Cohen Dupuis, with sister Aspyn, stands with the load of food collected for his birthday to donate to the K9-1-1 Animal Shelter near Sicamous. Photo contributed

Birthday donations help animal shelter

Five-year old chooses charity instead of gifts

For his fifth birthday Cohen Dupuis asked for pet food.

At his Dec. 8 birthday party (his actual birthday is Nov. 27), the Salmon Arm West elementary student’s friends came through with animal food and more, all to for donation to Debbie Fortin and K9-1-1 Animal Rescue near Sicamous.

“Cohen… as soon as we got there, he was off to the horses, feeding the horses the apples,” said Cohen’s mom, Andrea Dupuis. “They pretty much fed all the animals that day.”

Fortin applauded Cohen’s generosity on Facebook, thanking him and his older sister Asypn, who did the same as Cohen, asking friends to bring donations for K9-1-1 instead of gifts, for her birthday party in February.

“Enjoyed our visit with Cohen and family and we have never forgotten his sister’s (Aspyn) wonderful donations last winter,” said Fortin. “It is heart warming to see such genuine generosity and kindness being shown and taught through such wonderful actions. There is something here for every animal in our care to receive and feel loved.”

Andrea said Aspyn attended the birthday of a friend who had asked for food for donation to the SPCA instead of gifts, and was inspired to do the same.

“I gave Cohen the choice this year and that’s what he chose, because he wanted to be like his big sister and help the animals,” said Andrea, also thrilled by the choices and actions of her kids.

“It just absolutely warms my heart, that’s for sure. So many kids these days, I don’t know a lot of five year olds that would give up their birthday gifts. We’re pretty proud of them.”

Andrea said both kids loved delivering the food to the K9-1-1, and being with the animals, adding Aspyn “wants to “do something with animals when she gets bigger.”

For her next birthday, however, Aspyn is considering shifting her focus to helping out the Salmon Arm Women’s Shelter.

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