Young boy determined to help shelter dogs

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When 12-year-old Kaden Rutherford’s dog went missing he searched everywhere for her, including the local Humane Society. While at the shelter he was saddened to see dogs curled up on cold floors without blankets. Kaden was moved by what he saw and wanted to get blankets for all the dogs in San Diego County shelters.

In August, Kaden’s beloved 1-year-old Shih Tzu Suki went missing from his yard. “We had some friends dog-sitting, and she put her in the back yard, and 10 minutes later she wasn’t back there anymore,” said Kaden. Along with his mom, he searched everywhere for Suki, posting flyers and visiting shelters. While visiting a shelter Kaden was upset that the dogs didn’t have blankets. “I noticed that all the dogs weren’t sleeping on blankets,” he said. “Sometimes there was a small blanket, but two dogs would be using it and there wasn’t room for the third one (in the kennel).” Kaden wanted to help.

At first Kaden set out to raise 100 blankets to fill the kennels, and started by using his allowance money. “I used  some of my allowance money. All of it, actually,” he said. “I had a giant crayon full of money, and that all went to blankets. I took money out of my savings account. And my mom helped a little.” Kaden used the money to buy blankets for the shelter dogs and even contributed a blanket from his own bed.

Kaden made his first delivery to the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA the Monday before Thanksgiving. The blankets were a hit. When Kaden put the first blanket inside of a kennel the dog sniffed it and immediately curled up on it. Kaden decided he wanted to do more, he wanted all the shelter dogs in San Diego County to have a blanket.

Kaden took the rest of his savings and went to the Salvation Army to get more used blankets. The manager had heard Kaden’s story and made him a bulk deal of 100 blankets for $60 dollars, which he took to the Humane Society’s Central Campus. Then in early December he dropped more blankets off at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas. “He’s bound and determined,” said Kaden’s mom Kedda.

When Kaden received money from his grandmother for Christmas he decided to put most of it towards blankets. In total Kaden has delivered about 450 blankets and towels to five different shelters since he started right before Thanksgiving. Kaden is just getting started with his work for animals he says. He is too young to volunteer at the animal shelter, but plans to once he reaches the age of 14, “I’ve always had a passion for animals. This is just making my passion bigger.”

Those wishing to help Kaden can make a monetary donation to the following address:


Kaden Rutherford
3460 Marron Rd
Suite 103-212
Oceanside , CA 92056



5 thoughts on “Young boy determined to help shelter dogs”

  1. BRAVO!!! Awesome young man!! Our local shelter will not put blankets in the kennels with the dogs because they have no way to wash and disinfect them. Even a donated washing machine and dryer won’t help because they do not have the funds to pay for the supplies and electric bill. The place is cold in winter, hot in summer and most of the dogs sleep on damp concrete or newspaper. The kill rate is close to 100%. South Carolina is one of the worst places to be a homeless dog. 🙁

  2. Kayden, you are a super young man. You might try asking any of the larger hotels in your area what they do with there old worn blankets. If they throw them away ask them if they would donate them to you for the dogs, also ask your principle if you can do a blanket drive, you might be surprised by what you get. One more thing find out if any of your local vet offices will allow you to put a box up with a flyer for balnkets.
    Good luck and don’t give up and hope to hear about you on the news all over the country.
    Cindy / dog rescuer in Vegas


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