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Valley girl foregoes holiday gifts to help animals

PHOENIX — Imagine being 12-year-old and asking everyone to skip the Christmas gifts.

That’s exactly what sixth-grader Katie Brown did last week, after she asked each of her family members to help her raise funds instead to help animals.

“I ended up collecting $700,” she told KTAR as she prepared to hand over a cash donation to the Judith Gardner with the Arizona Animal Welfare League on Wednesday morning.

“We just are in awe,” Gardner said. “Such a wonderful young lady has so much compassion at such a young age.”

Brown asked that the money go toward the medical fund at AAWL. She volunteered for the shelter in the past and knows where the money is needed most.

“Eighty-seven percent of (the animals) need some kind of medical treatment,” Gardner said. “Beyond just spay, neuter and vaccines, they need some kind of other help.”

This isn’t Brown’s first pass at helping animals under stress.

“She’s always had a big heart,” her mother, Molly Pont-Brown, recalled. “She was really into the honey bees when she was younger … and I think elephant poaching is maybe her next thing.”