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Sun., Dec. 21
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Elementary student donates saved money to Massena Humane Society

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MASSENA - Over the course of 2012, Sophie Williams saved $50 that she could have spent in a number of ways.

But Sophie, 9, a student at Jefferson Elementary School, wanted to spend it on others - specifically, the animals that call the Massena Humane Society home.

“I love dogs. I’ve got a lot of posters in my room,” she said as she got set to donate the $50 to Animal Shelter Manager Heidi Bradish. The money was safely tucked away in a bag that was labeled specifically for the Massena Humane Society.

Sophie and her mother, Katie, said she had saved all of her money that she received during the year. Some of it, Katie said, was her “tooth fairy money,” while other money Sophie received from relatives also landed in the Massena Humane Society collection.

“Whenever she got a little something,” Katie said. “She saved her money quite well.”

Sophie had made donations in the past to the Massena Humane Society via Skip‘s Retreat, East Orvis Street, where they have a “quarter jug” that allows customers to drop in their spare quarters. When the jug reaches $75, the cost for an adoption, co-owner Judi Hayden-Shutts takes the money to the Massena Animal Shelter, ponders over the cats up for adoption and, when she’s found one that catches her eye, adopts it.

But Mrs. Hayden-Shutts doesn’t take the cat home. Instead, a sign is placed on the glass in front of its cubicle announcing that it’s available for free, thanks to Skip’s Retreat.

One day, Katie said, they dropped by and told Mrs. Hayden-Shutts, “We have more money for you.” Mrs. Hayden-Shutts suggested they consider a donation directly to the Massena Humane Society, which Sophie did after school on Wednesday.

“It can go a long way,” Ms. Bradish said. “Toys. Treats. Anything to make them happy.”

Mrs. Hayden-Shutts, meanwhile, is continuing the “quarter jug” at Skip’s Retreat to help other animals find a home. She joined Sophie in making a donation Wednesday, and “Snowy,” a pure white male will now be available for free to anyone who wants to provide him a loving home.

“Thank you to our customers who so generously give to this cause,” she said, estimating that their “quarter jug” has allowed them to adopt approximately six cats so far.

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