Dog News

5 Year Old Leaves Legacy of Helping Homeless Animals


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Sarah Orton with birthday gifts donation (2)Sarah Jayne Orton, of Finksburg Maryland, was a special child who devoted her short five years of life to helping homeless animals. Sadly, on October 10th, five year old Sarah passed away unexpectedly after falling ill.

Sarah had loved all animals and spent much of her time doing all she could to care for them. Just a few short months before her death, Sarah celebrated her May 15th birthday by asking that all birthday gifts be given as donations to the Baltimore Humane Society, an unusually selfless request for a five year old! Sarah’s dog, Scooter, had been adopted from the Baltimore Humane Society before she was even born. Sarah knew she had a loving and warm home and believed that these homeless animals deserve the same.

After her sudden death, Sarah’s parents knew that she would not want people to forget the homeless animals who are unable to speak for themselves, as this was one of her chief passions. So, they created the Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Foundation to memorialize Sarah’s life and to support the care of animals at the Baltimore Humane Society.

Sarah’s aunt, Nicole Mathews, describes her niece as a precious girl who was even inclusive with her favorite color, which was “rainbow.”

“We all take comfort in knowing that Sarah is now with her beloved pets at the Rainbow Bridge looking down and smiling that her legacy lives on.”

A plaque will be erected at the Baltimore Humane Society in Sarah’s honor.       Sarah Jayne Orton (2)

100% of the donations to the Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Foundation will go to the care of the animals at the Baltimore Humane Society’s no-kill shelter. Donations can be made by mail to Baltimore Humane Society at 1601 Nicodemus Road, Reisterstown 21136, or donating online at


The Baltimore Humane Society, founded in 1927 by Mrs. Elsie Seeger Barton, is an independent, non-profit, no-kill animal shelter, which offers low-cost veterinary care to the public, and a pet cemetery with grief support services. We receive no operational funding from the local or federal governments, or any national animal welfare organizations.  For more information about BHS, and how you can contribute, volunteer, adopt, or foster, please visit