Gerty Kelly is just 7 years old and about to enter the 2nd grade in Beaverton, Ore. This girl loves animals and loves to sew, and when she saw eight chihuahua puppies being sold at the local market, she decided she had to do something.
“My friend Amanda from Panda Paws (Rescue) is always talking about spay and neuter,” she said. “There are enough puppies in the world already. If we spay and neuter them then they won't have to get the ‘shot!”
So Gerty started a fundraiser by first sewing a pet bed - and this girl has some serious sewing skills – acquired by spending countless hours with moms Sayde and Patty Kelly. They own and operate Doodlebug Duds, making clothing, beds, toys and other products for pets.
“She has mad cutting skills since she was 2 years old,” said Sayde. “At age 5 I started letting her do the foot pedal. By age 6 she was guiding the fabric, using the foot pedal, and cutting threads.”
Gerty finally asked to do it by herself and ended up doing a great job, not only with sewing, but with picking out colors, Sayde says.
“Now, she comes up with the project, picks out the fabric, and lays it out as a pattern. Then she sews on her own, once in a while getting distracted by ‘Sponge Bob.’ She has blown us away not only in her scholastics, but in her talents.”
Gerty created quilts and beds, and some other items were donated. She raised more than $1,400 – enough to spay/neuter a dozen dogs.
Gerty says the money she raised will go to Amanda Giese of Panda Paws Rescue. Amanda will choose the dogs that will receive the surgery.
“I want it to go to pit bulls and Chihuahuas because those are the kind of dogs that mostly get the shot that makes them die,” said Gerty.
Gerty has grown up with pets, and is “little mama” to a sweet pup named “Fluffy Shark,” who is well known to people who follow Panda Paws on Facebook.
"I like to help walk him, feed him, bathe him," she said. "I snuggle him and put him to bed at night with a little kissy kiss. He is so cute and fuzzy. I love being his little momma."
Gerty also helped raise thousands of dollars for Panda Paws' hydrotherapy pool and she is already preparing for her next fundraiser.
“I will be doing one soon, like probably next month,” she said. “I am going to make more beds and maybe a round bed to auction for Panda Paws Rescue.”
If you would like to donate, Fluffy Shark has an Etsy page where you can buy t-shirts, decals, paintings done by Fluffy himself, or simply make a donation to the spay/neuter fund.