A 12-year-old has been on an unusual mission since she was nine--to raise money to buy a treadmill for dogs who have to live at the humane society. When Kam Gottlieb, from Wilmette, Ill., learned that shelter pups don’t get enough exercise, she wanted to do something to help.
“They don't really have a voice to say what they're thinking, or an owner to help them out, so I wanted to give them a voice,” said the Highcrest Middle School student.
Gottlieb and her mother got on the Internet and found out there are companies that make treadmills for dogs. She selected one from a company called Dogpacer, which retails for about $500.00. For the past three years, she’s organized fundraisers, sold bracelets and asked friends for donations in order to raise the money to buy the treadmill.
When the company that manufactures the treadmill heard how committed she’s been to her cause, they not only gave her a discount and free shipping, but matched the amount she raised, so she could have a second treadmill to donate.
She donated the first treadmill to the Anti-Cruelty Society in downtown Chicago and the second one today to the Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan in Benton Harbor.
The donation couldn’t have come at a better time for the shelter, because there are fewer volunteers to help walk dogs in the winter.
“Not a lot of people like to go out when it's so cold out. This treadmill's going to give us another opportunity to give our dogs exercise even on the coldest of coldest days,” said Jill Svoboda, HSSM executive director.
Gottlieb even recruited her classmate Kate Thomason to help her make fleece blankets for the dogs at the shelter . The two girls spent about five hours making 30 blankets, which they laid on the floor of the dogs’ cages.
“I just felt kind of bad that the dogs were having to sleep on the pavement. We all have nice warm cozy beds,” said Gottlieb.
Thomason said delivering the blankets to the dogs was a rewarding experience for her.
“It was really emotional, because the dogs were really happy. We didn't have to put in that much effort to make their lives so much better,” said Thomason.
Gottlieb is currently raising money to buy a third treadmill to donate. So far, she has raised $300 for it.
“It's inspiring to me,” said Svoboda. “For her, being such a young, giving child, I hope that she's a role model to the rest of the kids her age and in her class.”