Dog News

9-Year-Old Skips Birthday Presents, Donates To Needy Shelter Dogs

by Amy Drew

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Most 9-year-olds would be clamoring for video games, clothes, perhaps a trip to the trampoline gym, but Hannah Okel of Waukesha, WI, doesn’t want any birthday gifts.

This generous little girl, who’s already planning on a career as a veterinarian, is skipping birthday gifts for the second year in a row to help dogs in need. She’s asking her friends and family to donate to the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation.

Hannah, who is already working towards being a veterinarian, has decided to forgo birthday gifts for the second year in a row. Instead of collecting clothes, games, gift cards and money, the little animal lover has asked her family and friends to donate to the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation.

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Hannah and her dog, Scout. Photo: The Okel Family


This nonprofit is part of Camp Bow Wow, and it’s dedicated to covering the medical expenses of shelter dogs and pups who belong to families who can’t afford to pay their pet’s bills. Through the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation and donors like Hannah, the non-profit can offer up to $2,500 to families, shelters and rescue groups who need help saving a dog’s life.

Hannah’s motivation is driven in part by her love for her own dog, Scout.

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This is the second consecutive year that Hannah is passing on presents to help needy dogs. Photo: The Okel Family


“I chose this because if Scout needed surgery and we didn’t have enough money to pay for it, I would be sad. So, I am putting my feet in other people’s shoes and want to help those who can’t pay for their animal’s surgery,” Hannah told WISN.

Hannah’s 10th birthday is Feb. 18. Until then, she’ll be collecting donations — all of which will be matched by
Camp Bow Wow Waukesha.

Want to send Hannah a birthday wish? You can make a donation here, and write “Hannah’s Birthday – CBW Waukesha” in the special note section.