CHICAGO (CBS) — An animal lover turned her North Side home into a shelter for abandoned pets.
Paige Bentley has raised thousands of dollars to help them, and she’s only 9 years old.
“Cats need, what they need the most, they probably need love, and just to be gentle and kind to them,” Page said. “They’re so calm and kind. And they just love you.”
Paige’s mother, Beth Bentley, said her daughter used to carry dog treats in her coat before getting a pet and would buy them with her own money.
“She has always loved animals,” Beth said.
Paige is turning her passion into helping cats and dogs in shelters. This past summer, she ran eight lemonade stands to raise money for a shelter near her home.
She is quite a savvy businesswoman.
“I thought maybe people are hot, why not sell lemonade?” she said,
He said $3,500.
A recent bagel sale at her school brought in another $1,000.
And as the holidays approach, Paige is on a new mission, making sure every shelter dog has a toy for Christmas.
Using registries through Amazon and Walmart, Paige is collecting donations at her home and then delivering the toys.
Her mother says she’s not surprised.
“As she’s gotten older and more aware of how many animals need help, she’s very determined,” Beth said. “We were on vacation and we were at a church and she was writing a prayer to adopt animal control cats.”
This year, Paige’s full-time gig is raising cats. It was all Paige’s idea and it’s a lot of work.
“I wake up every morning and I feed them and then I play with them,” Page said. “Get them used to the noise, not the vacuum, the dishwasher so we try to get them used to it.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Paige also sews her own quilts to give to shelter pets.
“When I grow up, I’ll probably run an animal shelter or farm and have lots of dogs, cats and kittens,” Page said.
His mother couldn’t have been more proud.
“It’s real in him. It’s hard to deny, his passion is so strong,” Beth said.