Spotlight

5th Grader Makes Toys to Help Dogs

Fifth-grader Ryan was assigned a class project based on a topic the students were passionate about. He’s very passionate about animals, so he started brainstorming ways he could help them. Since he has two dogs, Easton and Ellie, and a cat, Ming, he thought about dogs and cats who don’t have homes, like those in animal shelters.

Ryan and his two dogs playing with a pup tug

Ryan and his two pups try out a toy to see if it’s dog-approved.

Through an internet search, he and his grownup found an article on an easy DIY dog toy. He decided to make this the center of his school project—and he wanted to go even further by donating his homemade dog toys to an animal shelter in his area!

ryan poses next to all of the fleece to make pup tugs

Ryan poses next to all the fleece fabric he’s using for his “pup tugs.”

Since then, he has started his own Facebook page called Ry’s Pup Tugs and is making and sending out toys for any dogs who need some extra joy. He’s doing this free of charge, too. All he asks for in return is a pic of each dog and their new toy.

Because of Ryan’s compassion for animals and drive to help them, PETA Kids is giving him a Hero to Animals Award.

Ryan's 'Hero to Animals' Award

Ryan suggests that other kids who want to help animals should get creative in finding things or activities that bring their own animal companions joy—and making it fun for the whole family.

Ryan playing with a dog with his pup tugs

There are about 70 million homeless dogs and cats in the U.S., and about 6 million of them enter animal shelters every year. It’s important for us to help these animals by NEVER buying a companion animal from a pet store or breeder. People who are ready to add a cat or dog to the family should adopt one and make sure to have them spayed or neutered.

Thanks, Ryan, for being an inspiration!