9-year-old girl's collection drive for Florida pet shelter inspires even more giving

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Posted at 8:44 AM, Apr 29, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — Caroline Uhorchak may be just 9 years old. But the Florida girl is already doing grown-up things for Tampa Bay area shelter animals.

With her trusty red wagon, Caroline recently collected hundreds of toys, food, clothes and cash donations in her neighborhood. She then brought the massive haul to the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center in Tampa.

"I just like animals and I like shelters, and I like what shelters do for animals," Caroline said. "It's really nice."

Caroline's mom was apprehensive when her daughter first told her about her plan to help the animals.

"I was thinking this seems like a lot of work," Stacey Uhorchak said. "I wanted to say no. But I also heard God telling me she was going to do amazing things. And she did."

Caroline's story of generosity appeared in The Week Junior magazine. That's where Purina saw her story, too.

Inspired by Caroline, the company donated three pallets of food to the Tampa shelter.

"That is so cool," Caroline said.

Lauryn Postiglione of the Pet Resource Center says Caroline's generosity is already being felt by the animals.

"The toys, the treats, all of that, is a great form of enrichment for the animals," she said. "We always appreciate those donations."

Caroline is from a military family, and the Army will soon be moving the Uhorchak's to Arizona, a state that will no doubt benefit from her kindness.

For more on the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, click here.

This story was originally published by Sean Daly on Scripps station WFTS in Tampa, Florida.