Pet Project: South Florida teen makes bracelets to send pet food to owners in need

(WSVN) - When money is tight, naturally, people worry about feeding their families and paying bills. Stretching dollars to feed pets adds an extra burden, but as the Nightteam’s Brian Entin tells us, one South Florida teenager is helping in her pet project.

Making bracelets is a fun way to spend the time, but for Ally Gold, it is serious business because the money she earns by selling them goes to a cause near to her heart.

Ally Gold: “One hundred percent of the proceeds go to animals in need.”

Ally volunteers at South Florida Animal Clinics and Shelters and fosters dogs, puppies and kittens before they go to their forever homes.

At the age of 15, she’s also the founder of Ally’s Animal Project, an animal advocacy non-profit, and now, her work is more important than ever.

Ally Gold, Ally’s Animal Project: “When COVID-19 started, it started affecting a lot of people. A lot of people started losing their jobs, and I realized that I should use the money to help people who don’t have money to pay for their animal’s food, and I didn’t want them to surrender their pets.”

When people need help, they fill out a form on her website telling the Miami teen about their animals and why they can’t afford their pet food. Ally then goes online to buy the dog or cat food with the money from her project and has it shipped directly to their homes.

Selena Sabedra: “She sent me a huge bag, six months worth!”

Selena Sabedra lives near Los Angeles, California, with her dogs Ash and Cudjo.

Selena Sabedra, received dog food: “Because I had lost my job and I didn’t have enough money to even care for myself, I was so worried about, ‘How am I going to take care of my dogs?'”

She got her food from Ally’s Animal Project last week.

Selena Sabedra: “Luckily, I had found Ally, and it was an amazing experience.”

Mariela Hernandez: “Dog food isn’t cheap.”

Mariela Hernandez lives near Tampa and also lost her job when the pandemic hit. With four big dogs, she spends more than $100 a month on their food.

Mariela Hernandez, received dog food: “I don’t know if we would have been able to get food at the time that she sent it. Like, the relief checks didn’t come in until a little bit after. It was great timing that she helped us.”

Ally also posts her offer of help on her Instagram site, where she has almost 6,500 followers. Her mom says managing the project has taught her a lot about life.

Lisa Levenson, Ally’s mom: “I think it’s very important to get involved at a young age with causes that are close to their hearts, so that they can gain experience. Just the exposure alone is amazing to be able to have at this young age.”

Ally gets thank you letters and pictures from the many people she has helped, and she says that motivates her to keep up the hard work.

Ally Gold: “It made me feel like I was making a change, like I was making a difference. I just want to help as many animals as I can.”

At home, Ally devotes her time and her heart to Oreo and Bandit, her own two rescue dogs. They serve as a reminder of what giving a home to animals in need is all about.

If you need help feeding your animal, or if you’d like to donate to Ally’s animal project, click here.

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