Most kids love dogs, but 13-year-old Molly Wogan has taken her passion to a whole new level! She began volunteering at her local shelter at the age of 9, and for her 12th birthday she launched the Precious Animals, Wonderful Shelters (P.A.W.S.) Project to raise money and awareness for homeless dogs.
Last week, Molly was honored for her incredible work by the crowdfunding site, GoFundMe who named her one of their Kid Heroes!
The P.A.W.S. Project began as a one year endeavor with a goal of raising $2,500 and collecting a few shelter necessities like leashes, collars, and toys. After exceeding her goal in under six weeks, Molly went on to raise more than $28,000 selling homemade dog toys, treats, and keychains at local adoption events and through GoFundMe. She also collected more than $40,000 worth of donated products for shelters in need.
Most importantly, Molly’s efforts helped facilitate the relocation of 110 dogs from high kill shelters in Georgia to her home state of Massachusetts where each and every pooch has since found a loving forever home.
Molly says she was inspired to start the P.A.W.S. Project after adopting her own two rescue dogs. The Wogan family took in Riley when she was just a tiny pup. The mixed-breed pooch was rescued from Tennessee along with her mother and six littermates by Great Dog Rescue New England.
Gracie came along two years later, adopted from the shelter where Molly and her mother, Mindy volunteer. Gracie was pregnant, heartworm positive, suffering from pneumonia, and had been hit by a car when she arrived at a kill shelter in Georgia. She was rescued and brought to Massachusetts along with her 10 pups by EARLS Hope Rescue.
Upon adopting Gracie, the Wogans discovered a letter from a rescuer named Sue Ann detailing the dog’s tragic past.
“There are so many people who rescue dogs who don’t really understand what rescue means,” Mindy said. “We didn’t. I didn’t realize the conditions these dogs came from until I read that letter from Sue Ann. I emailed her right away to tell her that Gracie was safe and in a loving family. And that’s when this all started.”
Sue Ann’s letter lit a spark inside Molly, and she knew she wanted to do even more to save homeless dogs.
“I wanted to give back to the people who rescued Gracie and my other dog Riley,” she said. ”And I wanted to help rescue other dogs like them.”
On June 15, GoFundMe posted their Kid Hero feature on Molly and within 24 hours an additional $33,973 had been raised for the P.A.W.S. Project – with donations continuing to pour in!
Molly plans to rescue another transport of 56 dogs on her upcoming trip to Georgia. Thanks to the generous contributions of people across the world, she will now be able to save hundreds more!
Her ultimate goal is to one day start her own shelter. You go, Molly! You truly are a Kid Hero!