Kind Hearts Are Helping Animals

story and photo by
Renee Hughes

For Stonington residents Shayla Breault and Sage Stefanski, both age 8, helping those in need is a concept that they’re putting into practice for their four-legged friends. On Saturday, September 21, these third graders from Deans Mill School presented a $250 check to the Connecticut Humane Society headquarters at 169 Old Colchester Road in Quaker Hill.
Over the past year Shayla, with the help of Sage, has led a campaign to raise money for these animals through bottle collecting, running a One Dollar Sale, and obtaining donations. The idea originated one day when the two girls were trying to decide what to play. “I said, let’s start up a club to save the animals!” Shayla recalls.

(l-r)Bobby Shaffer, Freddie Ortiz, Shayla Breault, Sage Stefanski, Hailey St. Pierre-Casati, and Karen Begin are working to aid animals.

(l-r)Bobby Shaffer, Freddie Ortiz, Shayla Breault, Sage Stefanski, Hailey St. Pierre-Casati, and Karen Begin are working to aid animals.

Shayla started by collecting bottles. Her mother, Melissa Breault, said her daughter was already concerned about the environment, and had the good habit of collecting litter that accumulated on the side of the road. “She soon found out it could be put toward a good cause,” Melissa said.
The One Dollar Sale was launched right before school started; Shayla and Sage sold items including brownies, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and homemade jewelry such as friendship bracelets. Both girls wore samples of their handiwork at the shelter.
In addition to the donation check, the two girls presented artwork they had created for display in the building.
Connecticut Humane Society Veterinary Tech Karen Begin said donations like those initiated by Shayla and Sage are essential to running their organization. “The Connecticut Humane Society is completely funded by private donations,” Karen explains. “The money assists with everything from providing food to procedures such as spaying and neutering the animals.”
After presenting this inaugural donation, Shayla said her club is getting ready for its next challenge. The girls plan to raise more money to help abused and neglected animals as well as assist the Groton Animal Control Shelter. If anyone would like to help Shayla and Sage, please call 860.535.0125 to make a donation. And what do the beneficiaries say? “Woof!” “Meow!”
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