JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 teenager is opening his heart and helping our 4-legged friends by organizing a fundraiser for the local animal shelter as well as a couple of out of state dog rescue organizations .
Christian Canizales has made quite an impression on Ruth Meador, the manager of Hollywood Feed.
"He's very involved in the community with the pets," Meador said. "He helps with the Humane Society, Jonesboro Animal Control, and with NAFA as well."
"Sounds cheesy but I try to be an inspiration for other people," Canizales said. "Because if you are like 30 and say, 'Hey, a 15 year old is doing all this, so maybe I can try and do something like that' it will continually pass on."
The fundraiser will be held Saturday, Feb. 25, at Hollywood Feed, 1849 E. Highland in Jonesboro, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The event is designed to gather money and needed items for both the local animal shelter and as well as Villalobos Pit Bull Rescue in New Orleans and the Tuscaloosa K-9 Camp. That rescue organization took a direct hit from a tornado last April.
Canizales says Villalobos caught his attention while watching the show "Pit Bulls and Parolees" on the Animal Planet channel.
Canizales said, "They were going to different places and one time they went to Tuscaloosa K-9 camp. A tornado destroyed everything. It even took some of their dogs." The storm killed 22 and injured many of the people who work at the camp.
Christian said he felt compelled to help after watching the program.
"I started to look at their Facebook page and what they needed and look at their actual websites and what they need," he said.
A jar on the check out counter at Hollywood Feed has a label on it asking for change to help Tuscaloosa.
"We're going to raise 500 dollars to send to them," Canizales said. "I've already got a hundred so we have a jar that marks up to 500."
This July, Christian will take a load of donated items to New Orleans for the Villalobos rescue.
Meador says anytime their store has an event for animals Christian is there helping out.
"He's passionate about it," she said. "He's very committed and dedicated to their welfare."
"I try to think about how this affects the animals," Canizales said. "How does it help them find a home? How does it help them have that one more day to live and find a chance to find a home?"
Christian says that money is the real need; but towels, large dog crates, large collars and leashes, dog toys, dog shampoo, and blankets (no electric or yarn) will be welcomed. Also Advantix or Front Line flea prevention for Pit Bull sized dogs is needed.