. "We did some research and that's how we found out about PAWS."
After their daughter's showing of generosity, the Nguyens are ready to adopt a family dog.
They're currently considering Bernie, a cocker spaniel mix, as the next member of their family. They plan to schedule a home visit soon to see if he's a good fit.
PAWS is an all-volunteer, foster-based dog-rescue center serving central Ohio.
Volunteers rescue, provide veterinary care and find new homes for abused, neglected and stray dogs from high-kill dog shelters in Ohio and neighboring states.
PAWS has no kennels. All of its dogs are kept in foster homes.